Students’ Message Of Hope Spreads Beyond School Walls

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BRODHEADSVILLE -- Dozens of students at a high school in the Poconos are doing random acts of kindness in "hopes" of making the community a better place to live

It all started as a way to make school a more positive place and then grew.

Pleasant Valley High School students have more in common than the shirts they're wearing with the word "hope" printed on them. They're all working together to "be the change" that makes their community and their school a more positive place.

Janelle Pastrana is a junior at the school in Brodheadsville. She's part of the student movement at the school called Hope.  Pastrana says it started at a time when students were at odds with each other.

"I see it working," Pastrana said. "No one liked each other. No one could stand each other."

But that changed when a teacher challenged students to be nice to one another. That challenge created a domino effect of positivity.

"There is a ninth grade boy overcoming a very big challenge. We basically want to spread happiness and we wrote 'hope' on the windows and we have no negativity," said Pastrana.

The student-led movement called Hope can be seen in the form of inspirational messages through the hallways at Pleasant Valley, inspirational messages like dancing, belief, success.

And the movement doesn't end here. In fact, the group is working with several Monroe County charities as a way to give back, hoping to make the entire community a better place.

"We wanted to do something big for our community so we decided to sponsor a golf tournament for the Salvation Army of Monroe County,” said Pleasant Valley senior Sarah Evans.

"We are doing Family Promise. It's a local group that helps homeless families get back on their feet. Basically, what we're trying to do is get them more funding," said Pleasant Valley senior Matthew Wojtkowski.

"We're basically doing a shoe drive throughout the month of April," said Pleasant Valley John Wathen.

"We go into all the schools, PVI, PVE, Polk, the middle school and even at the high school, and we go into classrooms and talk to kids about what our message is," said Pleasant Valley junior Kiki Adams.

"We basically noticed that we all wanted the same thing. We all wanted to be happy," Pastrana added.

And in doing that, they're finding ways to help others in need.