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  • Writer's pictureBen Hicks

Hope Week Recap

The Loveland High School Hope Squad hosted their fifth annual Hope Week from March 18th to 22nd. The purpose of Hope Week is to promote mental health awareness and provide fun activities for holistic student wellness.

Hope Squad is a national organization formed in Utah that strives to end teen suicide through peer-to-peer conversations. Loveland’s Hope Squad was formed in 2018 and encapsulates grades 5 through 12.

This year’s Hope Week was headlined by a visit from mental health advocate and Cincinnati native, Brandon Saho. A University of Cincinnati graduate and former sports reporter, Saho faced his own serious difficulties with mental health before devoting his life to spreading awareness for suicide prevention and therapeutic techniques through a variety of different medias.

Saho hosts a nationally-renowned podcast entitled The Mental Game, which interviews the biggest stars from the entertainment, sports, and music industries, allowing them to vulnerably tell their own stories regarding their mental health. Additionally, Saho travels the United States, connecting with schools and nonprofits to raise awareness for his cause.

Alongside the whole-school assembly, Saho also held breakout sessions with Hope Squad and the LHS Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), promoting further discussion into improving the mental health of Tigers all across Loveland Schools.

To supplement Saho’s visit, Hope Squad also hosted dress-up days throughout the week, and held raffles, allowing students to win fun prizes, including Loveland Nike gear, Stanley and Owala water bottles, and various gift cards.

Pajama day was held on Monday, while a Hawaiian theme was reserved for Tuesday. Teal and purple, the colors representing suicide prevention were encouraged to be worn on Wednesday, with jerseys worn on Thursday and a Superhero day held on Friday, before students headed off to spring break.

There were also fun activities for students to participate in throughout the week, although some were unfortunately postponed due to poor weather. Special Neat Treats Ice Cream Truck set up outside the cafeteria on Tuesday, and Good Green Earth Petting Farm brought an array of cute animals into the gymnasium on Thursday. Lunch on the Lawn was supposed to take place on Monday, and an Inflatable Obstacle Course was planned for Friday, but both were postponed due to weather. Hope Squad said they will announce makeup dates for these fun activities sometime in April.

Leah Schwab (12), who has been a member of Hope Squad for four years, said that her favorite part of the week was Goat Yoga, which was held on Thursday. “My favorite part was the goat yoga because although we didn’t get much yoga done, everyone had so much fun. The goats didn’t fail to put a smile on everyone’s face.” Schwab’s experience highlights Hope Squad’s efforts to find creative and innovative ways to boost student morale.

On top of the rescheduled dates for Lunch on the Lawn and the Inflatable Obstacle Course, Hope Squad plans to welcome Therapy Dogs into LHS to help relieve stress for students as they prepare to close out the year with AP testing and final exams.

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