Utah Middle School Inspires Kids To Discover Why They Matter
HERRIMAN, Utah – There is a new kind of approach to “Hope Week” at one middle school in Herriman. The 1700 student body at Fort Herriman Middle School all took photos of themselves with a message board answering a simple yet thought provoking question – “Why do I matter?”
The 11 X 16 posters are hung throughout the hallways of the school so everyone can read and hopefully be inspired to find purpose in life.
“There’s a lot of stress going on. They are struggling with their self-esteem,” said school counselor Stace Sneddon who came up with the idea for the project. “This is a good project for them to understand they have value.”
The process was not an easy one. Sneddon says it took about two weeks wheeling around a portable chalk board with a black covering on it for the photo back drop. The kids then received instruction from their teachers about the project so they could be thinking about what they might write down.
The students then wrote down their words on a small erase board and then had their picture taken.
“I am right here,” said 14 year old Oakley Newbold as she led KSL News Specialist Dan Rascon to where her photo was located. “I wrote, I matter because I am kind and I’m a loyal friend.”
“I said I matter because I’m kind,” said 9th grader Taya Tenny. “I think it’s so cool, not only does it cause students to reflect why they matter, but it kind of unites our school because everybody sees they have potential and strengths.”
“It makes me feel really good inside that people are going beyond themselves. Helps others to see their worth,” said 9th grader Paige Schetz.
“I matter because I’m dedicated and driven,” said 9th grader Sandrashai Haws about what she wrote. She says the project has really helped her and others who have had a really hard time dealing with the tragic loss of so many students in the Herriman community that have taken their lives. “I actually had some friends in the high school that passed away last year, so it really affected me personally on how I treat others. The slightest words can make the biggest difference. What we say can affect someone.”
9th grader, Foou Taukeiaho says it brings him joy to walk along the hallways and see the smiling faces of his classmates and the words of inspiration. “I really love this project.”
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