About Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois
One of 16 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois helps academically motivated high school students rise above disadvantaged backgrounds and become college-educated, career-ready, community-minded leaders.
Our goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life, breaking the cycle of poverty. BHGH of Illinois utilizes the following elements to achieve our mission:
- Academic excellence
- Service and community engagement
- Family-like settings to cultivate youth empowerment
- Long-term and comprehensive programming
- Faith-based values
- Voluntary participant commitment
Boys Hope Girls Hope firmly believes that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.
"We saw evidence of the powerful benefit of a safe environment and mentors who provide both structure and care. These young scholars are fortunate indeed to have the support of parents and the wise counsel of the program's advisors. Bravo, BHGH!"
Rebecca Sykes, President of The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Dinner Guest
To nurture and guide motivated young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready men and women for others.
Our vision is that our scholars reach their full potential and become healthy, productive life-long learners who:
Adapt to an ever-changing world | Thrive in the face of obstacles | Generate a positive ripple effect in their families, work places, and communities
We believe in the transformative power of education to develop lifelong learners using:
• Strengths-based, positive youth development approaches
• Practical preparation for careers to sustain one’s self and family
• Exposure to diverse opportunities that enrich one’s life and enhance learning
• Scholarship incentives encouraging and maximizing self-motivated learning
SERVICE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
We believe in the Jesuit-inspired, values-centered hallmark of building “persons for others” by:
• Developing character through service learning activities related to social justice and civic responsibility
• Educating those at every level of our organization in cultural competence
• Seeking collaborative partnerships to enhance our mission
FAMILY-LIKE SETTINGS TO CREATE A SENSE OF BELONGING
We believe youth derive their energy and sustenance from exposure to nurturing environments that provide:
• Inclusion in a loving community that meets youth where they are but sets high expectations
• A feeling of “being home,” with residential care as needed
• Strong and supportive developmental relationships with adult mentors and peers
• Stability, structure, and individualized guidance in small settings
• Modeling of positive values
LONG-TERM AND COMPREHENSIVE COMMITMENT
We believe an enduring relationship with youth holds the most promise for attaining positive outcomes by:
• Intervening early to support scholars from adolescence through college graduation and beyond
• Offering a holistic spectrum of programming that evolves with the age and needs of youth
• Providing ample opportunities for youth to develop social and emotional learning skills
We believe that a loving God cares about the life of every individual and we manifest this belief by:
• Respecting, serving and engaging people from all faith and non-faith traditions
• Focusing on those most in need of our services
• Fostering spirituality and an active spiritual life as essential elements of healthy personal development
• Helping youth develop a moral compass based on universal principles
VOLUNTARY PARTICIPANT COMMITMENT
We believe in the motivational power of self-selection into the BHGH program because:
• Parents and Scholars share a vision for a better future
• Scholars elect to invest in themselves and are empowered to join
• Families value and trust in a working partnership with BHGH
• BHGH serves bright, capable young people who are motivated to overcome obstacles to reach their potential
Our Local Impact
BHGH of Illinois History
Volunteer board developed and Jesuit Program for Living and Learning Incorporated in Illinois.
Home location identified, zoning approved by the City of Evanston, and home is purchased.
First house-parents hired and scholars enter the program.
First alumnus becomes college graduate.
From this year onward, all scholars who graduate from Boys Hope are accepted at 4-year colleges and universities.
Boys Hope awarded first Northwestern University Evans Scholarship.
Program mission altered to focus on leadership development model.
Board commits to Girls Home in Chicago.
Board authorizes name change and six months later first Girls Hope Scholars enter the program at a temporary facility.
Girls Hope permanent home opens in Evanston.
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Chicago Junior Board is founded
Began 2006-2007 school year with full houses and staff.
BHGH of Illinois achieves the highest GPA of any affiliate in the country.
First BHGH of Illinois Alumns joins the Junior Board.
Women’s Board Dinner Dance sets funding-raising record.
The Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois Board of Directors and staff leadership collaborate to ensure mission fidelity, financial stewardship and transparency. This team of professionals is committed to continuous learning, effective programming and improvement through impact evaluation and innovation.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Christopher T. Tarzon
RSM US LLP
Chapman and Cutler (retired)
Goldman Sachs & Co.
Daniel J. Baker
KeyBank Real Estate Capital
Segall Bryant & Hamill
Frontage Search Partners
Amy Ward/Christine Hjorth
Byrne, Byrne & Company
Sheffield Strategies, LLC
Alamar Capital Management
Reynolds Consumer Products
Bed Bath and Beyond
Wells Fargo & Co.
Summit Trail Advisors
Junior Board President
Junior Board Treasurer
McNabola Law Group, P.C
Catalyst Inno Institute
North Shore Country Day School
Boys Hope Girls Hope Network Headquarters
Clover Lane Patrons
Twin Brook Capital Partners
Sargent Family Foundation
Regina Dominican High School
Ernst & Young
Wedgewood Investment Group, LLC
Windy City Ventures
Katten Muchin Rosenman
John W. Amberg
Evanston Educational Consultants
William L. Bax
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, L.L.P.
J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Company
J. Jeffrey Geldermann
F. James Heider
Scott K. Heitmann
Wintrust Financial Corporation
Michael S. Meyers
William Blair (Retired)
J. Hobie Murnane
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Daniel J. O’Donovan
Metal Parts & Equipment Co.
Tracie M. Miller
Catherine R. Giella
Donna M. Agnew
Kimberly A. Baker
Suzette Y. Bernstein
Melissa T. Clary
Ana M. Couri
Kathy I. Hartsig
Martha I. Idler
Mary Ellen Jobczynski
Nahraine Jonie Stone
Lindsey M. Kilsdonk
Carroll C. King
Rita M. Maltezos
Rachael L. Mann
Beth A. Miles
Marguerite T. O’Rourke
Jennifer Downs O’Shaughnessy
Lisa M. Seymour
Holly A. Tamisiea
Lisa Faremouth Weber
Sheila C. Weimer
Maria E. Zacapa
Donna H. Zupancic
WOMEN'S BOARD SUSTAINING MEMBERS
Laura M. Ashley
Carol S. Bell
Susan K. Bordes
Iretta D. Brennan
Maureen K. Burke
Ellen G. Callahan
Barbara V. Davis
Susan J. Dunn
Kathleen T. Egan
Carol T. Fleming, O.P.
Judith M. Gurley
Vicki V. Hofstetter
Mimi Janian Lawless
Mary L. O’Sullivan
Nancy L. Sullivan
Barbara F. Vender
Sheila N. Whalen
Emily Therese Geiger-Medina
Larry Phillips, Jr.
Jack T. Wambach
The Need We Address
Prior to joining our program, our scholars’ circumstances include environmental barriers that make it difficult to concentrate on achieving their goals. The relationship between educational failure and poverty creates a vicious cycle that affects too many children in our communities and negatively impacts our entire society.
- Twenty-one percent of children in the US live in poverty (Census Bureau, 2014)
- Children born into poverty are six times more likely to drop out of school (Cities in Crisis, 2008).
- The longer a child lives in poverty, the lower their overall level of academic achievement (Guo and Harris, 2000).
- Children from families in the highest income quartile are 8 times as likely to earn a college degree that those from the lowest income quartile (Pell Institute and Penn Ahead, 2015).
- In 1980, college graduates earned 29% more than those without. By 2007, that gap grew to 66% (Baum & Ma, 2007).
- The costs to United States society are significant in terms of economic productivity, tax revenue, health care over-utilization, parental attention to children’s educational development, civic engagement, and volunteerism (Baum & Ma, 2007).
- According to CEOs for Cities, every one percentage point increase in adult four-year college degree attainment adds an additional $763 to per capita income per year (One Student at a Time, 2013).
- Cohen and Piquero (2009) monetized the cost to society over the course of a “negative outcome” child’s lifetime as follows: High School Dropout = $390,000 - $580,000, Plus Heavy Drug User = $846,000 – $1.1 Million, Plus Career Criminal = $3.2 - $5.8 Million.