Enid has been selected as the site of the state’s first Hope Summit, and residents throughout Enid and Garfield County are being asked to fill out a community assessment as part of the project.

The Hope Summit will be hosted in Enid by First Lady Sarah Stitt on Oct. 7. The purpose of the Hope Summit is to help Enid become a “hope-centered community.”

United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma and the Enid Regional Development Alliance are helping facilitate the Hope Summit.

The Hope Summit is part of Hope Rising Oklahoma, which aims to help communities in Oklahoma become a beacon of hope to the nation and the world. Leaders of Hope Rising Oklahoma are the first lady and Chan Hellman, a professor and founding director of Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.

“We are excited that Sarah Stitt’s Dr. Chan Hellman chose Enid as the first community to launch a Hope Summit,” said Dan Schiedel, CEO and executive director of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma. “The summit is going to have great speakers and people engaged in what hope means and how it impacts business, community and education.”

A key part of the Hope Summit effort is to get a community assessment of the level of hope in the city. Enid residents are being asked to fill out the Hope Assessment survey, and participants may remain anonymous. The survey takes about five to 10 minutes to fill out. The survey will be open through as many people as possible to fill out the survey. A link to the survey can be found at enidnews.com. People may go to the Enid News & Eagle website and click the link to fill out the survey.

“The survey measures where people’s hope level is right now,” he said. This will give the community a baseline in which to see if community efforts are a result of the Hope Summit.” Schiedel said. 

Schiedel said Enid Public Schools is already implementing the science of hope.

“It’s a great thing we can bring to our community to help empower people and families to better their lives through the science of hope,” he said.

About Hope Rising Oklahoma and the upcoming Hope Summit

As children growing up in Oklahoma, both Stitt and Hellman experienced childhood adversity and trauma. Since becoming first lady of Oklahoma, Stitt has been an advocate for those impacted by mental health issues and bringing focus to the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Her efforts through the Sarah Stitt Hope Foundation are guided by Hellman’s

extensive hope research, including his framework for building hope across organizations and communities.

Hellman focuses on sharing the science and power of hope in the ability to overcome trauma and thrive. He has worked with numerous human service organizations, state agencies, school districts and national coalitions to develop strategic plans to become hope-centered. He is the co-author of “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life.”

Hope is not a wish or a feeling. It is a proven science that can be measured and applied, according to Hellman. Hope among individuals and organizations, no matter their mission or practices, can be increased through proven strategies.

According to Hellman, hope impacts everything that matters to us, including education, work, health, mental health, social relationships, family and trauma recovery.

The Hope Summit will be facilitated and led

by the local community. Hellman has provided evidence-based practices and content surrounding the science and power of hope, which will serve as the Hope Rising “curriculum.”

The Oct. 7 Hope Summit in Enid will be a day-long free event that invites community leaders to learn how to raise hope within themselves and others and develop strategies that will nurture the outcomes desired by every community, which include thriving schools, resilient children, strong families and physical health and mental well-being.

Take the assessment

Article by Cindy Allen – ENE 7.9.21