Spotlight on Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis
Boys Hope Girls Hope is a 41-year-old organization, founded here in St. Louis. There are now 14 US affiliate offices and 2 in Central America. Our primary mission is helping provide equal access to quality education for all our kids. The program begins as early as middle school and continues thru the completion of college or technical training.
The BHGH of STL has two components to our program. In Richmond Heights we have a residential program where we have 20 scholars. We are also active in the Ferguson Florissant and Jennings School districts with teaching college prep curriculum.
Our program serves kids who are academically capable and motivated to do well. They are referred to us by teachers, principals, pastors, counselors etc. These adults recognize the potential of these youth and know that if the path were clear, they would be successful.
Two and half years ago, BHGH of STL had a capital campaign that allowed us to build a campus in Richmond Heights, with a boys’ house, a girls’ house and administrative office. Previously, the boys were out west, the girls were in Kirkwood and the office was in Creve Coeur. This consolidation has allowed us to really become part of the community. Several of the kids have served on the Richmond Heights Youth Council, found jobs at local businesses and enjoyed getting better aquatinted with staff and other scholars.
Because of Chamber Membership…
Our chamber membership has given us another community to share our mission with. Being able to meet one on one makes it easier to share our mission with other. At BHGH of STL we also want to give back to our “home town” and being in the chamber helps keep us aware of opportunities.
Richmond Heights has been very welcoming and supportive. The Police Department has planned activity events with the kids, Raising Canes and Jimmy John’s have donated meals (a constant need with 20 teenagers!) We have already had some members volunteer to work directly with the scholars, the most important contribution we need.
We know that once people understand what is going on at BHGH of STL, they want to contribute. We are so appreciative of the Mid County Chamber for giving a forum to meet and share community members.