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There is No Greater Gift than the Foundation of Hope

Winter is on our doorstep. As the last season of the calendar year draws near, many begrudgingly prepare for shorter days, colder weather, and the inevitable “cabin fever.” For some, winter is a dismal fate that they wish away before it's even had time to take its coat off. It is during these winter months that leadership is most important. I am purposeful in my mindset and actions. I intentionally engage students, colleagues, and our community with a positive, optimistic attitude. I lead from a place of HOPE.

That one, simple four-letter word is the golden round-trip ticket for life. Research studies have demonstrated that hope uniquely predicts future success better than intelligence, test scores, and previous academic achievement. People with increased levels of hope chase after higher goals and believe they can devise a way to reach them. Hope is also what keeps us going when we hit a wall in pursuit of our dreams. From students in school to people challenged by inflation or illness, hope is key. Hopeful people are more successful; hopeful people live more satisfied lives.

Fortunately, hope is a state of mind in which communities and individuals can make a big difference. And, in our Dublin City Schools community, we are blessed with opportunities to both give and receive hope. Within our schools alone, there are multiple #DCSGivesBack drives and charity challenges that families can contribute to. By participating in the One Dublin collection drive or donating to the Dublin Food Pantry at one of our schools, we are modeling how we can use our blessings to be a blessing for others. Each building has decided on their own #DCSGivesBack initiative so that they can vary their charitable efforts, be it a collection for military mothers or penny wars for the Brown Bag Lunch program, and spread hope far and wide.

On the other hand, asking for help during a time of need is equally important. As adults, we can use the winter season to be gracefully honest about experiencing challenges and requiring help. Framing food, clothing, or financial aid as the currency of hope can help our children understand that our community is not simply exchanging short-term benefits. Instead, we are coordinating the effort of propelling our community forward by giving everyone the long-term, lucrative benefit of success in the form of hope. 

Even on winter’s coldest and darkest days, we should be proud to be on the giving or receiving end of hope. Because of our willingness to both help and accept help, our community has hope. And hope cultivates a sense of belonging and a mindset of success that no academic lesson can match. There is no greater gift we can give young people than to build a foundation of hope in each child.

As published in This Week News. Written by Dr. John Marschhausen