A word from Jocelyn

Our Program Model

Boys Hope Girls Hope provides holistic poverty intervention for motivated youth with demonstrated need. These young people are selected according to their desire to participate and their capacity to respond to academically rigorous and character-defining programming. BHGH programs are guided by a long-term commitment to and a deep investment in these young people—our scholars. We utilize an evidence-based program model that is further adapted to the needs of each affiliate location, but rooted in the following dynamics:
  • Early intervention, before children’s life trajectories are severely limited.
  • Access to quality schools and expert academic support.
  • A “community” of role-model staff and volunteers surrounding our children and their families and providing enrichment and support.
  • Parent/Guardian involvement.
  • Robust support beginning with admission to the program, continuing through college, and remaining available through career launch.
  • Mind, body and spiritual development support.
  • Stable and loving environment, including homes in residential programming and atmosphere in non-residential programming.


Our Residential program functions as a loving and nurturing family atmosphere, a dynamic environment with a sense of belonging, central to healthy adolescent development.
More About Residential Programs
Residential Programs

In each Boys Hope Girls Hope home, six to twelve scholars are cared for by live-in, round-the-clock professional Residential Counselors.  Scholars share chores, do homework together, attend religious services, eat, and grow up together. Academic growth and whole-person development are the program focus: residential scholars are enrolled in college-preparatory programs at top-rated area schools; scholars are matched with tutors who help them reach their academic potential and mentors who share their life experience; they are enrolled in extracurricular activities designed to help them discover themselves and the world around them; and they engage in community service projects that teach them the value of living a life committed to serving others.


The same academic, psychological, financial, and spiritual support as scholars in our residential programs for scholars whose need does not require residential placement.
More About Academy Programs
Academy Programs

Academic growth and whole-person development remain the focus.  Like residential scholars, Academy scholars are enrolled in college-preparatory programs at top-rated area schools or provided college-preparatory curriculum in their current school district; scholars are matched with tutors who help them reach their academic potential and mentors who share their life experience; they are enrolled in extracurricular activities designed to help them discover themselves and the world around them; and they engage in community service projects that teach them the value of living a life committed to serving others. 


We not only prepare college aspirants for all aspects and challenges of the college experience, but continue to provide academic, social, emotional and financial support through college graduation.
More About Collegian Programs
Collegian Programs

For BHGH residential and non-residential scholars, a college education is not a dream, it is an expectation. College Road is a multi-year, interactive program with specific activities that are proven to prepare scholars for the demands of campus life and independent living. It was initiated in 2000 by the BHGH Board of Directors to drastically increase college graduation rates among participating youth. Each scholar uses a digital MyRoad Portfolio, which is a personalized guide to his/her College Road activities from 7th grade through the college planning process.  The College Road curriculum is designed to help BHGH college students develop three critical attributes for success in education as well as professional life: competency, connectedness and confidence.  

Through the BHGH International Scholarship Fund, scholars having completed College Road activities and MyRoad benchmarks, enrolled in 15 or more credit hours and maintaining specific GPA requirements may apply for scholarship funds each semester through college degree completion (in five years or less).

Theory of Change

We believe that motivated children can overcome significant barriers and develop their inherent talents when surrounded by strong relationships and opportunities for enrichment. We believe they thrive in an environment that empowers them and allows them to focus on their strengths.

Inspired by this conviction, Boys Hope Girls Hope:

  • Immerses young people in a structured environment with long-term developmental relationships that stabilize, heal, and empower
  • Prepares scholars for academic excellence and the discernment of a pathway to post-secondary educational attainment and ultimately a career
  • Fosters social, emotional, character, and spiritual development to build social capital through a myriad of growth opportunities, developmental resources, positive influences, and community service-learning
  • Equips scholars with life skills, career skills and access to a network that ensures productive employment and contribution in an ever-changing marketplace

Critical distinguishing elements of our programming include a deep investment in each scholar that:

  • Recognizes and values scholar families as vital resources and essential collaborators
  • Begins in middle school
  • Continues through career launch

We theorize that through consistent delivery of these program components, youth under the BHGH influence will fulfill their potential and become world-changing persons for others.

Our efforts are guided by instilling the evidence-based “6C” framework, and we evaluate our impact through this lens. We prepare young adults for productive lives by instilling Confidence, Competence, Caring, Character, Compassion and Contribution.

The College Road

Preparation for college is a cornerstone of Boys Hope Girls Hope academic programming. Over 15 years ago, the BHGH Leadership team developed its own unique curriculum—The College Road—in order to increase college graduation rates among our scholars.

Alumni Community

Graduates of Boys Hope Girls Hope programs across the affiliate network become members of the Alumni Association, a growing body of young professionals. Members are active in their local communities and Alumni Association Chapters, promoting awareness of Boys Hope Girls Hope, building a strong network of alumni connections, and offering opportunities to get involved.

Evidence-Based Program Model

Early Intervention

A large proportion of our scholars enter our program before or during middle school. This is early compared to many other college access programs, but it is an intentional effort to avoid potential negative influence. School performance disparity between low-income urban students and the general population dramatically widens around the middle school years. During this time, many young people become involved in negative patterns of behavior. This fact especially true for African American boys, who comprise 33% of the scholars we serve. (Newell & Van Ryzin, 2007; Jones & Palazzolo, 2009).

Long-Term Support

While college access by underprivileged students has increased over recent years, degree attainment has not kept pace with these relative improvements (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, D.E.S.E.). Social, emotional, and financial difficulties often derail college persistence (Jones and Pallazolo, 2009). Boys Hope Girls Hope provides social support and financial assistance to get to—and through—college.

Partnership with Parents, Guardians, and Families of Origin

Research overwhelmingly supports that parental involvement and high expectations are one of the strongest predictors of youth educational attainment (Osborne, 1990; Taylor, 1991; Lucey & Walkerdine, 2000). This holds true even when the guardian is absent, and regardless of the guardian educational attainment (Martin & Jackson, 2002). BHGH engages the strengths of our scholars’ families, increasing their level of confidence and presenting a united support system for our scholars. Together we are able to employ a “Positive Youth Development” parenting style that promotes intrinsic motivation through moderate autonomy, high expectations, and emotional warmth (Bronstein, Ginsburg, & Herrera, 2005; Ginsburg & Bronstein, 1993).

Provision of a stable, nurturing environment

Our residential program emphasizes the supportive elements of home and family, including the daily routine of sharing meals. Our scholars, staff, and mentors sit down for dinner together regularly, between extracurricular activity schedules. Research studies consistently find a significant correlation to the frequency of shared “sit-down” meals and positive child and youth outcomes, including achievement of developmental milestones, language development, reduction of risk behaviors, and academic achievement (Fiese & Schultz, 2008). For some scholars, our residential homes represent an alternative to foster care. This intervention is significant, as only 7% of foster care youth attend college, and less than 3% graduate (Pew Charitable Trust, 2007).

Whole-Person Development and Growth of Mind, Body and Spirit

BHGH programming includes services and experiences to bring about healing and foster the ability to learn skills for healthy relationships. There is growing consensus that emotional and social intelligence is a key determinant in the ability of underserved student populations to succeed in college (Nelson and Low, 2005; Vela, 2003; and Potter, 2005, Duckworth & Seligman, 2005; Heckman, 2000; Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan, & Majeski, 2004 Adelman, Clifford. 2006). Two such qualities we work on developing are a "growth mindset” (Dweck, 2007) and “grit” (Duckworth, 2016), which are correlated with high achievement in disadvantaged youth (Hochanadel, A., & Finamore, D. 2015). Also incorporated in our programming are the following: service learning, which has a positive correlation with academic development and college completion (Sparkman, Maulding, and Roberts, 2012); definition and clarification of values; and spiritual development, which is associated with a number of positive youth development outcomes (Scales, 2007; Lerner, Roseler, and Phelps, 2008); and goal setting, as research supports that the capacity to visualize a specific positive future and persist in taking the necessary actions to achieve it is strongly correlated with academic achievement and positive life outcomes (Snyder, 2001).

Role Models and Mentor Relationships

“Developmental Relationships”—as they are known in the Youth Development field—correlate with and enhance the impact of almost every effective intervention. Essentially, the “intervention is a relationship” between scholars and staff, mentors, and tutors (Pekel and Scales, 2015). These relationships are marked by emotional warmth and high expectations, and youth who engage have higher grades, higher aspirations, and increased engagement in college preparatory activities. A high-achieving role model can leave a lasting impression, as the educational achievement level of a significant non-family caregiver or mentor can play an important role in a young person’s own educational attainment (P. Martin & Jackson, 2002; Vandell, et al., 2007).

Encouraging Academic Challenges and Extracurricular Involvement

Our scholars are enrolled in college preparatory programs. An academically rigorous high school experience with college-going culture is a key determinant to educational achievement among disadvantaged youth (United States Department of Education, 2010; Viadero, Johnston, & Editorial Projects in Education, 2000), and engagement in higher-level mathematics is strongly predictive of academic attainment among disadvantaged students (Achieve Policy Brief, 2008). Additionally, BHGH places a high value on extracurricular involvement and scholars participate in activities after school and in the community. Such participation strongly corresponds with educational achievement, and in general low-income youth do not participate in extracurricular activities (Good & McCaslin, 2008; Goodenow, 1992; A. J. Martin & Dowson, 2009; McCaslin & Burross, 2008; McCoach, 2000; Viadero, et al., 2000).

Voluntary Application Process for Program Participation

Many factors determine a good fit for the program. In order to participate, a scholar must meet a threshold of need, demonstrate academic ability, and display behavioral and emotional capacity to respond to our program. During the application process, level of motivation is also evaluated, and it is a key deciding factor in acceptance. A study done on Kauffman Scholars stressed that self-selection, motivation and desire to participate are correlated with program retention (Abdul-Alim, 2010).

Our Impact

Since 1991, 99% of scholars who have completed our program have gone on to pursue higher education. And Boys Hope Girls Hope 's college retention rate is over 90% annually, compared to the national average of 69.2%.

College Partners

Invest in the success of our scholars!