Academy News by Ryan Widemon

About BHGH of [insert City]

One of 18 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope of [insert affilate name] 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. BHGH of [insert affiliate name] utlizes 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.
Replace the BHGH International Facebook feed below with your local affiliate's Facebook URL and delete this text widget.

“[Insert quote from scholar, collegian, alumni, team member or parent].”

[Insert name and title/identifier]


Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential and become men and women for others by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college.


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 19[insert year], Boys Hope Girls Hope has been helping scholars rise up from disadvantaged backgrounds and strive for more. BHGH of [insert affiliate city] serves youth who want to go to college and create successful futures for themselves. Our [insert number] 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.

Our History

Founded in 1977 by Jesuit priest Fr. Paul Sheridan, Boys Hope Girls Hope began with one goal: to help children break the cycle of poverty by offering them a stable and loving home, guidance, and access to quality education. The program set high expectations for participating scholars, and then provided the resources and opportunities necessary to meet those expecations. While living in the family-like home, scholars enrolled in college preparatory schools, participated in extracurricular activities, and engaged in volunteer work in their communities.

Since then Boys Hope Girls Hope has grown, rising to serve the needs of motivated and deserving scholars in fifteen U.S. cities and three Latin American locations. We continue to offer residential programs that include the family-like environment essential to the healthy development of our scholars, and we have expanded to include non-residential programs and after-school initiatives based on offering that same inclusive environment.

Boys Hope Girls Hope alumni have gone on to become healthcare professionals, attorneys, police officers, moms, dads, educators, and clergy. Our program gives scholars the tools they need to build their own success stories.



BHGH of Founded in St. Louis

Fr. Paul Sheridan, S.J. founded Boys Hope Girls Hope in St. Louis, Missouri.


BHGH of Colorado Founded

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado was established in 1993 with the Boys Hope Residential Home


Girls Hope Home Opened

Just 2 blocks away from the Boys Hope Home, the Girls Hope home opened its doors to serve 5 girls in need.


Academy Program Opened

The non-residential Academy Program was launched at Aurora Central High School for the freshman and sophomore classes.


First Academy Class Graduates from Aurora Central High School

9 scholars from the first BHGH Colorado Academy class graduated from Aurora Central High School. All 9 are still in college today.


First Girls Hope Scholars Graduate College

Alexis and Aaliyah, the first Girls Hope scholars graduated from college! Alexis attended Fort Lewis College and Aaliyah graduated from the University of North Texas.


Transition To Focus On Academy Program Exclusively

To serve more children-in-need, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado focuses exclusively on our Academy and Collegian Programs.


The BHGH 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.


John C. Vatterott, Chair
Founder and former President
Vatterott Educational Centers

Joseph G. Koenig, Vice Chair
World Wide Technology

John Wunderlich, Treasurer
Business Consultant

David O. Danis, Esq., Secretary
The David Danis Law Firm, P.C.

Gregg Kirchhoefer, Counsel
Kirkland & Ellis

Kristin Ostby de Barillas
President and CEO
Boys Hope Girls Hope

Jorge Arce
Director General
Santander Mexico

Richard Axilrod
Managing Director
Moore Capital Management LP

Richard Buhler, SJ
Rector, St. Louis University
Jesuit Community

Louis Carr
President, Broadcast Media Sales
BET Holdings, Inc.

Joseph P. Conran
Husch & Blackwell

Mike de Graffenried

Moir Donelson
Teinnovations, Inc.

Christopher Growe
Managing Director
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

Lisa Flavin
VP, Audit & Chief Compliance Office

Jerry M. Hunter
Bryan Cave

Robert Lloyd 
Hyperloop One

Jack Malloy
Arrow Box Co.

Mark Mantovani
Chairman of the Board,
Ansira Engagement Marketing

Suzanne Mondello
Business Consultant

Brian Moore
Vice President
PJM Advisors, LLC

Jeanne C. Olivier
Shearman & Sterling

Dave Schmitt
The Armor Group, Inc.

Greg Scruggs, Alumni
Celebrity Spokesperson
National Football League

Paul G. Sheridan, S.J.
Boys Hope Girls Hope

Patrick Sly
Executive Vice President

Michele Thornton
Vice President, TV Ad Sales

Nick Varuso, Alumni
Performance & Capability Team Lead
Shell Oil

Jim Whims
Alsop Louie Partners

Mark Wilhelm
Chief Executive Officer
Safety National Casualty Corporation

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. In the United States, 72% of our scholars come from families whose household income is less than $30,000 (compared to the 2016 federal poverty level of $24,300 for a family of four). The dividing line for the lower 25th percentile of family income in the United Sates is approximately $30,000.

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.

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