Students and staff at Tonopah Valley High School and Ruth Fisher Middle School learned firsthand how powerful hopefulness can be in overcoming life’s many challenges to achieve happiness and success through a symposium called the Soul, Science and Culture of Hope featuring Antwone Fisher and Rick Miller.
Students prepared for the event by watching the motion picture ANTWONE FISHER, which was inspired by Antwone’s life journey from hopelessness to hopefulness.
During the symposium, Antwone shared his life story and encouraged students to be hopeful when facing challenges and obstacles in life.
Rick Miller facilitated the symposium and shared how Antwone exemplifies the power of Kids at Hope, where adults believe all children are capable of success – no exceptions – and explained some of the science behind the Kids at Hope cultural framework.
“Mr. Fisher’s life is emblematic of the mission and vision of Kids at Hope,” Miller said. “Kids at Hope believes that all children are capable of success, No Exceptions! I cannot imagine a life that better expresses that powerful message than Antwone’s.”
“I agree,” Fisher said. “There is no doubt that my life was filled with every possible risk. Yet, through it all, hope still existed in me. It just needed a way to get out.”
“People needed to see the hope in me, not just the risk. When they did, I did, and my life forever changed,” Fisher said. “That is what makes Kids at Hope so unique. Rather than just focusing on the risk our children experience, Kids at Hope has found a way to also unleash the hope in our youth. I am very excited to be part of this wonderful organization’s mission.”
Saddle Mountain Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Tighe noted that over the past several years the district has been aligning its practices and beliefs to the Kids at Hope cultural framework to help ensure all students achieve success.
This includes a common belief by all staff that all children are capable of success, ensuring that adults connect with kids with supportive relationship, and helping kids envision a future better than the present (“mental time travel”).
“We are on a journey to become a Kids at Hope district and community, to help all kids be successful,” Dr. Tighe said. “We have such great, caring staff and many of the proven strategies are in place. We are working to align these things with Kids at Hope, with student success as the ultimate goal.”
Dr. Tighe added, “Today’s symposium was an outstanding opportunity, to help us launch a great school year and provide hopefulness for all of our students and staff. Antwone is a great inspiration to us all.”
Antwone Fisher is an American screenwriter, poet, lecturer, and best-selling author.
Rick Miller is a professor and co-founder of the Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of HOPE at Arizona State University and Founder of Kids at Hope.