Hope for Improvement

Jayci Geisler, Reporter

Hope Squad is coming to Edgewood with the intention to raise mental health awareness, lessen the stigma around suicide, and create a community where students feel comfortable asking for help. 

Hope Squad is a student-elected, student-run organization with advisors. The advisors of Hope Squad are Mrs. Vangen, who is a part of the Social and Emotional Development here at Edgewood, and Mrs. Hollinger, who teaches Forensics. The student members were elected earlier this year during an EdgeTime.


Although Hope Squad was recently implemented here at Edgewood, the organization was first founded twenty years ago in Utah. Provo City School District in Utah averaged 1-2 suicides a year for 12 years and knew something needed to change. This is what led to the development of the first Hope Squad. Here at Edgewood, Eli Jones, a Senior and member of Hope Squad thinks, “There’s a strong community here at Edgewood, which is what separates us from other schools, but the level of trust in the community is not where it should be.” With the pandemic, the school spirit and trust in the community has diminished greatly at Edgewood. While Hope Squad is a mental health, suicide prevention group, the advisors are also hoping to raise school spirit and create more trust in the community; as Mrs. Vangen said, “We want to get back to the point that something tragic doesn’t have to happen to pull this community together.


Hope Squad is not only being implemented into the high school, but it’s also being added to the middle school. The way Hope Squad looks in these two environments is very different: at the high school, although this won’t be the only focus, there will be a bigger focus on suicide and mental health awareness, whereas the middle school focuses will focus on coping mechanisms. Eventually, there might even be a Hope Squad in the elementary school. Mrs. Hollinger said, “The elementary would focus more on how to be a good friend, how to treat others, and raise awareness against bullying.”


As Hope Squad is just starting, the students and advisors are in the building process of the organization. Students are being taught how to be there for their peers and bring a little bit of “hope” to the school. Mrs. Vangen said, “Eventually Hope Squad will be a lot more doing than teaching.” With the hopes of getting started this month, Hope Squad is planning activities as well as starting up a social media page. Look out for things posted around the school for their upcoming events and ideas!

2022 Edgewood Hope Squad


Mrs. Vangen, Mrs. Hollinger


Senior Representatives:

Jake Adkins, Bailee VonStein, Eil Jones, Madison Dirksen, Jesse Thompson, Ja’Niyah Neal, Cameron Blair


Junior Representatives: 

Jake Valerio, James Schenck, Jayci Geisler, Evan Swartz, Reyhan Davis, Mason Green, Cassidy Claxton


Sophomore Representatives:

Geno Hartness, Maggie Henderson, Jonathan Rosenbalm, Caleb Wise


Freshman Representatives: 

Ryan French, Jeida McGee, Caden Sparks, Taylor Messer, Robert Eggbrecht, Kenzie Allen, Addison King