Sources of Strength – A Club With a Positive Impact

What is Sources of Strength, and how do they help their peers?


Sources of Strength is a club at Tuscarora with the goal of preventing student suicide, bullying, and substance abuse while empowering student leaders to help their peers. Sources of Strength uses different sections of a colorful wheel to categorize areas of strength that students can access when they are struggling or feeling stressed. These sections are mental health, family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, and physical health. Sources of Strength plans initiatives with one or more of these areas in mind to help students manage their struggles. The club holds meetings during Tusky Time to make them more accessible for all students. 

   Michaela Workman, a senior at Tuscarora and a student representative in Sources of Strength, said the goal of the organization is to “Make sure that students who may be struggling know how to seek help.” Participants of the club work to connect students that are struggling with adults that can help them. Maggie Hyam, secretary of the club, added that another goal of theirs is to “[bring] hope to that they can get through hard times.” 

Sources of Strength initiative ideas are drawn from the wheel. Workman described the different sections of the wheel as, “a different aspect that you can… tap into when you are struggling.” She used family support, one section of the wheel, as an example, “if you don’t have a ton of family support, then you have the rest of the wheel that can kind of make up for it.” If students are struggling in one area of the wheel, they have other areas where they can find support. 

The club’s first initiative was a pumpkin hung up outside of the cafeteria with one side dedicated to positive traits in a friend and the other side for negative traits of a bully. Students filled out slips of paper in the shape of candy, then would get to pick a piece of candy as a reward. Workman commented, “I think the pumpkin went really well because it was kind of new and different and we had a lot of participation.” Tabitha “Tabby” Shin, head of the Social Media team and an 11th grade representative for Sources of Strength, explained how they partnered with PEER, Positive Experiences in Educational Relationships, to organize a food drive for their November initiative. There are decorated boxes in the hallways where students can put their donations. 

The members of Sources of Strength had an in-school training on Friday, October 21st, where they took an in-depth look at the different aspects of the wheel and brainstormed ideas for their future initiatives. School psychologists Heidi Buckner and Noelia Garcia Gettmann from Broad Run came in to lead the training. Workman said, “It was nice because the professionals who teach it around Loudon County came and they had new ideas… that we hadn’t thought of.”

Students in Sources of Strength strive to be positive people who do their best to find support for their peers who need it.