HoPe Squad Comes to Prosper ISD

Posted by PISD Communications on 8/22/2019

As the nation struggles with an epidemic of suicide, especially in the ages between 10 and 18, Prosper ISD has chosen to take a proactive stance in the further prevention of suicide in the community. Led by Associate Superintendent, Holly Ferguson, and with the help of a community of parents, students, and educators, Prosper ISD found Hope Squad.

Hope Squad was founded by CEO and former high school principal with the Provo City School District in Utah, Dr. Gregory Hudnall. After experiencing several suicides as a campus administrator, Dr. Hudnall knew that his mission was to find a way to prevent suicides in his community. He HOPE Squad logo developed the Hope Squad program which is a community collaboration and school based training for staff, parents, and students creating a peer-to-peer support system within schools. The program has now spread across the country and to other countries such as Canada and Spain where Dr. Hudnall has trained adults and students in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The program was a major factor for the Provo suicide completion rate dropping to zero and staying there for more than eight years. 

On Monday, August 19th, Dr. Hudnall and members of the Hope Squad staff gave parents and community members an introduction to the program. On Tuesday, August 20th, Dr. Hudnall began his day speaking to Campus Administrators about the Hope Squad program and how to lead the program to make a positive impact on school climate. He then met with and trained the Hope Squad team members at the high school and middle school campuses. The Hope Squad students were nominated by peers to be a part of the program to empower and assist their fellow classmates.  Thanks to the Prosper Education Foundation support, the district will soon be adding the 11 elementary campuses to the Hope Squad program. 

While Hope Squad is a school based program, the prevention, intervention and postvention of suicide is truly a community endeavor. All campuses will be coming together on Saturday, October 12th, 2019 for a Hope Walk and then the annual Out of Darkness Walk held at Windsong Ranch on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. Hope Week at Prosper ISD will be February 3-7, 2020 where Hope Squad teams will plan a week of empowerment for the campuses. More information on these events will be available on the PISD website and PISD social media. 

For more information about Hope Squad, visit https://hopesquad.com/. An NBC Nightly News story on Hope Squad can be viewed at this link.