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Davis Journal

Finding hope through Hope Squad

Dec 09, 2022 12:36PM ● By Kaiimilani Crockett

Hope Squad members from Bountiful, Woods Cross, Farmington and Viewmont High gather together to receive training from the International Hope Squad at Scenic View Academy in Provo, Utah. Members met to advise one another about Hope Squad and implement new ways to help students. Photo by Rebecca Money

WOODS CROSS—Hope Squad works hard to welcome students into a friendly, safe environment. Seeing kind faces, forming easy relationships and helping students feel that they matter is why Woods Cross High School has a Hope Squad.

“On the first day of school I was super nervous because I didn’t know a lot of people,” said Rhett Benedict, a student at Woods Cross High School. “As I was greeted by the Hope Squad, it was just such a relief to see friendly faces and people eager to speak to me.”

Hope Squad members are taking action to make school a place where everybody wants to be. The need for hope is substantial. Since COVID-19, schools have seen an epidemic of a mental health decline from their students. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 years old.

Hope Squad is a school program that contributes to the community-wide effort to prevent suicide. Hope Squad members provide knowledge to the student body about stress coping mechanisms and provide struggling students with the help they need through trusted adults.

At times it is complicated for teachers and administrators to see into the lives of every student. Hope Squad members are students who look out for fellow students and friends they see are showing signs of distress and are trained to help that student find hope and get professional help when needed.

“Our goal for the squad is to have a wide representation of students in Hope Squad,” said Todd Hammond assistant principal at Woods Cross High School. “That way we can reach a wide variety of students, with the diversity of Hope Squad, we are able to see the needs of all students and then create creative ways to implement help for them.”

The Hope Squad are not the only ones who can save lives. Every 13 minutes an American dies by suicide; a scary statistic that is hard to face. In addition to working in school with students, they also hold suicide prevention trainings and conventions where members of the community can come to learn about suicide warning signs and what they can do to get involved.

“The Hope Squad helps create a sense of belonging for everyone amongst the students,” said Kori Schriver, teacher and Hope Squad advisor at Woods Cross High School.

“Being in Hope Squad is important to me because I want to be there for people when they need it most,” said Sarah Stone, a member of the Woods Cross High Hope Squad. “I want to be a good friend that people can feel comfortable being themselves around me and will turn to if they need someone to listen to.”