Our History


Founded in 1977 by Father Paul Sheridan, S.J., Boys Hope Girls Hope is a privately funded, non-profit, multi-denominational organization that provides at-risk children with a stable home, high quality education, and the support they need to reach their full potential. Many of our children come from home environments marked by abuse, poverty or neglect. Others come from caring families unable to meet the child's needs because of poverty, violence or dangerous neighborhoods.
Boys Hope Girls Hope is currently serving children 15 U.S. cities and four foreign countries (Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru).
Boys Hope Girls Hope's unique approach is a holistic, "whole-person" based approach that meets all the needs of the children in its care. The program
  • Supports children financially and emotionally through college and beyond.
  • Provides children with long-term adult relationships and positive mentoring.
  • Places children in non-institutional, family-like homes staffed with live-in residential counselors.
  • Is funded exclusively through private sector donations.
 Parent/Guardians Participate:
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope maintains regular contact with families of children in the program through scheduled conferences and telephone contacts and families are invited to all events, such as our Back-to-School Barbeque, Graduation parties, etc.
  • The parents maintain legal custody of their child.
  • Parents are informed of special events and activities involving their child and are encouraged to participate.
Chicago Boys Hope Girls Hope Milestones
Since its inception in 1979, Chicago Boys Hope Girls Hope has been dedicated to helping capable young scholars. Children who once had little chance to succeed now have opportunities to attend college and realize their dreams. These important milestones mark the progress of Chicago Boys Hope Girls Hope.
1979 – Volunteer board developed and Jesuit Program for Living and Learning Incorporated in Illinois.
1980 – Home location identified, zoning approved by the City of Evanston, and home is purchased.
1981 – First house-parents hired and scholars enter the program.
1982 – Second home is purchased in Evanston.
1984 – Boys Hope Women's Board is founded.
1985 – First scholars enter college.
1989 – First alumnus becomes college graduate.
1990 – From this year onward, all scholars who graduate from Boys Hope are accepted at 4-year colleges and universities.
1991 – Boys Hope awarded first Northwestern University Evans Scholarship.
1993 – Program mission altered to focus on leadership development model.
1994 – Board commits to Girls Home in Chicago.
1995 – Board authorizes name change and six months later first Girls Hope Scholars enter the program at a temporary facility.
1996 – Girls Hope permanent home opens in Evanston.
1998 – Boys Hope Girls Hope of Chicago Junior Board is founded.
2004 – Women's Board sets funding-raising record.
2004 – The National office adopts a new mission and values statement.
2006 - Began 2006-2007 school year with full houses and staff.
2007 - BHGH of Illinois achieves the highest GPA of any affiliate in the country.
2009 - First BHGH of Illinois Alumns joins the Junior Board.
2012 - Women's Board Dinner Dance sets funding-raising record.
2012 - Educational Policy Institure selectes BHGH as 1 of 8 institutions that work.