Editorial: Hope Squad shines, even behind closed doors

Former Hope Squad member brings light to positives of suicide prevention group

Hanging+on+the+wall%2C+a+Hope+Squad+poster+waits.+Hope+Squad+is+a+national+suicide+prevention+group+that+started+in+Utah+by+Dr.+Greg+Hudnall.+Hope+Squad+is+doing+it+right%2C+Executive+Opinion+Editor+and+senior+Alyssa+Clark+said.+Their+effort+doesnt+go+unnoticed.+Without+Hope+Squad%2C+the+walls+of+Prosper+would+be+bare+and+light-less.+The+pops+of+yellow+that+any+student+can+recognize+on+Wednesdays+or+on+the+ribbons+around+the+columns+during+Hope+Week+or+Suicide+Prevention+Week+show+how+much+Hope+Squad+truly+cares.

Alyssa Clark

Hanging on the wall, a Hope Squad poster waits. Hope Squad is a national suicide prevention group that started in Utah by Dr. Greg Hudnall. “Hope Squad is doing it right,” Executive Opinion Editor and senior Alyssa Clark said. “Their effort doesn’t go unnoticed. Without Hope Squad, the walls of Prosper would be bare and light-less. The pops of yellow that any student can recognize on Wednesdays or on the ribbons around the columns during Hope Week or Suicide Prevention Week show how much Hope Squad truly cares.”

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The sticky notes, yellow shirts and posters around the school remind every student of Hope Squad, the suicide prevention program that can be often mislabeled as a “popular club,” or a “blow-off'”class. However, Hope Squad does so much work and puts time and effort into their students, starting with one bathroom mirror at a time.

Hope Squad is the most influential and powerful student-led organization, especially for the students in it.

To grab their beads and show their support, Hope Squad members line up in front of the bead board. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held the “Out of Darkness Walk.” Both Rock Hill and Prosper Hope Squad members attended. (Alyssa Clark)

Hope Squad is a national organization, with charters in plenty of districts across the country. The detailed plans and lessons distributed cover topics of stress-management, grief, how to recognize signs of suicide and more. Not all the topics are as dark as those listed before — such as one lesson being about respectable boundaries — but they’re all important topics that Hope Squad students learn, and take to the rest of the school. Hope Squad deserves more recognition for the hard topics they unveil to the rest of the student body.

With the endless support of the district, Hope Squad advisor Tony Cooper builds students up to be kind and selfless leaders. With constant motivation in class, Cooper talks to any kid, and is always sporting a smile as students build bonds over games that allow any student who has the privilege to be in Hope Squad to become a better person.

Though not all of this growth and love are shown to the whole student body, it persists nevertheless.

Hope Squad lights up the school hallways with their interactive tables, posters and sticky note board. The bright yellow button on Hope Squad students’ backpacks make it easy for anyone who needs a friend to go and talk to a Hope Squad student. These students have a duty, whether they realize it or not, to be both a strong leader and a great friend. The Hope Squad program creates a safe space for any student, and constantly creates positive messages for the school walls.

However, not every student in Hope Squad had the intentions of being a leader when they were elected. Some do it for the college aid, job references or popularity. These kinds of students are in any specific group, though. Not everyone is the most dedicated member; however, all of those students in Hope Squad mean something to at least one other student, which is a big deal. Students in Hope Squad understand that it is not just a waste of time. Hope Squad provides students with the skills to deal with stress in a healthy way, communicate well with others and create boundaries that will benefit all of their future relationships.

Hope Squad students write reminders on the windows in the halls. Hope Squad writes these messages during Suicide Prevention Week, but also writes them frequently around as a reminder for students. “During class, we walk around and write positive things” then-Hope Squad member and junior Alyssa Clark said. “We hope these uplift people’s days.” (Neena Sidhu)

Hope Squad is doing it right, and their effort doesn’t go unnoticed. Without Hope Squad, the walls of Prosper would be bare and light-less. The pops of yellow that any student can recognize on Wednesdays or on the ribbons around the columns during Hope Week or Suicide Prevention Week show how much Hope Squad truly cares. They’re here for students, and students need to be there for them. To support Hope Squad, students should contribute to help eliminate the stigma behind mental health, and work towards creating a more positive atmosphere around Hope Squad. The point of Hope Squad is to allow students to be resources, not lifelines.

The golden rule has always been ‘treat others the way you want to be treated,’ but maybe it’s time for a Hope Squad rule: smile, look out for others and wear yellow on Wednesdays.