BHGH is an international program. Where are the other locations? Boys Hope Girls Hope serves children in 40 homes in 15 U.S. cities (San Francisco, Orange County (L.A.), Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New York) and 4 Latin American countries (Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and Peru).
How many children are in the Baltimore program? BHGH Baltimore is responsible for the care of 8 boys and 8 girls who we refer to as scholars (because they are!). The boys live in the Boys House and the girls live a few doors down in the Girls House.
Where do you get your funding? As a non-profit 501(c)3 we must raise every penny. We rely on the generosity of foundations, corporations, events and individuals LIKE YOU! Because our scholars attend private middle and high schools, we rely on our academic partnerships with these schools for financial aid and academic scholarship. The same goes for our academic partnerships with colleges and universities for our collegians (these are former scholars who are now in college!).
What % of your budget goes to direct service? Overhead? Currently Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore spends 80% on direct service to kids, 10% in administrative costs and 10% on development.
Who serves on your Board of Directors? Our Board of Directors is comprised of prominent and influential community stakeholders. They are charged with the fiduciary responsibilities of our organization. PLUS 100% of our board makes an annual philanthropic gift to BHGH Baltimore. Our Advisory Board is made up of the former chairs of the BHGH Baltimore Board.
How do you identify the children-in-need? Children are identified through a combined effort; local educators, school administrators, social workers, pediatricians and psychologists along with a few stakeholder members of the community. We engage the Baltimore City public schools and social service agencies, educating them on the type of children we serve.
What’s the application process like? Since our program is fully elective, both the potential scholar and the parent/guardian must WANT to apply. We are very straightforward as we explain that BHGH Baltimore is rigorous, elite, structured, and academic. First, a personal interview is arranged between the referral agent, the Program Director of BHGH Baltimore, the potential scholar and their family. A lengthy and detailed application is filled out and submitted along with academic and immunization records and letters to the Board requesting consideration. Soon after psychological and academic testing is arranged and administered. Next are several visits by the potential scholar and family to the houses. If the potential scholar makes it this far, the Program Committee of the Board of Directors will then determine acceptance into the program.
That sounds like a lengthy process! Here at BHGH Baltimore, we’re in it for the long haul. We expect a lot from our scholars, and they expect a lot from us. Our program is fully elective, meaning both the scholar and the parent/guardian must agree and commit to participate. It’s imperative that the scholar and BHGH Baltimore are a good fit. We want our scholars to succeed! The last thing we would ever want is to set them up for failure.
Can you describe what a potential scholar “looks” like? A potential scholar:
- Should be between the ages of 10 and 14 at the time of admission. Older students will be considered based on academic record and a desire to participate.
- Must have the academic potential to succeed in a college-preparatory program.
- Comes from an unstable home environment, where it’s clear that they will benefit from a long-term, value-centered, nurturing residential setting.
- Does not exhibit serious emotional/behavioral problems and does not have severe learning disabilities. Is not a user of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Has the ability to relate positively to others in a group setting.
- Understands and accepts the expectations of BHGH Baltimore and chooses to become a BHGH Baltimore participant.
- Has a family or guardian that is supportive of the child’s participation in the program
What do scholars do during the summer? The Summer Program at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore focuses on preparation for college through the College Road: College Preparation and Success Program. A combination of Boys Hope Girls Hope coordinated programs and other summer camps along with employment provide the framework that will allow our scholars to explore their personal interest (sports, theater, music, science, outdoors, etc) while gaining the experience of being on college campuses and developing the skills to be independent, yet successful upon time for college. The Summer Program also provides an extensive amount of exposure to college campuses through College Visits by the high school aged scholars. The Baltimore program requires 5 college visits each year of high school as a means of determining what is the best college to attend when the time comes. We focus on geographic location of the school, size, diversity, curriculum, costs and potential for acceptance as areas to focus on in assessing the right place to attend college
Have you experienced positive results? Since 2002, 100% of the scholars who have completed our program have graduated from college, or are currently matriculated collegians. Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore’s first graduating class finished college in May of 2012! The 1st Master’s Degree was awarded in 2013! Our Collegians have attended: Boston College, Haverford College, Loyola University of Maryland, Frostburg University, William and Mary College, and Morgan State University, McDaniel, and UMBC.