We are Sources


Carrie Ellis, a Spanish teacher at Lewis-Palmer, takes over the Sources of Strength program for the 2019-20 school year. “It gets the kids that are social connectors, kids that might be on the fringe, and helps them develop leadership abilities as well,'' Ellis said.

Emelia Evory, Ranger Review Reporter

Carrie Ellis is a Spanish teacher at Lewis-Palmer, as well as a leader of Sources of Strength. Ellis got involved in the program when vice principal Bridget O’ Conner introduced the program to the school at the beginning of the 2017 school year. 

“I volunteered to be an adult adviser the first year it came out,” Ellis said. “What instantly attracted me to this program is even though it’s anti-suicide, it’s really about positive living.” 

The program doesn’t just cover these topics, but it also touches on how to be an amazing person and how to live to its fullest potential. The program focuses on the sources of strength of each individual person. 

“The other thing that I love is that it’s not just rules for living for students, but it’s also for staff,” Ellis said. “I think it gives kids actual how to’s. It doesn’t focus on what kids are missing or lacking, it focuses on the strengths that we already have.” 

Ellis loves to see what kind of strengths that each unique person has. She also loves to see the leadership that each person brings to the club. The motto of sources is to promote the athletes and STUCO kids to be leaders, as those students are already leaders throughout the building.

“It gets the kids that are social connectors, kids that might be on the fringe, and helps them develop leadership abilities as well,” Ellis said. 

The program is student-led, as events are planned by the students. Campaigns and field day are examples of successful student planning in the previous years. Despite being student-led, students still have to get approval from the adult sponsors. 

This year, Ellis accepted a head role in the program, as previous Sources of Strength president Ms. O’Connor began her first year of being the school principal. O’Connor considered Ellis for the position, even though she debated back and forth whether keeping her president and principal position would be too stressful. 

“I knew that she would have her hands tied and wouldn’t be able to devote her time to it as much,”  Ellis said.“ I feel like it reflects my teaching style and the things that are important to me.”

Ellis believes that Sources of Strength should be expanded out to younger crowds. Ellis believes the beneficial part of pushing it to younger crowds would be influencing when kids are young, as it is when they start to develop habits, friend groups, and behaviors. 

“The earlier you start to develop these habits, you can learn how to cope with stress and take care of yourself not only mentally, but physically,” Ellis said. “I think that we will be doing a huge service for the kids in our district.”