The day I graduated from college as a teen mother, I felt three things. One, a tremendous sense of accomplishment, two, a realization that I needed a job, and three, an overwhelming desire to help other teen parents become college graduates too.
Generation Hope's Scholar Program is a rarity in the D.C. area and even across the United States. We recognized a critical need for college completion among young parents. For the past four years, Generation Hope has reached nearly 400 teen parents through our programming with the goal of getting them to and through college. In just this short time, we have confirmed what we already believed -- that teen parents have enormous potential and a resiliency to overcome daunting odds.
The stereotype of the teen parent doesn't exist at Generation Hope. Our Scholars come from all over the D.C. Metro area -- from the suburbs of Fairfax County to Southeast D.C. They are attending outstanding two and four-year colleges, such as Montgomery College and the George Mason University, and pursuing degrees in a variety of areas from nursing to cyber security. They share two commonalities -- a commitment to being the very best parent that they can be and a sincere desire to succeed.
I have no doubt that we are empowering the next generation of nurses, doctors, teachers, etc., that our community needs. They are also the role models that their children need, leaving footsteps to follow when it comes to their own academic success.
The highest Spring 2014 GPA in our program was a perfect 4.0 by Scholar Ericka Harley who graduated cum laude from Trinity Washington University in May while raising a daughter. She is evidence that teen parents are able to not only meet expectations but exceed them.
As long as we have the capacity to do so, Generation Hope plans to add a new class to the Scholar Program each year. We want every teen parent in the D.C. area who desires a college degree to have the opportunity to earn one.
We couldn't do this work without the amazing commitment and generosity of our Sponsors -- individuals, organizations, and companies that are directly investing in our Scholars. We thank them for their belief in our mission and in the potential of teen parents. We also thank the corporations, foundations and individuals who help support and sustain the Scholar Program. Without you, we couldn't do this innovative work.
Thank you for making a dream that I know God has placed on my heart -- and the many dreams of young parents in the D.C. area -- come true.
Nicole Lynn Lewis
Founder & CEO