Notre Dame graduate Jo Anne McNemar ’71 and her colleague Jonnie Kifer have implemented the “Journey of Hope” program with the senior students over the past few weeks.
A Save the Children initiative, the program was created as a result of successful interventions following of a gang fight in a New Orleans school. It is geared to support young people post-disaster, but is general enough to be used in a variety of contexts.
The primary objectives are understanding and normalizing emotions associated with difficult circumstances, developing positive coping strategies, and instilling a sense of hope that empowers young people to feel more in control.
Jo Anne said, “The students have been very receptive, respectful and interactive.” Daniel McGuire, a senior student said, “The program has revealed things that are really important in how we interact with each other including topics that don’t often get discussed.”
The “Journey of Hope” program has been such a success that there are plans to now have the junior class participate. The program is also available to other groups that would like to implement by calling 304-423-5049.