A stand-out program that is making a big impact in the lives of their students.
Program Name: Hope Center for Kids
Location: Omaha, NE, and Fremont, NE
Type of Program: After-school and summer program
Students Served: Urban students, ages 6-19
The Program: The Hope Center for Kids was founded by the late Reverend Ty Schenzel in 1998 as a vision to spread hope in the North Omaha, NE, community. Focusing on both learning and healthy development, the afterschool and summer programs provide students access to academic support, youth development, employment training, and hot meals. Now serving 2,700 students in two locations, the Hope Center for Kids relies on education, employability, collaboration, and faith – their four major tenets – to faithfully inspire hope in inner-city youth.
The Challenge: Many students who attend the Hope Center for Kids’ programs experience hopelessness due to the lack of meaningful relationships, generational poverty, the absence of real-life examples of a healthy future, and other factors. This hopelessness affects students’ ability to conduct healthy goal setting, build healthy relationships, and make healthy choices, which has a negative impact on their overall success in school, at home, and in life. The Hope Center for Kids strives to deliver programs designed to build intentional relationships and support academic success in order to improve students’ achievement, attendance, and school performance.
The Success: By focusing on creating a relationship-building culture and emphasizing family engagement, the Hope Center for Kids successfully changed the course for participating students. Building positive relationships with students and their families are crucial components to improving attendance and extending learning beyond the classroom. In a study on the impact of attendance longevity in afterschool on student performance, findings showed the positive relationships cultivated in the Hope Center for Kids’ programs led to higher achievement, better attendance, earned awards and an overall increase in growth, development, and hope. By empowering staff to foster positive relationships with students and engage families in the program, the organization achieved long-term attendance and produced desirable learning outcomes among its students.
Learn more about the Hope Center for Kids and how to support their mission.