History of H.O.P.E

After being in quarantine for months on end, nearly everyone was dying to get back to normal by the end of 2020. Seeing friends, taking family vacations, and resuming normal social activities were at the top of the TO DO list, taking somewhat of a focus away from mental health as many were more concerned with their social lives than their own wellbeing. However, now nearing the end of 2021, a focus is coming back onto mental health, as society has begun readjusting to the more mental aspects of a “normal” life. For some, quarantine left them with social anxiety and depression, which were subsequently ignored or pushed to the backburner in favor of going outside and meeting friends.  

H.O.P.E week, which takes place the first week of November, was started last year by the Chandler Unified School Districts’ counseling and social services departments, and is meant to “promote hope and positivity through quotes, activities, and messages throughout the week,” said Social Worker Lindsay Taylor. 

“Last year Perry students and staff signed banners stating what their HOPE for the future was. This year we had students write down their hopes on a strip of paper and we created a HOPE chain in the front office,” said counselor Holli Cagle.

Awareness for H.O.P.E week was delivered through the morning announcements, where, each day, a message of hope was shared along with the announcements. 

Monday morning, the initial announcement about H.O.P.E week was spread into every first hour classroom. Information about messages of hope available for students on the bulletin board outside C105, and the simple meaning behind the acronym, H.O.P.E: Hold On Pain Ends.

The feeling of hope is known to reduce feelings of helplessness, improve quality of life, and reduce stress. This simple change in mindset allows students to take charge of their lives and make the most of each and every day. 

Tuesday’s message of hope was, “most things in life are temporary.” In spite of all the tough times that have impacted teenagers these past two years, it is important to remember that “time changes things”. Understanding the importance of time for grief and frustration, can help lead to better experiences and allow for the healing process to occur at a natural pace. 

Skipping ahead to Thursday, where the message of hope answers the simple but important question of “What is Hope?… Hope is a diamond buried in a rock. Hope is the love amongst despair. Hope is the rays of sunlight shining through the dark clouds. Hope is believing in the seemingly impossible.” 

Being able to look past the negativity and uncertainty that surrounds the world today allows for a better, more hopeful outlook on the future to shine through. Learning to look towards the good in the world will allow for feelings of hope to dominate your life, as opposed to negative feelings. 

Ending H.O.P.E week with a final message of, “Don’t lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come out,” reminds students that there is always light in the darkest of times, and that “things will work itself out”. 

Students were also invited to make an appointment with Mrs. Taylor, or their counselor, if they are struggling and need support, through the QR codes spread throughout the campus. 

Pumas, “We care and YOU MATTER.”