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Monday, March 24, 2014

MHS students offered HOPE for a brighter future

Guest post by LeAnn Downs, Mansfield High School English teacher and HOPE Coordinator

HOPE Mentoring Program is designed to help foster leadership among our students at Mansfield High School. The mentoring program involves teachers mentoring students. The students chosen for the program are recognized for their potential to be future leaders. These students are ones who can greatly benefit from additional support to help guide and direct them in making wise choices for their futures.

The teachers choose one student to mentor throughout the year. Our mission is to prepare students for life-long success through creating positive adult mentoring relationships. Within this program, the mentors will HELP students take advantage of the many OPPORTUNITIES made available to them within the educational system. In addition, students will be able to PERSEVERE as they are EMPOWERED with necessary tools for their future, thus bringing clarity and practical steps to accomplish their lifelong goals.

Each year, the Mansfield High School HOPE students attend Camp Inspire in the spring. This year, Camp Inspire was held on March 7, at The MISD Center for Performing Arts. The 2013-2014 theme was “HOPE Instagoals:  Snapshots of Success, Achievement & Purpose.”  Over 75 students were in attendance.

Throughout the day, the students were privileged to hear guest speakers whose messages addressed leadership, team building, perseverance, people skills, and decision-making. Keynote speaker, Mr. Steve Knagg of Pinetop Presentations, shared how the students must learn to build others up in order to be good leaders. MISD’s own John Sohel and Andrew Marsh of Danny Jones Middle School creatively entertained the students with silly videos, creative skits, and wise words on becoming strong leaders. Finally, Ms. Sherrie Barrett of Bank of America discussed the importance of people skills when interviewing for jobs. Throughout the day, many of our staff and community leaders poured into these students to help make them feel special while encouraging them to become great leaders. MISD school board member Courtney Wilson, Mayor David Cook, and Superintendent, Dr. Jim Vaszauskas were in attendance during lunch to also share with the students the value and importance of becoming strong, influential leaders. 

The students ended the day with team building activities in the form of mini-Olympics. They made new friends, realized their abilities to lead, and left feeling more encouraged and capable of accomplishing their goals. Because of the many that helped make Camp Inspire possible, “HOPE” for a brighter future was given to these students.

PTA provided fun door prizes to give out to the students, and the MHS staff contributed financially to surprise every student in attendance with a $5.00 gift card to a local restaurant. Matthew’s Office Supply donated bags of school supplies for every student in attendance. Camp Inspire t-shirts were provided by the following local businesses:  Harris Cook Law Firm of Mansfield, W-R Roofing, Utopia Fitness, and Auto Doctor.