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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Alumni Spotlight
Meet a New Scholar
New Beginnings
Back to School Together
Upcoming Events
Evening of Hope
October 26th
The Palladium

Where Hope Lives Open House
November 5th, 4:30pm
Boys Hope
RSVP to:
Alumni Spotlight
(Class of 2007)
Current SUNY Masters Student

This summer Brijhette was awarded a competitive Graduate Internship with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, in Oakland, CA, where she worked over the summer on projects in concrete and seismic engineering, earthquake vulnerability analysis, and data visualization. 

"What I saw in Boys Hope Girls Hope was the chance to finally be around people in my age group who took education and learning seriously and who wanted to become agents of changeI now understand that in my old neighborhood, this is much easier said than done, for the burdens and hardships of poverty and crime make it difficult to see education's impact on the future...Boys Hope Girls Hope: they poured a lot of time and energy into ensuring that my potential and the potential of kids with similar backgrounds did not go to waste and did not get stolen.


Meet a New Scholar!

Most Excited For:
Basketball Try-Outs

2 Things She Wants to Do:
-Volunteer with Kids
-Take Part in House Activities

Wants to Be Known For:
Cheering People Up

Hopes For:
"I hope for good grades so I can go to college..."
Fall 2013 Newsletter

Meaningful relationships with diverse, intelligent, and inspiring people: that's one of the greatest blessings of being part of the Boys Hope Girls Hope family. The scholars are at the center - and they are truly amazing to know - but in their goodness, they attract wonderful staff, volunteers, and supporters who make possible the springboard to their success.  


I recently spoke to Nick Varuso, a BHGH graduate and the president of the alumni association (who is speaking at our Evening of Hope on Oct. 26!). The sky is the limit for him, and he is amazingly successful and generous. He said the difference between he and his three brothers, none of whom completed high school, is not talent, but the connection of support and challenge that was and is BHGH for him. 


This newsletter gives just a tiny glimpse into some of those difference-making people in our BHGH family. Enjoy!
New Beginnings


This fall we bid a fond farewell to our Residential Director, Shannon Damery, who was given the incredible opportunity to take part in a PhD program in Belgium. Her passion for our scholars and thoughtful presence will be dearly missed, and we wish her all the best. Shannon joins the ranks of Alumni Scholars Justice (Mizzou) and Arecia (UAPB), whom we are proud to be sending off to college this semester!



Name:  Joshua M. Walehwa

Education: The University of Iowa, BA/MA in Art Education and MA in Student Development in Postsecondary Education

Born: Uganda
Hometown: Garden Grove, CA
Children: Harold, 9th grade
Fun Fact: Josh has a twin brother, who works in law enforcement


The Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis family is also thrilled to be welcoming Joshua Walehwa as our new Program Director! Prior to his time at BHGH, Josh served as Director of Housing and Residence Life at Saint Louis University. He brings over 10 years of experience in residential settings through his career in higher education, and he has continued to teach in the k-12 arena in leadership development and studio art.


Josh believes in the transformative power of education. He experienced being a first generation college student while at the University of Iowa where earned BA and MA degrees in Art Education and an MA in Student Development in Postsecondary Education. It is these and other experiences he had growing up that fueled his passion for helping students succeed.


His experience in curriculum development, management, student support, and teaching will be essential as he transitions to overseeing our residential and Hope Prep staff. Josh is excited about the opportunity to contribute to a strong staff at Boys Hope Girls Hope.


In addition to Josh, we are excited to be able to introduce our two new board members!


Catherine Behnen 

Senior Director of Global Internal Audit

Sun Edison (formerly MEMC)


"...I believe education is the foundation for success. And while it is important to me that my children are hard-working students, some of my most proud moments as a parent are when they recognize their talents as an ability to give back to others. So Boys Hope Girls Hope embodies my core beliefs.  I have seen a glimpse of how the organization is changing lives."


Everett Johnson

Senior Director & Principal of Business Solutions Development 

Edward Jones


"My Passion is driven by the knowledge that Boys Hope Girls Hope is an organization that is in a unique position to positively alter the life trajectory of disadvantaged young people."
Back to School Together


Boys Hope Girls Hope is a community of families who all converge around the idea that sometimes we have to stretch beyond our smaller communities (just us and ours) and embrace a larger one, where we can gain more support to fulfill our dreams. 


At our recent back-to-school parent's meeting, we experienced our vision in action. Parents of established scholars sat down with new parents and shared encouragement and joy about how BHGH has impacted the lives of their children and their families.  One of our parents summed up her experience saying:


"I can't wait to get my other kids out here to the [Boys Hope] house just to hang out.  Just being here has a positive effect on their attitudes.  And every time I see my son who lives here, I can always see areas where he has grown and changed since the last time.  That means I don't have to worry about his well-being.  He has a future." 


 As we dive into the new school year, the Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis community has many things to celebrate:


  • Over the summer, we welcomed 5 new scholars into our family and look forward to all that Nautica, Shaun, Tylisha, Javon, and Reana have in front of them!
  • Hope Prep has taken on its third class and is now serving 41 Non-Residential Scholars. This marks the first year that Hope Prep can be taken as a for-credit class at McCluer South-Berkeley High School and now has its own classroom!
  • New AmeriCorps members Patrick Noonan and Victoria Ravenelle will be serving in the houses this year as Academic Success Corps members. We are so excited to have them both with us, and they are off to a fabulous start.
Back Pack, Back Pack! 
Summer Thank You Shout-Outs
To the TRG Group for generously providing new laptop-carrying backpacks for all of our Residential and Non-Residential scholars! Everyone had fun picking theirs out.

To the Manchester United Methodist Church Bike Rehab Ministry for donating a fleet of bicycles to both of our houses. The scholars love them!

To the Lowys and the Cahills for opening your homes to our scholars and staff to enjoy two fabulous pool parties! (Pictured in Header) 
To Joseph KempLuis Chang, and Brian Murphy for their excellent work on the Girls Hope Basement!


...These are pictures of hope, of a "village" that changes lives. Thank you for being part of our village. If you are ready for a new or expanded role, please pray about it and get in touch with us. You can make an truly lasting impact here!



Brian Hipp     
Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis
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Call: 314-692-7477

Mail To: 755 S New Ballas Road, Suite 120
             St. Louis, MO 63141