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Hope Squad Spreads Positivity During "Week of Hope"

From February 26 through March 1, Loyola's Hope Squad hosted a special "Week of Hope" to spread positivity across campus and raise awareness for suicide prevention. Hope Squad is a student organization that seeks to prevent youth suicide through education and the destigmatization of mental illness. Hope Squads are implemented in high schools across the country as peer-to-peer mentorship programs that build a culture of care and support among students.
At Loyola, Hope Squad members are nominated by their peers to be mentored by school counselors and trained to recognize peers at risk for suicide. Research suggests that other students are usually the first to recognize at-risk friends. After a nomination process, parental approval, and training, Loyola students are able to serve their community as Hope Squad members.

The "Week of Hope" enabled Loyola's Hope Squad to fulfill its mission of educating and fostering connectedness in our school community through fun and engaging activities during the week.

On Monday, February 26, Hope Squad members greeted students with signs that read messages of positivity and handed out lifesaver candy as they entered the building. Hope Squad members also passed out "positivity clothespins," wooden clothespins decorated with inspiring messages that Ramblers could wear on their backpacks and lanyards to spread positive messages wherever they go.

On Tuesday, Hope Squad held a bake sale to benefit Elyssa's Mission, a local organization that works to destigmatize mental illness. Students were also invited to make a "Chain of Hope" using construction paper chain links. Positive messages were written on each link to uplift Ramblers.

On Wednesday, students made friendship bracelets in room three. These bracelets were a great way for Ramblers to express their appreciation for their friends and fellow Ramblers.

On Thursday, students were invited to a relaxing rock painting session during their flex period. The activity allowed students to take a moment to unwind and rest their minds during the school day.

To end the week, Hope Squad members taught students how to make paper cranes, ancient symbols of peace and healing.

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