Daily Point of Light # 1460 Sep 8, 1999

An increasingly urgent plight in today's society is that of children whose families can no longer provide proper care for them. Whether it is due to death, illness, disability or incarceration of a parent, divorce, chronic unemployment or poverty, parental addictions, abandonment, abuse or neglect, children often end up the victims.

Founded in 1975, BOYS HOPE GIRLS HOPE is a national, privately funded, nonprofit organization that saves kids, one life at a time. The program was formed to address this need by providing value-centered, family-like residences and college preparatory educational opportunities for at-risk, yet academically capable, boys and girls.

The program's unique, holistic approach provides abused, neglected and at-risk children who have demonstrated some academic potential with four critical ingredients for their success—HOPE: a stable Home, Opportunities, positive Parental role models, and high quality Education.

BOYS HOPE GIRLS HOPE has a National Volunteer Corps, which consists of 25 individuals who are recent college graduates devoting a year of their lives toward helping at-risk teenagers. Generally, the volunteers begin their service during the summer and remain for 12 months, although mid-year assignments are often available. Volunteers live with the children and staff, helping to maintain a structured, orderly, stable, safe and caring home environment. Additionally, each volunteer assumes a "big brother/big sister" role, tutors students in their academic studies, works together with the house parents in the daily operation of the home and explores college and career opportunities with the students. They play the role of a disciplinarian, role model, advocate, mentor and confidante to the youth.

The volunteers receive a monthly stipend of $200, the AmeriCorps Education Assistance Award, free room and board and eligibility to apply for health insurance. Despite these things, when asked, many past volunteers state that the best part of working with BOYS HOPE GIRLS HOPE is the relationships that they have developed with the youth.

Currently there are homes in 14 U.S. cities and four foreign countries. Several other locations are under development.