We know that no matter where they live, all parents want the same things—safety, opportunity, and people who are deeply invested in their kids’ success.

We started this work as a drop-in program for youth years ago. Over time we have learned alongside youth and parents about the opportunities and challenges they face. We’ve now created many opportunities for youth to engage around their interests while they learn skills, gain confidence and act on their own leadership.

Hope surrounds youth with people who believe in their potential to learn, create and lead.

In low-income communities, strong intergenerational relationships often root youth for success. Here, youth strengthen their community relationships across ages, cultures and languages. Youth emerge not just with new knowledge and strategies, but also with the connections that will support them into the future.

Learning in Community

Learning in Community is a community-based literacy program for children ages 6–9, through which children and families build the confidence, relationships and skills for long-term success. We are not creating a school environment. Instead, the children respond to the supportive community environment and 1-1 engagement.

Girls Empowerment Movement (GEMS)

We engage young women of color, ages 13-18, around four core themes: educational empowerment, critical thinking and awareness, developing bonds of sisterhood and civic engagement. Many GEMS participants attend the GEMS Girls Leadership Institute. Participants in this intensive training learn collective organizing and self-advocacy skills, and develop confidence in their own individual voices through projects, field trips and speaker-led discussions.

YMOC (Young Men Of Color)

We empower young men of color though leadership development rooted in culturally centered experiential learning. Our goal is to improve the trajectory of young men of color. Young men gain advanced knowledge and skills in a variety of applied leadership techniques and self-development.

Summer Camp Leadership

Many years ago we started sending youth to week-long camp. Now what they do before the camp is more important than the camp itself. The youth ages 10-14 are immersed in an intensive leadership cohort. They apply what they learn to their first-time experience of camp. The youth develop self-advocacy, navigate issues of race, make new friends, and expand their networks. Consistently Hope youth are recognized as leaders at the camp, and many have been hired as camp counselors bringing broader cultural diversity to the staff.

Job Readiness Training

Youth ages 14–15 learn skills to support them in their job search, with a focus on leadership and career development. This training is designed with the city of Minneapolis STEP UP summer youth job program.

Summer Academic and Leadership Opportunities

We partner with a number of rigorous summer enrichment opportunities for youth. Through our broad youth network, Hope staff connect youth and programs with each other. Cohorts of youth, ages 15-18, attend the programs organized by higher educational institutions and others. In a cultural context, youth engage in leadership development, career exploration and experiential learning.

Contact: Andrew (Dhop) Hopkins, Director of Youth and Family Engagement