Hope House

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - By: Ms Karen Hedquist, Houseparent

A year in boarding follows a narrative arc. The introduction, began when 26 new girls arrived in an unfamiliar setting; characters met & an atmosphere coalesced, created by the girls who formed the dramatis personae. Underpinning myriad plots & character development are our house values of kindness, inclusion, respect & service.

A good story cannot exist without internal & external conflict nor can a house of 61 young women. Conflict occurs in every relationship worth its salt; as girls grew from strangers to friends & melded into sisterhood, of course we argued, complained & whined. But we also laughed, supported, teased, inspired & mentored one another.

During the 10-month climb up the arc towards the climax – our final night as Hope House in its current iteration – what has brought us together is our inclusive atmosphere, from Hopelings hanging out in one another’s rooms & Big & Little Sister dates to Just Dance parties in the kitchen & deep conversation in the music room. We are from different countries, cultures, religions, languages & backgrounds, but through conflict & resolution, through our belief in the importance of community, we came together beautifully.

The 9s contributed their energy & never-ending questions; the 10s contributed opinionated perspectives & learned that trust is critical; the 11s contributed teamwork & delicious in-house breakfasts; the 12s contributed tireless leadership & late-night conversations. Our symbol is the dragonfly because the girls of Hope are strong, determined & beautiful.

With Privett, we sported blue & pink at Interhouse & discovered how it felt to be in the lead. As the year concludes, we will sit around the bonfire & share stories, laughter & tears, singing “Sweet Caroline” & saying thank you & farewell.

Those who do not come back in September may no longer live in Hope House, but they will always be Hopelings. The building offers a beautiful setting in which to create our story, but it is the girls & our wonderful staff who made Hope a home, & the girls within, a family.

Ms Karen Hedquist, Houseparent

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