‘There are students of like mind at the school’

Students create P7 group to discuss beliefs


Junior Marissa Cooper

Rachel Bayler, Reporter

Junior Marissa Cooper used to experience bullying due to her faith, with people spreading rumors and belittling her. This pushed her to create a kind of support system in which students like herself wouldn’t feel alone or ashamed of their beliefs. So, she decided to help create a Project 7 group at SHS as a way to encourage her peers to remain confident in their beliefs.

After asking Assistant Principal Andy Ashcraft for permission and then struggling to find a sponsor, she and the other creators of the Project 7 group were able create their own Project 7 club, with “Project 7” standing for the number of years a student is usually in middle and high school.

The student-led group’s meetings vary, but are usually after school on Wednesdays from 1:35 to 2:15. The next meetings will be on April 11 and 25 and May 9 and 23 in room 156 with math teacher Michael Johnson, the new sponsor.

Math teacher Jack Williams, the former sponsor, says another reason the group was formed was to give students an avenue in which they can meet and discuss their faith and develop a “strong moral foundation.” They wanted to satisfy the needs of students who were no longer able to pursue the various opportunities that were around in previous years. Williams encourages students to attend the upcoming meetings, saying they’re “very lowkey (and) very laid back.” Snacks are provided, and students lead the lesson and discussion time.

“We’re very open to new faces,” Williams said. “That’s really what it’s all about. It’s just fellowship with one another, building community with one another and lifting one another up.”

For Cooper, the club has not only provided her with a safe haven for expressing her beliefs but has also helped increase her confidence and self-esteem.

“It’s made me more confident in talking to people about the Bible and God,” Cooper said. “I think it’s taught me how to talk to them about it.”

Next year, the Project 7 club plans to meet up more regularly with other schools’ Project 7 clubs and do more community service projects and fun activities. Even though the school year is almost over, students are still encouraged to come check it out, even if they’re simply curious about the group and their beliefs.

“I think it’s encouraging to (the students who attend) to know that there are students of like mind at the school,” Williams said.