With Hope Soccer Tournament


Photo courtesy of withhopefoundation.org

The With Hope Foundation promotes their annual soccer tournament, where all proceeds go towards spreading suicide prevention education.

Bridgette Roberts, Photojournalist

It is finally the cold winter season that many people look forward to. Along with the weather, people love winter sports. Now that high school soccer season is in full swing, it is time to watch some games.

Each year, the Yorba Linda High School Women’s Soccer program hosts a special tournament in support of a unique non-profit organization, known as With Hope. The With Hope Foundation is dedicated to preventing suicide through improving mental health support services and education in schools and in the community. This year is the fifth annual soccer tournament, with six different schools participating: El Dorado, Esperanza, La Mirada, Orange Lutheran, San Juan Hills, and Yorba Linda. The tournament runs from December 6 through December 10. Games will be played at YLHS, Esperanza, and El Dorado.

In addition to creating a competitive soccer environment, the With Hope tournament’s main goal is to spread suicide awareness. At each location, volunteers hand out pamphlets about the background of the foundation and wallet cards detailing the warning signs of suicide. The With Hope booths there also have merchandise for sale, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and cinch bags sporting the organization’s logo. Indeed, each booth has a bin to collect donations that contribute to the printing of valuable informative resources that are distributed at high schools in southern California. All proceeds of this tournament provide for mental health education for high schoolers as well as people in the community.

The team that wins the tournament not only obtains bragging rights, but it also receives a trophy. However, this tournament is not just about watching great soccer. As successful as it is, this soccer tournament raises thousands of dollars that eventually help save lives by preventing suicide. Year after year, numerous people are diagnosed with depression and saved before it is too late. The With Hope soccer tournament is a minor yet impactful part of that continuous effort to do so.

Starting goalie and captain of the YLHS women’s Varsity soccer team Emma Deane (11) shared, “The With Hope tournament brings the community together through a love for soccer, while having the common goal of spreading awareness of teen suicide prevention. It is a truly unique experience that has personally allowed me to better understand mental health and recognize my friends, teammates, and family who are in need of help.”

Volunteering for the With Hope Foundation is a fantastic way for students at YLHS to get involved in their community and actually make an impact in people’s lives. The organization has clubs at many of the high schools in the district, along with a Teen Panel. Consisting of a group of about twenty students from local schools, the Teen Panel holds meetings once a month at Friends Church in Yorba Linda and contributes to the effort to prevent teen suicide.

Suicide is an unfortunate rising problem in today’s society. However thanks to the work of important organizations like With Hope, the goal to educate the public about mental health and prevent suicide becomes more realistic every day.