First Lady Casey DeSantis announces expansion of Ambassador of Hope clubs


December 17, 2021

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First Lady Casey DeSantis announces expansion of Ambassador of Hope clubs
~ 100 student peer mentoring clubs in 39 school districts ~

Tallahassee, Florida – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that 100 Florida schools have established Ambassador of Hope clubs in 39 school districts. This announcement represents a 300% increase from the 25 Florida schools that participated in the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a generous donation of $ 100,000 from Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. (Simply) to benefit the statewide Hope for Healing initiative, which will help support Hope Ambassadors of Florida. For a list of Ambassador of Hope clubs or for more information, please visit www.fldoe.org/hopeambassadors/.

Hope Ambassadors is a partnership between the Florida Department of Education, Volunteer Florida and now 100 middle and high schools. The program was started by First Lady Casey DeSantis in December 2019 with the goal of creating an environment where students can volunteer, mentor their peers, and help create caring and compassionate environments. In the pilot program, which began in the 2020-2021 school year, 25 schools established Hope Ambassadors clubs, with more than 300 participating students.

“As First Lady, I made it a priority to travel across Florida to learn more about our schools, students and families. ” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Through my visits with parents around the state and as a mother of three young children myself, I know that parents need and want a safe, healthy and happy learning environment for their children. It is heartwarming to see the Hope Ambassadors program growing so rapidly to meet the needs of our teachers, students and parents. These new clubs will create positive environments for children to volunteer, mentor their peers and foster kindness. I am delighted with the dynamism and compassion of the youth of Florida.

Students can seek advice from a teacher or counselor to help start a club of Ambassadors of Hope at their school and participate in community projects, service events, and extracurricular activities that show how simple acts of kindness can change lives – both peer mentors and those they would help. Each participating school receives $ 500 to develop and launch an Ambassador of Hope Club.

“Throughout the First Lady’s travels for her Hope for Healing initiative, a resounding theme came up time and time again – our students are willing and able to support each other and take ownership of improving the mental health of their children. peers. said Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “Hope Ambassadors does just that, by empowering our students to lend a hand, lend a voice, lend an ear to one another, and create a sustainable best practice that is far better than any government intervention. Hope Ambassadors is creating a great culture in our schools, and I am grateful to see that the initiative is now reaching 100 middle and high schools.

“The Volunteer Florida team look forward to working with and supporting each of these 100 clubs as they raise their peers, schools and communities.” said Corey Simon, CEO of Volunteer Florida. “Volunteering is an essential component of the Ambassadors of Hope Initiative, and I have seen first-hand the enormous impact it can have on a community. Together, we will continue to equip these students to help each other and empower themselves for generations to come.

The Ambassadors of Hope Club funds are made possible by generous donations to the Florida Education Foundation, the direct supporting organization of the Florida Department of Education to help the Hope for Statewide healing. Understanding the importance of strengthening the health and well-being of Florida families, Simply announced its investment of $ 100,000 to help support the development of Hope Ambassadors clubs in schools and to create lesson plans for teachers. on resilience and substance use and abuse.

“At Simply, we strive to break down the stigma associated with mental health and ensure our youth receive the right resources and care to strengthen their mental health. said Holly Prince, president of the Florida Plan at Simply. “We are delighted to team up with First Lady Casey DeSantis to provide support in a meaningful way. “

Here are some examples of club activities during the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Bring together different clubs to adopt families for Christmas Connection charities.
  • Organize car washes and donate profits to provide less fortunate students with the necessary materials or resources throughout the year.
  • Spread positivity throughout the school on an ongoing basis through positive recommendations, student highlights and the creation of school-wide “Student of the Month” awards.
  • Use social media to post inspirational and uplifting quotes to encourage students to stimulate healthier conversations.

Ambassadors of Hope are an essential part of Hope for Healing.

For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.

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