Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Infinite Nature of HOPE

It has been a little while since I've shared an update with our audience outside of PV and that is because the students' vision of HOPE has continued to grow and take on a life of its own.  My entire positive posse of friends and colleagues learns from these amazing kids every day and it has been one of the most exciting and fulfilling adventures of my entire life!

So far, they have been featured on two different local newscasts that you can watch here:

Aside from the commentary from the local news and this blog, students, teachers, parents and administrators have all given their voices to the “HOPE” movement and many individuals have really done a stellar job summing up the magic. 
A senior boy, Jack, succinctly explained the concept to one of our service clubs; he said, “HOPE isn’t a club, a class or a project – it is something that everyone has and all you have to do to get involved is figure out what it means to you.  Once you know what hope means to you, you just have to use that to help others and make things better”.  Another student also explained why they couldn't create a step-by-step manual for getting new people involved because they felt that specific instructions would limit the possibilities, so they just keep encouraging everyone to reflect and determine what works best for them.
Rocco Seiler, an administrator who has believed in our vision and our mission from the beginning also explained the bigger picture when he said, “This initiative isn’t just a school thing and it is affecting more than just our local community.  People are living it… Everyone wants HOPE and positivity in their lives regardless of the situation that they are in!!!”.  
Sarah Rusnock, a teacher in our middle school recently sent a message that said, “I really think the HOPE brings the Pleasant Valley community together.  It is something that we all share and it is what we all have in common.  We all want the best for ourselves.  Staying positive, we are able to achieve those results.  We all have to help each other in order to help ourselves.  I always felt PV lacked community due to geography and culture, but HOPE connects us.” 
Although these sentiments really reflect the big ideas, the heartfelt thanks from students and parents and the overwhelming support from administrators at all levels, teachers, and support staff have provided more than enough testimony that the smallest ideas and actions can make the biggest difference. 

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