Prairie students seek to inspire through kindness and identity

Inspire Week hosts positivity events and guest speaker Jamie Winship

BATTLE GROUND — It is no secret that high school can be fraught with challenges, bad days and even a great deal of pain. Students at Prairie High School (PHS) have chosen to not accept that, but rather to combat it.

Jamie Winship, a retired CIA operative and Metro DC police officer, speaks on finding your true identity at Prairie High School’s Inspire Week assembly. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Jamie Winship, a retired CIA operative and Metro DC police officer, speaks on finding your true identity at Prairie High School’s Inspire Week assembly. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Inspire Week at PHS began on Mon., Feb. 11 with the overarching goal of spreading hope, positivity, appreciation, and healthy identity like wildfire. Hundreds of students and staff mobilized to bring simple favors and encouragement into lives in their communities.

“Honestly, it has inspired me to be intentional in loving more students than just my classroom,” said Dawn Rowe, who teaches World Studies at PHS. “It has been beautiful watching love and joy spread.”

Rowe is one of several staff members who made it a point to make Inspire Week happen. At the end of January, staff selected students with high maturity and good leadership skills, who then went through an orientation and strategized ways to impact the school and community.

For over 25 years, Jamie Winship worked in militant areas, de-escalating conflicts and establishing better relations with governments. Photo by Jacob Granneman
For over 25 years, Jamie Winship worked in militant areas, de-escalating conflicts and establishing better relations with governments. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Everything from chocolates for teachers on Valentine’s Day, to a welcome tunnel, to high-fives in the hallways, to sticky notes of encouragement, to surprises for staff, to guest speakers is part of the plan.

“Thinking of others before yourself is an amazing concept,” said PHS student Katie Vroman. “I really hope some of the work we did helped someone out whether they are struggling or not, and I hope it inspires them to continue to spread positivity.”

On Wed., Feb. 13, the Inspire Week crew was joined by speaker Jamie Winship, who is a retired CIA operative, Metro DC law enforcement officer and has spent over 25 years of his life working in militant areas around the world.

Jamie Winship speaks at PHS’s CSU event, Ignite the Fire, on Wed., Feb. 13. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Jamie Winship speaks at PHS’s CSU event, Ignite the Fire, on Wed., Feb. 13. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Winship’s message to the students of Prairie was a simple yet profound one: stop worrying about what others think and step into your true identity of being unique and confident in your abilities.

“We teach people how to live fearlessly in their true identity, in their true self,” Winship said. “That’s the whole focus of our company. Our target is really culture, we don’t target a particular group, it’s the idea of culture.”

Winship, with his wife Donna, explains that focusing too much on past events or possible future outcomes can allow fear to over shadow your decision making. Thus, you can allow yourself to begin living a false identity.

 

Jamie Winship’s wife, Donna, speaks to a crowd of high school students from all over Clark County, at Prairie High School’s Christian Students United club’s Ignite the Fire event. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Jamie Winship’s wife, Donna, speaks to a crowd of high school students from all over Clark County, at Prairie High School’s Christian Students United club’s Ignite the Fire event. Photo by Jacob Granneman

 

Instead, you should focus on the present and what you know is true, while living as a create, non-violent and abundance-mindset lifestyle, Winship said.

“Some students have had radical transformations as to who they really are,” Rowe said. “They learned their true identity.”

Winship spoke twice at a split assembly during Inspire Week, and later on he and his wife spoke at “Ignite the Fire;” a reoccuring event put on by the Christian Students United, (CSU), club at PHS.

“Me being an outside adult looking in, I was inspired by the love the students showed,” said Jordan Shaw, the youth pastor at Faith Center church, who helps with CSU’s Ignite the Fire. “It was so great seeing kids go out of their way to be kind.”

Staff and students say they plan to continue doing events like Inspire Week this year and into the future. For more info on possible upcoming events, contact rowe.dawn@battlegroundschools.org.

“I’ve learned to not make it about me,” said Prairie student Charley Carrick. “But to focus on others and how I can make them have the best experience or feel important.”   

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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