Inside the Story: High school club aims to bring smiles to students' faces

Inside the Story: High school club aims to bring smiles to students' faces (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A school club at Bingham High School in South Jordan hopes to bring smiles to kids' faces one student at a time and change lives.

The Golden Gate Club started when an advisor noticed students being left out and decided to do something about it.

"We aim to be the person that smiles at people," said Brenden Ballard, the club's president. "I want people to be excited to come to school."

School can be a challenging place--especially during lunch time.

Abigail Chamberlain knows that first hand. It wasn't long ago she found herself alone, without friends.

"I didn't really have a purpose, I guess," she said. "I didn't really care what happened. I didn't really care if I graduated."

In fact, many of the more than 200 students who have joined the Golden Gate Club have their own stories of how it rescued them.

"It's helped me to grow and find myself in the way that I love to serve people," said Savannah Suitter.

The Golden Gate Club got its name from a story that took place in the 1970s. A man took his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and a note was found in his apartment that said, "If someone smiles at me on the way to the bridge, I won't jump."

"We are the smiles before the jump," said Jolynne Ward, who helped organize the club a year and a half ago.

Over that time, the club has put on a variety of activities and events to try and include students who may be forgotten.

"I would hope that any student walking through the doors would feel like they have brothers and sisters, and they have a family," Ward said.

The message seems to be carrying on. Students are also going to other schools like West Hills Middle School to share the program.

Each student takes a pledge when they join the club to not only live by the school rules, but to also do everything they can to bring a smile to a student's face.