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.
OUR MISSION AND HISTORY:
To ensure all student parents have the opportunities to succeed and experience economic mobility, Generation Hope engages education and policy partners to drive systemic change and provides direct support to teen parents in college as well as their children through holistic, two-generation programming. Generation Hope was founded by Nicole Lynn Lewis, a former teen parent who experienced immense challenges as a young mother in college and saw how a college degree transformed her and her daughter's lives. She founded Generation Hope to help other young families thrive.
Generation Hope implements an innovative two-generation approach that helps entire families achieve their educational goals and experience economic mobility.
Our Scholar Program helps teen parents earn college degrees and secure jobs with family sustaining wages by: (1) Pairing each Scholar with a caring adult mentor; (2) Providing robust and personalized case management; (3) Making connections and identifying supports for Scholars related to housing instability, food insecurity, unemployment, domestic violence, and other challenges; (4) Offering year-round career readiness programming; (5) Providing mental health supports, including one-on-one counseling with an on-staff certified professional; (6) Hosting a range of social events and trainings throughout the year; (7) Offering tutoring and study halls; (8) Providing critical financial support through tuition assistance (up to $2,400/year) and emergency funding to help Scholars meet urgent short-term financial needs that could derail the Scholars’ college journey; (9) Distributing essential items (i.e., school supplies, grocery and gas gift cards, and diapers) twice per year, and gifts for families during the holiday season. Over the last year, we increased the number of teen parents we support from 87 to 122.
Our Next Generation Academy helps the children of our Scholars prepare for success and wellbeing in kindergarten and beyond by: (1) Providing regular screenings and supports focused on each child’s literacy, motor, academic, and social emotional development; (2) Offering monthly home visits to provide learning resources and equip parents with the tools they need to continue learning on an ongoing basis; (3) Offering mental health support for both parents and their children, including one-on-one counseling, therapeutic groups, and workshops; (4) Providing a culturally-relevant and age-appropriate book for each child each month to help them build their home libraries; (5) Hosting monthly family dinners that include time for families to build relationships with each other and participate in educational activities; (6) Helping families identify high-quality childcare and providing financial support to help them access that childcare; (7) Hosting a range of trainings, workshops, and social events throughout the year; (8) Connecting Scholars and their children to “resource families” in the community to help build the Scholar’s social capital and identify resources for the child. Over the last year, we increased the number of children we support from 30 to 35, and expanded the age range to include children ages 1 through 7 so that we can provide more comprehensive support to children in their first year of kindergarten and as they transition to the early elementary years.
Fewer than 2% of teen mothers earn a college degree before they turn 30, but Generation Hope Scholars’ graduation rate exceeds the national average for ALL college students, is almost double the rate of low-income students, and is almost eight times the rate of single mothers nationwide. The percentage of our Scholars employed and/or in graduate school within six months of graduation is higher than the average for ALL graduates in our region, and 92% of our alumni reported an income above the federal poverty line within six months of graduation. Furthermore, 100% of Scholars say they feel that the Generation Hope community accepts them for who they are. After one year in Next Generation Academy, 100% of children were on track with age-appropriate social-emotional, cognitive, and academic development.
FROM OUR SCHOLARS:
“Generation Hope feels like having a huge boulder removed from your shoulders and being embraced by a group hug. It feels like home. Generation Hope Scholars are one-of-a-kind. I admire their work ethic, hunger for success, and ability to adapt to any situation. They remind me of a phoenix. Before the program we faced unimaginable hardships, but with Generation Hope we rise.” - Scholar Alum Jenifer, George Mason University
“Generation Hope is my guide I never had. They never let me give up. There have been many times my family and I suffered financially. They always helped us get back on our feet and not let that bump on the road rear us off the road. Through New Generation Academy my child is so advanced in school that her father and I were told she is the SMARTEST in her class. That makes me so proud as a mother.” - Scholar Naraya, George Mason University
“Before working with Generation Hope, I struggled a lot mentally and emotionally. I didn’t have much of a support system or resources to turn to for assistance. I had high hopes and dreams without a vision to achieve them. Generation Hope has helped my family by providing the support needed to get through the tough times. I know that I have mentors and a Hope Coach that I can count on for advice or a listening ear. Generation Hope has created a sense of community for me, allowing for better mental health because I don’t constantly feel alone. I have learned how to advocate for myself, my children, and others like me.” - Generation Hope Scholar Shontise