Because POPS clubs operate inside high schools, teachers are essential to the POPS experience, and when POPS launches on campus, to teacher or teachers take on the role of teacher sponsor (s). Teachers often know intimately the isolation some of their students experience, and once a week, these teacher sponsors allow their classrooms to transform into a sanctuary. Writing and reading and making art help students to become more self-aware. Regardless of the way students decide to express themselves, we have seen time and again the direct links between creativity and confidence.
Our Guest Speaker program recruits to wide 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 to commitment not only to provide guidance but to 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.”