Rocky Heights empowerment group altering middle school environment
The eight foundations of Sources of Strength.
Submitted by RHMS student Isabel Kiefert
Sources of Strength (SOS), a group at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) has a mission “To provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help, and strength.” The group of 54 students and 18 teachers is doing just that.
Lori Qui, a counselor at RHMS said, “Sources of Strength has given students new ways to look at things and has hopefully inspired some of the students, and when we continue with SOS, it will definitely show a positive impact on the students and the staff.” The group has recently done multiple activities to focus around the SOS wheel, which is made up of the eight foundations of SOS (see graphic below).
SOS peer leaders participated in many activities, such as passing out apples to the parents in the morning drop off lane (family support), creating posters and pictures with positive messages, and informing parents about the group at Imagination and Innovation night. Through these activities, SOS is rapidly changing the environment of the school. The group is connecting people, creating opportunities for others to collaborate, and helping to develop better relationships among the students and staff. RHMS student and Castle Pines resident Calise Camacho reflected on how the group has positively impacted the school and said, “People have been more positive to one another. I think that’s really important in middle school to help everyone.”
The SOS group is not only impacting the middle school, but it is impacting Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) as well. When current SOS eighth graders move on to RCHS, they will further expand their leadership roles and influence others through the power of connection. In the future, be on the lookout for empowering, supportive and strong peer leaders positively impacting the Castle Pines community through connection, hope, help and strength.