Putting the "Generation" in Generation Hope

Our Scholar, Wendy, with her son and her Sponsor, Shannon.

Our Scholar, Wendy, with her son and her Sponsor, Shannon.

Here at Generation Hope, when we think about our mission, we often focus on the young parents that we serve—and with good reason, as most of our programming focuses on them. However, the very title of our organization suggests something more—we are about improving outcomes for two generations, both the parents and their children. Since last week was American Education Week, which celebrates public education and the essential role it plays in our society, it seems like a good opportunity to think about the effects of education and our program on the next generation.

Every time I meet with a Scholar, I am astounded by how involved she is with with child’s education. Whether it’s serving on the parent committee for Early Head Start, teaching their children to read even before they enter kindergarten, or fighting to get their kids into the best possible schools and preschools, our Scholars know how crucial it is for their kids to get a good education. What they don’t always give themselves credit for, however, is how much their own educational ambitions and accomplishments will affect their children. According to the National Institute of Health, maternal education plays a huge role in the educational outcome of a child—perhaps even eclipsing the role of socio-economic status. Indeed, research shows that parents’ educational level when their child is only eight years old significantly predicts educational and occupational success for the child forty years later (Eric F. Dubow, Paul Boxer, and L. Rowell Huesmann, 2009). So, as our Scholars come closer and closer to walking across the stage, degrees in hand, they are impacting their children in ways they might not even realize. I know that through their hard work and commitment to education for both themselves and their children, we can begin transforming the next generation, one family at a time.

-Caroline Griswold, Program Manager