About Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis
One of 18 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis helps academically motivated middle and high school students rise above disadvantaged backgrounds and become successful in college and beyond.
Our goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life, breaking the cycle of poverty. Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis utilizes the following elements to achieve our mission:
- Academic excellence
- Service and community engagement
- Family-like settings to cultivate youth empowerment
- Long-term and comprehensive programming
- Faith-based values
- Voluntary participant commitment
"I do not aim for success merely because of what it will bring me, but because of what it empowers me to do and the effect that it has on others."
Brijhette Farmer, 2007 Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis Alum
Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential and become men and women for others by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college.
Our vision is that our scholars reach their full potential and become healthy, productive life-long learners who:
Adapt to an ever-changing world | Thrive in the face of obstacles | Generate a positive ripple effect in their families, work places, and communities
We believe in the transformative power of education to develop lifelong learners using:
• Strengths-based, positive youth development approaches
• Practical preparation for careers to sustain one’s self and family
• Exposure to diverse opportunities that enrich one’s life and enhance learning
• Scholarship incentives encouraging and maximizing self-motivated learning
SERVICE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
We believe in the Jesuit-inspired, values-centered hallmark of building “persons for others” by:
• Developing character through service learning activities related to social justice and civic responsibility
• Educating those at every level of our organization in cultural competence
• Seeking collaborative partnerships to enhance our mission
FAMILY-LIKE SETTINGS TO CREATE A SENSE OF BELONGING
We believe youth derive their energy and sustenance from exposure to nurturing environments that provide:
• Inclusion in a loving community that meets youth where they are but sets high expectations
• A feeling of “being home,” with residential care as needed
• Strong and supportive developmental relationships with adult mentors and peers
• Stability, structure, and individualized guidance in small settings
• Modeling of positive values
LONG-TERM AND COMPREHENSIVE COMMITMENT
We believe an enduring relationship with youth holds the most promise for attaining positive outcomes by:
• Intervening early to support scholars from adolescence through college graduation and beyond
• Offering a holistic spectrum of programming that evolves with the age and needs of youth
• Providing ample opportunities for youth to develop social and emotional learning skills
We believe that a loving God cares about the life of every individual and we manifest this belief by:
• Focusing on those most in need of our services
• Respecting, serving and engaging people from all faith traditions
• Fostering spirituality and an active faith life as essential elements of healthy personal development
• Helping youth develop a moral compass based on universal principles
VOLUNTARY PARTICIPANT COMMITMENT
We believe in the motivational power of selfselection into the BHGH program because:
• Parents and Scholars share a vision for a better future
• Scholars elect to invest in themselves and are empowered to join
• Families value and trust in a working partnership with BHGH
• BHGH serves bright, capable young people who are motivated to overcome obstacles to reach their potential
Our Local Impact
Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis History
Boys Hope Girls Hope Founded
The St. Louis affiliate opens, beginning the work of Boys Hope Girls Hope International with a residential boys’ home near St. Louis University High School.
A Girls’ Home!
Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis adds a residential girls’ home in Kirkwood.
The Boys Move
The boy’s home moves to a larger location on the Maryville University campus, offering the ability to serve more scholars.
Hope Prep Scholars Academy
Hope Prep begins service for children on a non-residential basis, administered in partnership with the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
A $4.5 million capital campaign–“Hope Builds”– is completed, along with construction of a new campus where the boys’ home, girls’ home and administrative offices are co-located.
Our 40th Anniversary!
Help us celebrate our anniversary! Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis has been serving youth in our community for 40 years.
The Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis Board of Directors and staff leadership collaborate to ensure mission fidelity, financial stewardship and transparency. This team of professionals is committed to continuous learning, effective programming and improvement through impact evaluation and innovation.
Cassandra Sissom, LPC
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
James L. Mather CPA, Board President
Kurt Heumann, Board Vice President
Tom Harmon, Board Treasurer
Miles P. Faust
Lisa A. Flavin
Donald F. Geders, Jr.
Thomas L. Dowell & Associates, Inc.
Brian M. King
World Wide Technology, Inc.
Enterprise Bank & Trust
Ernst & Young, LLP
Lorvic Corporation (Retired)
Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer, S.J.
Saint Louis University
Kristin Ostby de Barillas
Boys Hope Girls Hope International
H. Dean VandeKamp
Mark F. Winker
Associate Board President
Patrick J. Boyle
Dennis C. Donnelly
Thomas J. Fournie
Donald Gunn, Jr.
Robert M. Kaiser
D. Michael Leary
Joseph L. Leritz
Jean F. McDaniel Rohs
Raymond F. Pieper
Vincent E. Shaw
Paul Sheridan, S.J.
Trudy Busch Valentine
John C. Vatterott
The Need We Address
Prior to joining our program, our scholars’ circumstances include environmental barriers that make it difficult to concentrate on achieving their goals. The relationship between educational failure and poverty creates a vicious cycle that affects too many children in our communities and negatively impacts our entire society.
- Twenty-one percent of children in the US live in poverty (Census Bureau, 2014)
- Children born into poverty are six times more likely to drop out of school (Cities in Crisis, 2008).
- The longer a child lives in poverty, the lower their overall level of academic achievement (Guo and Harris, 2000).
- Children from families in the highest income quartile are 8 times as likely to earn a college degree that those from the lowest income quartile (Pell Institute and Penn Ahead, 2015).
- In 1980, college graduates earned 29% more than those without. By 2007, that gap grew to 66% (Baum & Ma, 2007).
- The costs to United States society are significant in terms of economic productivity, tax revenue, health care over-utilization, parental attention to children’s educational development, civic engagement, and volunteerism (Baum & Ma, 2007).
- According to CEOs for Cities, every one percentage point increase in adult four-year college degree attainment adds an additional $763 to per capita income per year (One Student at a Time, 2013).
- Cohen and Piquero (2009) monetized the cost to society over the course of a “negative outcome” child’s lifetime as follows: High School Dropout = $390,000 - $580,000, Plus Heavy Drug User = $846,000 – $1.1 Million, Plus Career Criminal = $3.2 - $5.8 Million.