Success Stories

Rachel - Southern California

Author: BHGH Web Admin/Monday, February 17, 2014/Categories: National Success Stories

Rachel - Southern California

Rachel’s family, recent immigrants from the Philippines, struggled with adjusting to life in a new land. The experience took its toll on their family’s dynamic. Rachel recounts her story—and Boys Hope Girls Hope’s role in it—below.

“Five years ago, I was thirteen years old, and my life was in complete chaos. When I was little, my mom and I moved around all the time. Sometimes we were homeless and lived on the streets. Every year, I was in a different school. My grades were horrific.

“We had just moved to Orange County when our relationship hit the bottom. We were completely alienated from each other, and Mom wanted to send me to school in the Philippines, where she’s from. I was terrified of being so far away from everything that was familiar to me. But fortunately, a counselor at my middle school told us that sending me to the Philippines wasn’t the answer, but it would be better if I wasn’t living at home. She suggested Boys Hope Girls Hope.

“Since then, my life has changed completely. It was tough adjusting to my new environment and to the structure that I now had for the first time in my life. I was late for everything. I couldn’t even remember to make my bed in the mornings. Suddenly I had to deal with discipline. But the other girls in the house helped me through those first rough months. They welcomed me into the home and became my support group. They still are today. They’re like sisters to me.

“As time went on, I found myself transformed. I got organized, managed my time better, became more responsible, and improved my study skills. My grades got better. I began to thrive on the hard work. And I began to love the program I’d struggled against.

“Boys Hope Girls Hope changed my life. At last, I have the stability I need to focus on my studies. My grades have gone from a 1.6 to a 3.5. I wasn’t transferring to a new school every year—Rosary High School is the first school I’ve ever attended for more than a year. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of dancing—this year, I’m actually taking ballet and hip-hop classes at The Anaheim Ballet. I’m involved in campus ministry at Rosary. And I can’t believe that I will actually be going to college! I was just accepted to

DePaul University! And I know one thing for sure: I owe it all to BHGH!

“How blessed was I when I was accepted. Boys Hope Girls Hope has opened so many doors for me, providing me the opportunity to be whatever I would like to be. I am so grateful to have their support and a great education. For the first time in my life, I know I’m on the right path.”


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In Illinois...


  • In the seven-county area of Metropolitan Chicago, almost 30% (172,000) of children live in zip codes where risks to their well-being (lacking family support, inadequate access to quality health care, poor educational opportunities, high crime rates, and high parental unemployment rates).


  •  High schools in the Chicago metro area have dropout rates higher than the state average.


  • In the Chicago City Public School District, the rate of students graduating from high school within four years is 61.8%.


How Boys Hope Girls Hope meets that need:


  • 80% of the youth we serve are in the racial minority.


  • The majority of youth in our care have no immediate family member with a college degree. 


  • Almost all of the youth we serve come from dangerous neighborhoods and experienced a lack of supervision.


  • Our college retention rate is 89-94%, compared to the national average of 66%.


  • All local Illinois scholars participate in extra-curricular and civic programs and engage in countless hours of service learning.  Nearly 70% receive academic honors at their schools.


  • Since 1996, over 80% of the youth who became part of the program have remained in the program through high school graduation.


  • Nationwide, since 1991, 100% of our U.S. alumni have gone on to college.


  • Since 1996, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois has averaged a 77% retention rate of students in college.


  • Our alumni across the country are successful professionals, responsible community members, and nurturing spouses, fathers and mothers. 


Since 1991, 100% of Boys Hope Girls Hope alumni have gone on to college or another post-secondary educational institution.