We empower ambitious, family-focused teen parents striving to complete their college education by pairing them with caring, committed, adult mentors and an emotional and financial support system, thereby driving a two-generation solution to poverty.
Coronavirus Impact and Needs:
Here are four valuable ways you can help our Scholars and their children during this time:
- Support the Scholar Emergency Fund: Our Emergency Fund provides direct financial support to Scholars during times of crisis, such as illness, food insecurity, domestic violence, unemployment, housing instability, and transportation issues. We anticipate an uptick in requests over the next two months.
- Sign up to tutor remotely: We expect that moving to remote classes could make it challenging for our Scholars to get the academic support they need. If you are interested in tutoring, you can note your area of professional and/or academic background and we will match you as needed with a Scholar who needs help in a related class. Thank you to those of you who are already signed up for our ongoing virtual tutoring program!
- Make a general donation: We need general operating support to assist with our reserves and/or day-to-day costs in the event that some of our fundraising drops as a result of the virus.
- Donate laptops and wifi hotspots: We expect that some of our students will need help accessing online courses, and your donations will help. Please mail the equipment to the office (415 Michigan Ave, NE, Suite 430, Washington, DC 20017).
Mission: Generation Hope surrounds motivated teen parents and their children with the mentors, emotional support, and financial resources that they need to thrive in college and kindergarten, thereby driving a two-generation solution to poverty.
Scholar Program: Recognizing that lack of emotional and financial support poses significant obstacles to teen parents' educational achievement, Generation Hope provides the following major services to teen parents in our Scholar Program:
- Matching each Scholar with a Sponsor (i.e. Mentor) who provides up to $2,400 per year in tuition support, as well as one-on-one mentoring until that Scholar earns a degree;
- Providing ongoing case management and academic support;
- Identifying needed support services and connecting Scholars to important resources;
- Providing year-round career readiness programming;
- Hosting the annual Hope Conference and other trainings, workshops, and social events;
- Offering an Emergency Fund, which assists Scholars through crisis situations, such as homelessness or food insecurity;
- Providing access to mental health support through our on-staff Mental Health Coordinator.
In addition to assisting current college students, Generation Hope hosts college-readiness workshops to raise awareness among younger teen parents that college is indeed an option.
Next Generation Academy: Knowing that the children of teen parents often face incredible challenges in their early growth and development, leading to lower levels of school readiness, we launched Next Generation Academy in 2018.
The goal of Next Generation Academy is to ensure that the children of our Scholars are prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond. The five major services offered through Next Generation Academy are:
- Home visiting and case management;
- Literacy and social-emotional interventions;
- Mental health support for both parent and child;
- Access to high-quality childcare;
- Matching with families in the community that help build social capital by providing resources and connections to assist with Scholar family needs.
Generation Hope serves 91 teen parents and their children in the Washington, D.C. area. Among them, 51% identify as Latinx, 34% Black, 9% multi-racial, 2% white, 1% Asian American, and 2% other. Nearly all are considered low income, and Generation Hope is also proud to serve 10 Dreamers. In addition, 74% are first-generation college students. Many Scholars have experienced homelessness, lived in foster care, survived abuse, and experienced food insecurity.
- Fewer than 2% of teen mothers earn a college degree before age 30, but since 2010, Generation Hope has helped almost 200 teen parents in college, provided more than $600,000 in tuition assistance, and celebrated 76 college degrees.
- Despite the fact that our Scholars face the challenges of affording childcare, working a full or part-time job, and parenting, our Scholars’ graduation rate is on track with the national average for all college students, regardless of income or whether or not they have a child. Furthermore, our Scholars’ graduation rate is almost double the graduation rate of low-income college students and nearly eight times the graduation rate of single mothers nationwide.
- With the support of Generation Hope, our Scholars are persisting: 92% of our Scholars stay in our program and in college year-to year.
- All of our 2018 graduates were living above the poverty line within six months of graduation. 92% were employed full-time and 30% were enrolled in graduate school.
Generation Hope has twice been named one of the D.C. region's "top nonprofit organizations" by the Catalogue for Philanthropy (in 2014 and 2018). Generation Hope was founded in 2010 by Nicole Lynn Lewis, a former teen mother who put herself through college and saw her life transformed by a post-secondary education. She has been named a CNN Hero, a 2017 Minority Business Leader by the Washington Business Journal, and a "Top 40 Under 40" by Washingtonian Magazine. In 2018, Ms. Lewis was also named the national grand prize winner of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Award.
From our Scholars:
“The mentors and friends that I have encountered within Generation Hope have taught me that
I am powerful beyond measure.” - Chelsea
“Generation Hope has been a pillar for my family when we’ve reached our lowest and most vulnerable moments. They have been my lifeline as I pursue my post-secondary education.” – Ariel
“I discovered Generation Hope through an Alumni. Generation Hope gave me a home, a safe place for me to always go where I don't ever feel judged. I no longer feel alone and I know for a fact that I am always loved and cared for. They literally are like family. It's life changing to know someone has your back at every turn.” – Christina
“Generation Hope paired me with a wonderful mentor, provided me with so much support for my son’s school, and helped find a stable environment where I can raise my son. I've been more focused and am receiving better grades. It's a great feeling when you know you have one person in your corner, but with Generation Hope you have a whole team rooting for your success.” – A’Ja