By Martha Jacob –
During the month of April, Ripley High School students participated in the “I Am Hope Challenge” through the Life-Center Donor Network of Greater Cincinnati.
The I Am Hope Challenge is a fun and easy opportunity for schools to win and save lives at the same time, according to Jasmine Osman, guidance counselor at the High School.
“The whole idea of participating in this challenge,” Osman said, “is to educate our students about the importance of becoming an organ and tissue donator. Our campaign was to educate the kids on how this program works, and at the same time it was a challenge to see which school could save the most lives.”
For many students, their first encounter with organ and tissue donation is when they’re obtaining a driver’s permit or state I.D., and for many students this is not a question they are prepared to answer. This month long program offered the information students needed so that they could make an educated decision and share that decision with their families.
“This year’s winner received the I Am Hope Challenge trophy and regional bragging rights,” Osman said. “There are other opportunities for students to win prizes such as free t-shirts and King’s Island tickets. Participation was free and LifeCenter Donor Network provided all materials for any donation drives or incentives.
“Our school might not have won, but we placed in the top ten, sliding into 6th place of 21 participating schools.”
On April 28, Ripley High School hosted a presentation by the Life-Center Donor Network, with Representative Gina Horner. During the event, Samantha Boling, a double-lung recipient from Manchester Ohio spoke to the students. Boling talked about her experience waiting for a lung transplant for 5 years and finally received the gift of life in April of 2015.
Horner gave facts about becoming a donor to the students and answered questions from them.
“On April 29 the high school hosted a donor drive,” Osman said. “That day we had 87 students pledge to become donors. Thirty-seven presented their prior registration and 14 registered that day to become organ donors. It was a great month taking part in the I Am Hope Challenge, and we are very proud of our students who participated.