Summit’s Hope Squad named Ohio Hope Squad of the Month

Summit students pet therapy dogs

Sophomore Bry Woodard, left, and junior Jessie Headley, right, pet therapy dogs during advisement. Therapy dogs were brought to The Summit as part of one of the school’s Hope Squad initiatives.

The Summit Country Day School’s Hope Squad has been selected as the Ohio Hope Squad of the Month for March by Grant Us Hope, Ohio and Northern Kentucky’s provider of Hope Squad.

Through activities such as bringing in therapy dogs, writing positive messages in chalk on the sidewalks around campus and weekly meetings with peers, The Summit’s Hope Squad has been proactive in trying to help other students through challenges in their lives.  

“We identify students in need of help and connect them with resources,” seniors Julia Dean, Mt. Washington, and Carli Vallota, Mount Lookout, said in the Grant Us Hope monthly newsletter. “Most importantly, we promote positivity and boost morale schoolwide. While there is still so much untapped potential in our Hope Squad, we are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.” 

The students are trained to ask enough questions so they fully recognize students in crisis and how to respond. The training involves teaching Hope Squad members to question what they are being told, to persuade those who need it to get help and to refer them to an adult. 

The student-led group is mentored by Upper School Guidance Counselor Mike Fee, who has a Master’s Degree with clinical endorsement for counseling from Xavier University, and Tracy Law’ 85, Ph.D., who has a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Virginia.

“The Summit’s tight-knit community of faith has grown even stronger with the addition of our exceptional Hope Squad,” Julia and Carli wrote. “For our community, Hope Squad is not just a club of students and faculty, it’s a far-reaching support system that has already left an indelible mark on the school.” 

The Summit’s Hope Squad members put together a short video. To view it, click here.