Community HOPE

Community HOPE is a YMCA program that provides a mentor for underprivileged youth. This program is recommending for all students who are willing to build a true relationship that will benefit a child’s life beyond a fun day at the YMCA. Photo used with permission of Emma Lewis.

Community HOPE is a program created by the YMCA for compassionate teens willing to give attention, assistance, and guidance to an underprivileged child. Through this program, students not only build relationships with their assigned student, but also demonstrate basic life skills that are not accessible in their current home situations.

Mentors who chose to commit to this program are responsible for attending trainings and meetings that will help develop a deeper understanding of how to make a change within the lives of the children and their communities.

As a mentor teens will meet with their students once a week for an hour throughout the traditional school year. During these one hour sessions, there will be activities and lessons planned by the directors for the mentor and mentee to participate in. These activities are designed to build strong relationships between students, and all other staff involved in Community HOPE.

Students will meet at the YMCA, help their student with any school work, and then proceed to participate in group activities. Through these activities, the mentor and mentee will build a relationship that grows stronger with each meeting. It is encouraged that the mentors make time for their child outside of the program through independent meetings.

Students are encouraged to participate in this program but only after thoroughly considering what this means.

While many students look for opportunities such as these simply to buff their college applications, service hours are the last priority through this program. Although it does provide a great opportunity for service hours, this program goes much deeper than donating one hour of time in a community center.

This program is described as “humbling” by some of the students who participate. These kids will begin to look to their mentors for advice regarding their lives, their personalities, their education and much more. The mentors will become a large part of the child’s life and someone they likely will not forget. To these kids, the one hour they spend with their mentor will be one of the best hours of their weeks. This is not just a volunteer program, it is a responsibility.

The mentor description provided by the YMCA says, “Community HOPE isn’t just a tutoring program. It’s a friendship– a bond between mentor and child.”

This statement embodies the goal of Community HOPE which is for the mentees to look to their mentors as positive role models and confidants throughout the course of the year. For the mentors, this an opportunity to build character and really make a difference in a child’s life.

If interested, email the director Josh Roulhac (Josh.Roulhac@YMCATriangle.Org), or visit the A.E. Finley YMCA for more information.


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