St. Louis, MO–January 7, 2021–My Boys Hope Girls Hope experience started in August of 2011, my sophomore year of high school. I still remember the weekend I spent at the girls house that spring, being dropped off at school with the other girls, eating dinner together, and getting to observe the daily routine of being a part of the program. My mom and I first heard of Boys Hope Girls Hope because a family friend, Ieshah, had been in the program for years. After my initial visit we decided it would be a good idea for me to embark on this journey that provided me with so many resources and allowed me to reach my full academic potential. For the next three years I was able to join other programs like Cultural Leadership, be inducted into the National Honors Society, various types of volunteer work, summer camps, college tours, and graduated from Kirkwood High School with thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
Besides the academic accolades, I learned how to live with other girls which prepared me for college life. I also learned how to balance school, work, and being social. Boys Hope Girls Hope taught me that my education is my responsibility and the staff has always been there to support me throughout my college experience. I looked forward to the care packages and the monthly check-ins. They have connected me with a lifelong mentor and tutor that helped prepare me for my certification exam. I was always greeted by smiling faces whenever I would visit and of course the scholarship that got me through six years of college. The semesters that were challenging, the ones that were easy, the times I changed my major back and forth, and the semester that I left school, all the way up to my graduation in November of 2020, I could always count on Boys Hope Girls Hope.
Now that I have received my undergraduate degree from Southeast Missouri State University, I am applying to jobs and plan to teach middle school science in a St. Louis school district. Due to the COVID pandemic I am waiting for my Missouri teacher certification but I have received two offers for a long term substitute position. Once I accept a permanent position, my goal is to further my education and get a master’s degree in educational administration. Being the first person in my family to attend college and obtain a degree has been my sole motivation over the course of the years. I am so proud of my own progress and tenacity, and very thankful for my family and everyone at Boys Hope Girls Hope. I know that whatever I decide to do, although I have graduated from both high school and college, I have all the support that I need.