LPS senior spreads hope through last welding project

Lincoln East and The Career Academy (TCA) senior Blake wanted to use a final project to send a larger message. 

“I wanted to do something a little different than what everybody else does,” Blake said. 

So, he decided to weld four large metal letters to spell the word “Hope” to raise awareness about mental health. 

“I chose hope because anyone can have their take away from it, no matter what they're going through in life,” he said. 

Blake, got the idea for welding capstone after losing a peer to suicide and seeing sculptures around town. He wanted to create something using the skills he learned from TCA to make an impact and help save more lives.

“We challenge students to take control of their own learning with a capstone, which truly makes TCA such an enriching environment for agency and advocacy,” TCA teacher Kenna Grove said. “This experience is only one snapshot of their lifetime, so being able to see students put their pathway skills to work and create something that extends out to the greater Lincoln community is thrilling as an educator.”

The senior plans to continue sculpting the project over the summer. Once complete, he wants to auction the letters to small Lincoln businesses and donate the funds to a mental health cause. 

“I want people to see that there's still hope and they just take it in and realize that there's stuff to be fighting for,” Blake added. 

Remember if you or someone you know is struggling, you’re not alone. Connect with your school’s Hope Squad, a trusted staff member, or use any available resources day or night:

  • CenterPointe Helpline (Lincoln): 402-475-6695
  • Nebraska Family Helpline: 1-888-866-8660
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 9-8-8 or 1-800-273-8255
  • Your Life Your Voice (Boys Town)  1-800-448-3000 or text VOICE to 20121 (text charges from your phone carrier may apply)
  • Safe2HelpNe.org or call 833-980-SAFE(7233)

Published: May 19, 2023, Updated: May 22, 2023

LPS senior Blake works on the finishing touches on one of the letters for his mental health awareness welding project.