Every year during the third week of February, a widespread celebration is held in the commons of Bonneville High School. Hope Squad, Bonneville’s peer-to-peer suicide prevention group, orchestrates the jamboree known as Hope Week. Every year a new theme adorns this fun occasion. A few themes from previous years include “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” “Hakuna Matata,” and “Just Keep Swimming.” Each theme hints towards suicide prevention by focusing on having a lively mindset. Inspired by Disney’s The Lion King, “Hakuna Matata” theme helped remind students to discard their worries and see the good in life. Following the Disney theme, “Just Keep Swimming,” from Finding Nemo is meant to tell people to continue life and not give up. Last year’s theme, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” was based on Disney’s Toy Story and aimed to remind students they are not alone.
Each year, Hope Squad provides engaging, theme-based activities and games in which all students, and even some staff members, participate. Some of last year’s games included a candy guessing game in which students guess how many pieces were in the jar. Forky sporks came to life in the commons to live up to the Toy Story theme. On a different day, students were given star necklaces and had the opportunity to "steal" the star upon talking to another student. Inspired by one of Toy Story’s settings known as “Pizza Planet,” free pizza was served in the commons to celebrate the week. Each teacher was provided Hope Squad attire, such as sweatshirts, so they could correspond with the other teachers during the week.
This year the theme is “Go the Distance'' from Hercules. Rumors have been circulating that there will be an obstacle course this year, as well as activities for everyone to enjoy. In an effort to prevent the accidental exclusion that occurred in previous years, Hope Squad aims to make Hope Week more inclusive for all this year. According to the group’s advisor, Lori Baldwin, Hope Squad members have worked diligently to ensure all students are involved and can find something to fit their interest. This year’s Hope Week will work to incorporate fine arts students, special education students, LGBTQ+ students, and students of other clubs and interests, as well as inviting staff and faculty to participate in the fun. This year’s activities are mostly still a mystery though; could a dance party take place? Or perhaps more free food? Whatever is in store for Hope Week, Hope Squad will make it fun, inclusive, and equal for all!