(HEALTHY OPTIONS PEER EDUCATORS)
HOPE members create awareness and advocate for students' overall health and wellness. Members educate and motivate students to practice and achieve an attitude of wellness by promoting the importance of having a sense of purpose and belonging, have a realistic body perception, and having a sense of knowing and valuing themselves. The group is also a resource for positive living as it specifically focuses on such areas as healthy eating, physical health, stress management, and self-acceptance.
Meetings for HOPE are held bi-weekly for one hour. All members of HOPE are expected to participate in some way even if their schedules prevent them from attending meetings. This means volunteering for any of the wonderful activities throughout the semester. Donations collected in money or items through these activities are donated to local women’s shelters, children’s body image foundation, Blue Chip and more.
For more information, contact Brittany O'Reilly, advisor for HOPE, at the CAPS Center.
Examples of HOPE activities throughout the year:
- Operation beautiful
- Members of the group write positive and affirming messages on post-its and leave around campus. Similarly, at points throughout the semester, members write inspirational quotes on the ground with sidewalk chalk to uplift the students.
- Blue Chip farm/animal refuge
- Members volunteer at the local no kill, not for profit shelter. This is the same shelter that brings therapy dogs to campus for students so a donation is made to them at the end of the year out of appreciation.
- Blue jeans for true genes campaign
- In years past, the campus HOPE group has sponsored “blue jeans for true genes” campaign. A national HOPE organization started this campaign in 2006 as a way to promote positive body image and acceptance. The idea is to donate any jeans that no longer fit or feel comfortable, so you stop the belief that you have to be a certain size or body type in order to be worthwhile. Jeans collected get donated to a local women’s shelter. And/or Salvation Army.
- Setting up tables to promote CAPS eating disorder screenings
- Handing out cards to encourage students to attend the screening and promote body positivity.
- Making and distributing Shamrock grams
- These are made in the bi-weekly meetings and sold for 50 cents each. Money is donated to the children’s body image foundation.
- Finals week stress reduction activities
- Members leave laminated quotes on the floors to help students keep moving forward and a table is set up with activities to help students de-stress (e.g. making stress balls, inspirational quotes in balloons etc.).
- Girl Scouts
- This year we are having a local girl scout troop come to campus to work on a “staying fit” badge. HOPE members will set up stations targeted towards helping these girls achieve positive messages about staying fit and achieve their badge.