Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Project Hope offers support for grieving students

Ell Macias
When those in need use the services that Project Hope delivers, they are showered with unconditional love and support by a supportive community.

As the holiday season approaches, many households are filled with cheer, joy, and family love. However, some homes endure feelings of sadness and anguish due to the loss of loved ones. Holidays can be a constant reminder of these losses. Thanksgiving or Christmas decorations within a home can mask the holiday dread for the ones living there. 

The students who experience grief may not have the knowledge to get the help they need. That is where certain ‘grief groups’ come into play. These groups will travel to various schools, allowing kids to participate in healthy group activities with peers going through similar hardships. 

The group that connects with Metea is through a Fox Valley volunteer hospice, and it is called Project Hope. Project Hope provides grief support for elementary, middle, and high school students. 

“This group helps students by allowing them time, space, and a place to do activities [which help] them think about their loved one who they lost,” licensed clinical social worker Erin Pearlman said. “[Students] get support from peers going through similar situations.”

These activities range from writing about healthy and unhealthy grieving habits to creating Christmas decorations to commemorate the person you lost. It is a safe space; all responses are anonymous, and participation is optional.  

“A lot of kids don’t get help outside of school,” Pearlman said. “Most families have too much going on, and their grief or stress can inhibit them from getting their kids into any kind of mental health support.” 

When students, from the same school, come together to support one another during a trying time in their lives, it can be empowering. Students can create bonds with peers and hear eye-opening stories that may be relatable.

“By offering [these groups] at school, maybe during lunch periods, it makes [mental health] care more accessible to students,” Pearlman said. 

Overall, Project Hope, and similar grief groups, are convenient and essential for grieving students. Grief can be overpowering, and Project Hope guides students to get the help they need. With Project Hope, students share important memories and stories that help them hold onto the love of the person they lost.

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About the Contributors
Jake Sonetz is returning for his second year in journalism and is a senior. He spends his time hanging out with family, watching football, playing cards, and working out. Jake is also graduating early this year to pursue his career in the trades. 
This is Ell’s first year of being a part of the Visuals team on the Newspaper staff. They have a passion for capturing candid moments in photography, which is what motivated them to work in their section. Typically, they are painting, sketching, or working on dioramas during their downtime and will never beat the artist stereotype of carrying a sketchbook everywhere they go. Furthermore, they will never turn down the opportunity to talk about goth bands.

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