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Boys Hope Girls Hope International Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Boys Hope Girls Hope International Celebrates 40th Anniversary
SAINT LOUIS, MO. September 13, 2017 –  For the past 40 years, Boys Hope Girls Hope programs have helped driven students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in school and life.  Today, Boys Hope Girls Hope provides long-term, holistic support and college preparation for over 1,200 young scholars in 18 cities in the U.S. and Latin America.
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.
“Our basic purpose is to take care of children we can help as a matter of social justice. But we believe the end result will be to produce community leaders who might otherwise never have developed,” said Fr. Sheridan when he started the program in 1977 in St. Louis.
Motivated young people from backgrounds of tremendous need apply to be a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope with a desire to create successful futures for themselves.  The program sets high expectations for participating young “scholars,” and then provides them with all the resources and opportunities needed to meet those expectations.
Boys Hope Girls Hope’s services are provided in residential environments as well as community-based and after-school program settings. All Boys Hope Girls Hope programs build upon six consistent core elements:
• Academic Excellence
• Service and Community Engagement
• Family-like Settings to Cultivate Youth Empowerment
• Long-term and Comprehensive Programming
• Faith-based Values
• Voluntary Participant Commitment
Fundamental to Boys Hope Girls Hope’s mission is a deep investment in each scholar’s education and a long-term commitment to scholars through college graduation.
“We believe in the transformative power of education, and help scholars develop their talents and pursue their life interests by providing holistic services in a nurturing environment,” said Kristin Ostby de Barillas, President & CEO of Boys Hope Girls Hope International. “Since 2000, over 300 young people who grew up in BHGH programs have graduated from college. They have gone on to become the community leaders Father Sheridan envisioned as dedicated, creative and hardworking teachers, entrepreneurs, scientific researchers, athletes, non-profit administrators, military service men and women and perhaps most importantly, loving spouses, parents and community members who treat the people around them with the same sense of hope, love and concern that they experienced as young people.”
Moving forward, Boys Hope Girls Hope is working with researchers to identify core programmatic elements most likely to deliver the positive outcomes critical to scholar success, and expanding diversity at all levels of the organization to advance the mission.  The organization is also focused on connecting with and engaging alumni.
“As we look at the next 10 years and beyond,” says Ostby de Barillas, “those of us doing this incredibly important work together are taking the time to hear each other’s’ stories, determine what shapes our many ways of thinking, raise questions with each other and challenge each other respectfully when we’re missing key perspectives. We are many unique people who make up one team pursuing one mission striving for excellence, with a tremendous opportunity to change the life trajectories of the amazing young people who are daily in our care, and perhaps affect future generations in their families.”
For more information, please contact Julie Linder, Communications Coordinator, by calling (573) 268-0639 or emailing jlinder@bhgh.org.
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