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New London Gym’s Adaptive Boxing Program Helps Those With Parkinson’s

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(Hartford Courant, by Lori Riley, July 29, 2018)

When George Valliere walked into the Whaling City Athletic Club five weeks ago, he was hunched over, staring at the floor.

Valliere is 78. He has Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating progressive nervous disorder that affects movement, balance and coordination. He and his wife, Kathy, heard about the gym’s adaptive boxing program and decided to give it a try.

Valliere can walk upright now. He feels better. He wants to do more things with his wife.

The diagnosis, a few years ago, was crushing and bewildering. Now they have hope.

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Schools for Hope

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(Highlighting:  Hopeful Minds, an iFred.org project)

Who We Are

Schools for Hope is a project targeting 5th grade students designed specifically to teach HOPE.  We do this through a research based curriculum of lessons, stories and activities which explore the concrete actions one can take to create their own hopeful attitude.

Why hope matters.  

A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests that 1 in 9  children  attempt suicide prior to graduating high school with 40% of those in  grade school.  Hopelessness  is a primary symptom of depression and leading  predictor of suicide, making it a threat to  students around the world.

Brilliant research supports that HOPE is a teachable skill.  Help us #teachhope by  supporting  Schools for Hope, and by implementing our Hope curriculum, so we can help these students  become their most vital and hopeful selves.

What you can do.

We need your help!  Please help us show kids that no matter what life brings, there is always HOPE.

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The Opioid Epidemic: A call to action

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(Highlighting:  The Opioid Epidemic:  A call to action, a Leidos project)

Leidos employee John Hindman holds a soccer ball that belonged to his son, Sean. He watched his son grow up playing soccer on this field in Pittsburgh. Soccer is how he bonded with his son.

Let me tell you the story of Sean Hindman. Growing up, Sean loved to swim, skateboard, hang out with friends and most of all, play soccer. After high school, he earned his associate degree and worked as an electrical technician in his home town of Pittsburgh. When Sean was a teenager, he became addicted to prescription opioid painkillers, and spent the following decade in and out of rehabilitation. On Sept. 19, 2016, Sean Hindman fatally overdosed on heroin. He was thirty years old.

Sean’s father, John Hindman, has been a Leidos employee since before Sean’s birth. Not long after his son’s tragic death, John spoke with a young man who, thanks in part to Sean’s encouragement, overcame his own battle with addiction. This conversation reaffirmed John’s decision to become an advocate for preventing drug addiction, a crisis he rightly describes as “a tsunami threatening the very fabric of our society.”

John is determined to turn his son’s story into a positive for others, and Leidos helped give him a voice.

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Cultivating Hope with Bill Zima

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(Highlight from:  KnowledgeWorks.org )

Sustaining the Vision in a Personalized, Competency-Based District

“Remember our purpose is to cultivate hope in all learners,” Bill says. “All of our efforts are towards that vision, and if they are not, then we are not in alignment.

Citing the work of author Shane Lopez in his 2013 book, Making Hope Happen, RSU2 has brought hope to the forefront of their district vision. They have defined hope as the belief that the future will be better than the present, and that we have the power to make it so. Their vision also recognizes that there are many paths to the future and none of those paths are free of obstacles.”

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The Science of Hope

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(Highlighting:  The Science of Hope, by Terry Small )

Hope is important for your brain

Neuroscientists are investigating the science of hope. It turns out that a feeling of hopefulness changes your brain. Your brain pumps chemicals when experiencing the sensation of hope. These chemicals can block pain and accelerate healing.

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What exactly is hope and how can you measure it?

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(Highlight from, Positive Psychology.org.ukSnyder, Irving & Anderson (1991, as cited in Snyder, 2000, p.8)

Define hope as:

“a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goal-directed energy) and (b) pathways (planning to meet goals)” .

Hope theory can be subdivided into four categories:

  1. Goals that are valuable and uncertain are described by Snyder (1994, as cited in Snyder, 2000, p.9) as the anchors of hope theory as they provide direction and an endpoint for hopeful thinking.
  2. Pathway thoughts refer to the routes we take to achieve our desired goals and the individual’s perceived ability to produce these routes (Snyder, 2000).
  3. Agency thoughts refer to the motivation we have to undertake the routes towards our goals.
  4. Barriers block the attainment of our goals and in the event of a barrier we can either give up or we can use our pathway thoughts to create new routes.

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Can Hope Be Taught?

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(Highlight from, hopeoptimism.com)

Many people tend to regard children as essentially hopeful beings.

“While we know that youth often offer a refreshing outlook on the world and a faith in great opportunities ahead, we certainly know this is not always the case for all children or in all communities. In many cases hope is not inherent in the lives or outlooks of children; rather, developing informed and sustainable hope that is not tied to pipe dreams may actually require effort and education.”

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Shane’s Story

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(Highlight from, livehappy.com)

“If you really want to make your dreams come true, you need to harness hope.

Shane Lopez was a few years into his research on hope when he found himself feeling pretty close to hopeless. He had awoken on July 4, 2003, with a piercing headache, and though he kept his plans to go with his wife to a neighbor’s holiday barbecue, the pain kept getting worse throughout the afternoon and over the next few days. “There was this incredible pressure, not just in one part of my head but all over,” he says. Shane, then 33, thought he might be experiencing his first-ever migraine, but when he developed a fever of 104 degrees, he realized, he says, “something’s not right.” A battery of medical tests pointed to a surprising diagnosis: West Nile encephalitis.”

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Does hope lead to better futures?

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(Highlight by, Brookings.edu)

“Does hope matter? More specially, does it matter to future outcomes? Individuals and families typically make key decisions based on a desire to achieve something. While at the heart of economics and other behavioral sciences, we know little about the role of hope and optimism in determining future behavior or about the links between beliefs and behavior, more generally.”

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