We are always talking about how special the experience of being a Generation Hope Sponsor is—the value of this direct giving experience and the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the life of a young family. As our Sponsor recruitment period heats up, we realized that the best possible way to convey what it’s like to be a Generation Hope Sponsor is to hear from our Sponsors themselves. When we asked them to tell us about their experiences, a few main themes emerged.
1. Being a Sponsor is inspiring and rewarding
Our Sponsors consistently told us that they are inspired by their Scholars and feel that they have gained great personal satisfaction through the experience. Linda spoke powerfully about how Sponsoring encouraged her to become a stronger role model: “Knowing my support will assist in shaping a Scholar and her child's future is rewarding.” Kimberly explained what she has gained from the experience: “I am energized by her enthusiasm, by her determination to succeed, and by her drive to not let any obstacle get in her way… Most of all, I am proud to be her friend and biggest fan.” Sarah shared how amazed she is by her Scholar’s maturity: “I can only hope to give Jamie encouragement and advice that are as helpful to her as her insights are to me!” Trenace, our newest Sponsor, summed it up: “Becoming a Sponsor is one of the best decisions I have ever made…I feel more fortunate than the scholar I serve.” As it turns out, while Sponsoring means that you are giving an incredible gift of support, you also get a great deal in return!
2. The importance of the “generation”
Our Sponsors also emphasized the fact that when you become a Generation Hope Sponsor, you are investing not only in the success of an individual but in the success of a family. Valerie: “Have you seen the statistics on women's poverty, the affect on young children of toxic stress, and the impact of education on lifetime income? I know there is nothing more effective I can do for this world than help a woman be a great mom and build a foundation for economic security.” Sheila reminded us that “being a Generation Hope Sponsor is an opportunity to positively help shape the future of a young woman and her family.”
3. Sharing triumphs and progress as relationships grow
Sponsors told us that one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience has been watching their Scholar grow and learn to navigate challenges successfully. Kimberly told us, “I am thrilled and encouraged when she learns life's lessons by applying things we have talked about (challenges of being a young mother, of being in college and juggling moody professors, having automobile problems, and how to save money for the future).” Nakiya expressed her amazement at her Scholar’s growth and potential: “while enrolled in college (and doing very well in classes), she still manages to work two jobs and take care of her toddler. Ashley remains driven and confident in achieving her personal and academic goals.” Shannon expressed this point perfectly: “A lot of typical college freshmen don't get that excited when they score high on their math test or when they pass a class, but for my Scholar, these are big wins…I can empower her to keep trying, keep pushing herself, keep reaching for her goals.”
Finally, our Sponsors told us that the relationships they have gained through the program, not only with their Scholar but also with the entire Generation Hope family have been deeply meaningful. Ghana says it best: “The experience of being a Generation Hope Sponsor has been amazing… It has given me a new family, not in just my Scholar and her boys, but all of Generation Hope!” It takes a big heart and a special person to be a Sponsor, and we are so grateful that we have the best of the best in our program! We can’t wait to meet the rest of the individuals who will support our next class of Scholars. To apply, please visit www.supportgenerationhope.org/sponsor-application.
-Caroline, Program Manager