PROVIDING HOPE : Making a Difference in Students Lives



Thanks so much for coming to my session today HOPE  for the United Way’s All In For Youth  and especially to Joan Gauthier for inviting me.

Hope is Everything. 

Shane Lopez fron the University of Kansas @hopemonger in his book Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want For Yourself and Others discusses the 4 core beliefs that hopeful people share :

  1. The future will be better than the present
  2. I have the power to make it so
  3. There are many paths to my goals
  4. None of them is free of obstacles

I discuss this with my students and let them know they matter. I hope you do too! We need to help students find the many pathways to reaching their goals and having hope.

Help students :

  • Edit down their goals to 2-3 specific ones.
  • See that HOPE is hard work and they can and do have the power to be hopeful.
  • See that obstacles are challenges that they can overcome and help them recognize that it’s ok to seek support from others.
  • Find what they excited and passionate about and encourage them to do more of those things.
  • Identify things they are good at and assist them in capturing the enthusiasm to pursue those things.
  • Find other hopeful people. Encourage them to suround themselves with hopeful people.
  • Seek the courage to keep going and understand that just because they fail they are not a failure.
  • To not just survive , but thrive
  • Fee and strengthen their mind.
  • Develop positive self talk.
  • Seek images of HOPE.
  • Give students blue ribbons  and have them pass it on to others.
  • Stay in the game.Find reasons to Never give up.

I also believe in the power of  touch and as I said today I  think we should bring back HUGS in schools. I recognize that some people don’t want to be touched and we need to set boundaries and respect that , but for the most part kids need HUGS. they are healing.

HAPPINESS is so important when it comes to HOPE. it is hard to be hopeful without being happy. To be truly happy according to researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky there are two components to happiness:

  1. positive emotions
  2. a sense that life is good

Scientists know that there is a genetic component to happiness, however students need to learn that happiness is also under their control . Helping students learn to be more grateful and show acts of kindness can lead to greater happiness. Happier people are better leaders, more creative and more productive so assisting students to learn how to be happier should be a priority.

You too can provide HOPE .

H appiness

Tom Bodett says a person needs three things to be truly happy in life. 1. Someone to love. 2. Something to do and 3. Something to HOPE for .

O pen

“Be passionate, fall madly in love with life. Be passionate about some part of the natural and/or human worlds and take risks on its behalf, no matter how vulnerable they make you.” … “Offer yourself to the world — your energies, your gifts, your visions, your heart — with open-hearted generosity.” – Parker Palmer

When we are open to new ideas to changing our mindset and shifting our thoughts to be more hopeful we can begin to recognize that we truly do matter in life . we do have a purpose.

P assion

As an educator it is essential that you live your passion and help students to find what theirs is.

E veryone has a story.

Find out what it is and celebrate them.

A MOOC I  took on happiness that I really enjoyed was the The Science of Happiness  You may wish to take it too.

I want you to know that YOU can and DO make a difference . Everything you say and do matters. All In For Youth. I am grateful you do what you do every day because YOU provide HOPE. Need some more tips check out my list of A-Z Coping Skills. You can find many more resources for you here.

I want YOU to go on a HOPE search . Look for HOPE everywhere and first and foremost BE RIDICULOUSLY HOPEFUL yourself.

Let’s #bringbackhugs and pass on HOPE to others.


The Alberta Family Wellness initiative has great resources. You may wish to be Brain Story Certified . It’s free click  here .

So may great educators at ALL in for YOUTH today. Truly thanks for all you do and spreading hope wherever you go. Thanks also to the Palix Foundation for doing such amazing work.



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