Success Stories

Alejandra - Southern California

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

Alejandra - Southern California

ALEJANDRA, one of our Southern California scholars, is one of our top scholar athletes. Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader through a cooperating program called Project Hope, which recommends academically-promising children to Boys Hope Girls Hope. The family, recent immigrants from Guatemala, was in dire straits. Their living situation was precarious—finances were always a serious concern.

When Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader, she discovered not only a safe and secure home and a support system of people dedicated to helping her succeed. She also discovered rugby.

“I used to play football with my brothers, and I enjoyed it,” she says. “One of our residential counselors found out about it and thought maybe rugby would be something I’d like, and she got me into it.”

Alejandra joined the Fullerton Lady Lions, and fell in love with the sport. She joined a team with a winning tradition, as well. Last year, the Lady Lions were the number one girls’ rugby team in California, and were third in the nation. “I’m exhausted when I get home from practice,” she says. “It’s great being part of a team. I’ve met a lot of girls from all different schools and all different places. There’s a real family feel there.”

It’s not only on the rugby field where Alejandra excels, or where her competitive spirit comes out. She’s also on the Speech and Debate team, and her academic career has blossomed, too.

“She’s one of the most enthusiastic kids we have,” says staff. “She’s always reading—literally ten books a week. And she’s always trying to improve her grades, always seeking out help and trying to learn new things. Rugby has been great for her—it helps her work out her frustrations and clears her mind.”

She’s already researching which east coast colleges offer athletic scholarships to female rugby players.


 

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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.