About Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis

One of 16 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope of 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 of 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

Boys Hope Girls Hope firmly believes that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.


"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

Our Mission

To nurture and guide motivated young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready men and women for others.

Our Vision

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

Our Local Impact

Since 1977, Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis has been helping scholars rise up from disadvantaged backgrounds and strive for more. Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis serves youth who want to go to college and create successful futures for themselves. Our scholars have joined our program to receive support on their journey to college and beyond. They seek the academic resources, extracurricular opportunities, and mentor relationships we provide.

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.


Hope Builds

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, Executive Director

P: 314.518.2437 | E: [email protected]

Tim Sullivan, Development Director

P: 314.912.9508 | E: [email protected]

Jan Wacker, Major Gifts Officer

P: 314.912.9538 | E: [email protected]

Katie Mancuso, Program Director

P: 314.785.3851 | E: [email protected]


Karen Loiterstein
Board President
TierPoint, LLC.

Andrea Barry
Board Vice President

Tom Harmon
Board Treasurer
Commerce Bank

Doug Bauche
Enterprise Bank & Trust

Brian Branca

Adam Castellano
RubinBrown, LLP

Irasa Downing
Edward Jones

Lisa Flavin

J. Michael Keller
Independence Center of St. Louis (retired)

Brian M. King

Juanita Logan
World Wide Technology

Shelly McNutt
Community Volunteer

Kristin Morris
Savoy Properties

Brandan P. Mueller
Husch Blackwell

Richard Nemanick
Lorvic Corporation (retired)

Jennifer Noakes
PLZ Aeroscience

Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer
Saint Louis University

Kristin Ostby de Barillas
Boys Hope Girls Hope National Headquarters

Barb Palmer
Community Volunteer

R. Brian Potter
Promotional Consultants

Tracy Reiter

Jake Schlater
DOT Foods

Brian Wacker
The Cook Group PLLC

Brian Wellinghoff
Barry Wehmiller

Mark F. Winker
UMB Bank

Patrick Bishop
Associate Board Co-President

Katelyn Seeman
Associate Board Co-President


Patrick J. Boyle

Dennis C. Donnelly

Mary Engelbreit

Thomas J. Fournie

Clare Genovese

Donald Gunn, Jr.

Robert M. Kaiser

D. Michael Leary

Joseph L. Leritz

Jean F. McDaniel Rohs

James Nichols

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.

Invest in the success of our scholars!