Campbell team hopes to boost students’ self-esteem

Let the good times roll. Stay positive. Love yourself.

Those are just three of the more than 90 Instagram posts by Campbell Junior High School’s Self Esteem Dream Team. It now has about 150 followers, and the Dream Team has even collaborated with T-shirt companies.

The team, made up of eighth graders Rylee King, Alison Taulbee and Erin Yates, makes posts every day in an attempt to boost others’ self-esteem and spread positivity. They also put up posters throughout the school with positive sayings.

“I think everybody always needs positivity,” Yates said.

The idea for the project came from a technology class in November but grew into something bigger.

“We were given the assignment to find a problem in the community and try to solve it or just help it,” Yates said. “We noticed that around the school, a lot of people had low self-esteem. And we wanted to help that. So we started little by just making social media and paying posters, but now we have mailboxes, and our social media is doing well, too.”

Last week, the students placed three mailboxes, created by students in the Area and Technology Center, throughout Campbell.

Students can write “#greatness” worthy actions they witnessed other students do on a form attached to the side of the mailbox; students fill it out, put it in the mailbox and the Dream Team compiles the forms and sends them to Principal Dustin Howard.

“There’s so many a day,” King said.

Howard then rewards or recognizes the students exemplifying #greatness in some way, Yates said. A lot of students recognize other helpful students, good friends and teachers, she said.

King said the team hopes to keep the Instagram going as well as pass the responsibility of the mailboxes to the next group of eighth graders.

The team said they also welcome people to direct message the Self Esteem Dream Team on Instagram if they need someone to talk to or need support. King said it could be scary for youth to go to adults to talk about their problems, so they wanted to open a safe space for fellow students to share their thoughts.

Yates said the reason the Dream Team chose self-esteem as its issue to tackle is that it can take a toll on students, especially students who have low self-esteem.

“Like it makes you feel horrible,” Yates said. “And we don’t we didn’t want anyone at our school to feel that way. We just really felt the need that we had to help them.”

King said many youth struggle with low self-esteem, but some students, like herself, have supportive friends, but not every student is as lucky. Taulbee said some students even dread going to school.

“We know that some kids might not have friends like that, that’ll be there for them,” King said. “So you want to be there and help them.”

Yates said students her age experience low self-esteem and stress because they are trying to figure out who they are, and the negative messages abundant on social media aren’t helpful, so the Dream Team wanted to replace the negative messages youth see with positive ones.

“It’s a hard thing to go through, and we just don’t want people to feel alone,” Yates said.