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Reynolds High School introduces ASPIRE, Challenge Day

Reynolds High School is seeking volunteers for ASPIRE (Access to Student Assistance Programs in Reach of Everyone), a statewide mentorship program new to the high school.

ASPIRE volunteers mentor students once a week on their paths during and after high school, connecting them with college and career resources.

“I’ve seen (the program) open a lot of doors for kids,” said David Hopper, a first-year counselor at Reynolds introducing the program. “This is a great opportunity to support them through graduation.”

by: LISA K. ANDERSON - Reynolds High senior Maddy Trattles, counselor David Hopper and parent volunteer Gail Stevens make the sign for love, the premise and symbol of Challenge Day, a new antibullying program at the high school.

Hopper is looking for about 50 volunteers to mentor Reynolds students anywhere from one to five hours a week. Each volunteer works with up to 10 students in 20- to 30-minute increments.

“We’re teaching skills to help them get through challenges that come up each week,” said Gail Stevens, a Reynolds parent, life coach and the first Reynolds ASPIRE volunteer.

“It’s a lot of work figuring out college nowadays — knowing the big picture and what’s available,” Stevens said. “Some of these kids speak foreign languages or are the first in their families to go to college. They learn that life doesn’t end or begin at graduation. It continues to the next phase.”

Along with offering college and financial aid resources, mentors help students explore careers and offer a career assessment.

“It will feel really good to see the students get across the stage at graduation and know they have a plan for the day after,” Stevens said.

By June, ASPIRE is expected to reach 145 schools across Oregon, including Reynolds. The program, which began in 1998, is sponsored through the Oregon Student Access Commission.

All volunteers must pass a background check and go through an ASPIRE training before mentoring students.

To begin the process of becoming an ASPIRE mentor, contact Hopper at 503-667-3186 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For more information about ASPIRE, visit OregonStudentAid.gov/ASPIRE.

Challenge Day

Along with ASPIRE, Hopper is introducing Challenge Day, an antibullying program, to Reynolds.

“The program completely changed the chemistry of my last school,” Hopper said.

Challenge Day, March 18-20, will coincide with Reynolds’ Fusion Month, an effort that raises awareness about diversity within the school and attempts to unify students.

The premise of the program is for each child to feel safe, loved and celebrated within their schools. About 360 students and 120 adults — teachers, staff and community members — will attend the interactive training.

“Everyone is really excited about it,” said Maddy Trattles, a senior and student leader.

Trattles created a video, “I Am Me,” that underscores how people can be quick to judge, but should remember everybody is his or her own person.

After the training, participants will take part in community service projects and teach the lessons from Challenge Day to elementary school students.

Hopper said the training would take place again in the fall and continue year after year.

“This is going to impact a lot of students,” Trattles said. “We want to celebrate everyone as their own person.”

For more information, visit challengeday.org. To see Trattles’ video, visit the “I Am Me” YouTube video under Reynolds Raiders.



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