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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Eldorado High School forms Student Outreach Awareness Program

  • Principal Ryan Hobbs of Eldorado High School was really impressed by two senior students who visited him last summer.
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  • Principal Ryan Hobbs of Eldorado High School was really impressed by two senior students who visited him last summer.
    "They had a written list on paper of many problems facing the students at the school.
    Not only that, they had a proposal to help deal with those problems," Hobbs said.
    "I thought that was incredible."
    One of the solutions the two students offered was to form a sponsored group called Student Outreach Awareness Program or SOAP. The purpose of the group is to work as liaisons between troubled teens and the support network in the community that could help them.
    Tristen Morse, 17, and Erica Gracyk, 17, were the two students.
    Hobbs gave approval for the group and appointed teacher Joe Clark to be its sponsor.
    "There were two suicides among Eldorado High School students in the past three years," said Clark. "These students are promoting the suicide hotline and trying to get their troubled peers in touch with counselors and agencies that can help."
    Clark said that the problems students face vary from just the general stress of being an adolescent to sexual behavior and learning how to deal with social media.
    Drugs and alcohol are also problems that they address.
    SOAP offers peer counseling and guides troubled teens to counselors. Many of their fellow students don't do well socially and SOAP tries to help.
    Hobbs said that Morse and Gracyk told him, "We don't want to see a single student in the cafeteria sitting by themselves."
    The group takes on the responsibilities the Lifesavers group had done before disbanding.
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