Success Stories

Stephanie - Southern California

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

Stephanie - Southern California

Stephanie G., an alumna of our Southern California Affiliate, was a bright and talented girl who had the potential to accomplish great things. But a lot of the pieces were missing.

The eldest of five children and a first-generation American, her immigrant parents relied heavily upon her to shoulder many of the responsibilities of raising her siblings. Many nights, she didn’t even start doing her homework until well after midnight. Underperforming and overcrowded schools in impoverished and violence-wracked school districts could not give her the education that would let her mind soar.

At Boys Hope Girls Hope, she found a safe and secure home situation with supportive staff, volunteers, tutors, mentors, and fellow scholars who supported, encouraged, and empowered her. She was given the opportunity to attend top-rated schools which gave her the knowledge, the tools, and the opportunities she needed to excel. And most importantly, she was surrounded by people who believed in her.

While double-majoring in psychology and sociology at Boston College, Stephanie maintained a stellar GPA; studied abroad in Spain, became a leader in BC’s Organization of Latin American Affairs, and was one of the recipients of the 2011 Bishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship. She graduated with honors, and has remained close to the Boys Hope Girls Hope community, returning in the summers to share her experience and perspective with younger scholars.


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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.