Because POPS clubs operate inside high schools, teachers are essential to the POPS experience, and when POPS launches on campus, teachers take on the role of teacher sponsors. Teachers often know the isolation some of their students experience, and once a week, these teacher sponsors allow their classrooms to transform into a sanctuary. Writing, reading, and making art help students become more self-aware. Regardless of how students decide to express themselves, we have seen the direct links between creativity and confidence.
Our Guest Speaker program recruits a broad representation of community leaders, from political activists, artists, authors, non-profit leaders, politicians, adult children of the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated people, and law enforcement officials. These individuals reflect the robust partnerships we have established in the community and bring a commitment to provide guidance and encourage students to ask questions. Among our returning guest speakers is California parole commissioner Robert Barton, who says, “There should be a POPS the Club in every high school transforming hidden shame to hope and hurt into healing.”