hope – [hohp] (noun) the feeling that what is wanted can be had

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you dreamed about it? Have you ever had a goal that was so important, you sacrificed for it; you defended it when people said it was impossible; you found strength and determination you never knew you had in your efforts to pursue it?

Deep in ghettos of East Oakland, in the barrios of Puerto Rico, in the sowetos of South Africa and in the favelas of Brazil, there are young people whose biggest dream … whose mightiest aspiration is to graduate from college.

These young people attend low-performing schools, they read from decade-old books, metal detectors greet them at the entrance of their high schools, and the social ills of poverty haunt them on every street corner. These young people have little support and few examples of what a better life looks like.A recent study in Reading Research Quartely found that in some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the United States, there is only one book available for every 300 children.Yet, in spite of their circumstances, these young people find a way to succeed. Some of them hide their school books in pizza boxes to avoid ridicule from their un-supportive peers, others read by candlelight because the electricity was turned off, some go to night school because they work full-time during the day and some learn how to dunk.

Regardless of how they do it, all these students are fueled by hope — the feeling that what is wanted can be had. Therefore we must all embrace HOPE – helping others pursue education.

If we don’t  help cultivate academic excellence in the next generation of young people with untapped talent, who will?

That’s why iHOPE.

Live H.O.P.E. Give H.O.P.E.

Michelle Janaye
Assistant Director
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship