JAHS Hope Squad Sponsors its First Events

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Olivia Zimmerman

Hope Squad Members gathering around the mental health resource table.

Olivia Zimmerman , Staff Writer

Hope Squad, the student group that promotes mental health, hosted several recent events for students to participate in. On Wednesday March 30th, they hosted Hope Day in the main gym at the high school. During the three lunch periods, students got to spend time hanging out with trained service dogs and even a rat. On April 22nd, students from every grade joined together to enjoy a fun assembly, and on May 16th members passed out popsicles in the courtyard. Time and time again the squad worked to create a fun environment for students and provide mental health resources.

Hope Day

According to Hope Squad members, Hope Day’s purpose was for students to come together and spend some time to enjoy adorable dogs and get the opportunity to meet members of Hope Squad. When students entered the gym, they were met with a few members who were at a mental health resource table and then introduced to multiple trained service dogs.

 “Having the dogs here was really fun,” freshman Karsyn Maynard, a Hope Squad member, says. 

For junior Olivia Bruno, she got to experience the event in a different way, as the guest. “I thought it was really nice that they brought therapy dogs, because as someone with anxiety it was a really nice surprise.” Bruno even spent time with the owners of the dogs: “owners told me all about their dogs, such as how old they are and what they did.” 

Not only could students spend time with the dogs, but they also could enjoy time with one another and color a picture. The mental health resource table posted in the front of the gym was where students can learn more about Hope Squad and receive useful resources. Many students even got to learn more about the intent of the group. Bruno learned about a purpose Hope Squad focuses on“ is to help prevent suicide.” 

When it comes to the outcome of Hope Day, Maynard believes that more people are going to want to enjoy time and attend more events that are planned by them. “I think now that people know about Hope Squad and have seen the therapy dogs, maybe they will come to other events because they will think it will be exciting,” Maynard says.

Unity Day

Unity day was just as Maynard hoped for, students and teachers were all invited to enjoy an assembly before Prom and testing that would follow in the next few weeks. As the crowd settled down, members of Hope Squad introduced themselves and conducted the first games of the event. The different mini games that students got to play are moving on up red solo cup, face the cookie, elephant march, and junk in the trunk. 

Soon after the mini games were rounded up, the dodgeball games commenced, from freshman vs. seniors, to juniors vs. juniors, and teachers vs. students. Freshman Kyra Neeley, a member of the Hope Squad, had mixed feelings about the games. “Overall they went pretty well and the juniors went crazy.“ However, Neeley also found the games were “a bit hectic towards the end” when some unplanned games took place, but the assembly was still a huge hit. 

To conclude the assembly, Hope Squad members had the winners of the mini games pie several staff members in the face, including the principal, Mr. Hayes.Junior Kailey Blackburn says, “I thought the teachers being pied in the face was hilarious and was a good way to include teachers.” 

Popsicles in the Courtyard

On May 16th during the lunch periods, Hope Squad members handed out popsicles in the courtyard. The squad took a great opportunity to on a nice day for students to enjoy the nice weather with a popsicle, not only that but students could also grab stickers and helpful resources, for example, a paper on 99 ways to reduce stress. “I liked that the Hope Squad passed out popsicles. It was a nice treat to get us ready for the end of the school year,” says Blackburn. 

Over the course of the last few months, Hope Squad has hosted many fun opportunities for JAHS students, and students are looking forward to what they have planned for next year..  “I think that Hope Squad is a good addition for the school,” Bruno says, “and I’m excited to see what else they have planned for the future.”