Congratulations to senior Hope Squad members Alex Brennan ’21 and Courtney Trueman '21, recipients of the 2021 Elyssa's Mission Scholarship. The scholarship awards up to $5,000 to high school juniors and seniors who have successfully applied the ACT (acknowledge, care, tell) technique to help themselves or a friend, peer or community member and have promoted the Signs of Suicide (SOS)/ACT message in their community.
On May 12, Hope Squad members Lauren Dziedzic ’22 and Julia Swanson ’22 organized a webinar for Loyola students and parents with two prominent guest speakers, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, nationally known as America’s most trusted celebrity psychologist with media interviews including The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Forbes and more, and Loyola alumna Cristin McAuley ’00, LCPC, president of CMCM Services, Inc. The discussion was titled “How Teens Can Cope With the Past Year's Stressors” and focused on overcoming mental health issues within the context of a global pandemic.
Congratulations to Hope Squad members Liam Zidar ’22 and Lauren Dziedzic ’22, who will represent Loyola Academy on the Hope Squad National Council next year! The Hope Squad National Council is composed of juniors and seniors who have served on a Hope Squad for at least one year. The National Council leads monthly support calls, organizes and presents at Hope Squad trainings and participates at national Hope Squad events and conferences.
In March 2020, one month after Loyola Academy launched Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer program that trains "squads" of students to recognize peers at risk for suicide and then access immediate help from an adult, the global COVID-19 crisis took hold, forcing most schools and businesses into a strict lockdown. For a program modeled on building connections between students, the situation presented a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But, for the eighty-nine members of Loyola's Hope Squad, adaptability was the name of the game.