WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
HOPE mentoring benefits not only the incarcerated youth but also the undergraduates who mentor. Mentors themselves sharpen their own employability skills as they help the youth. Furthermore, according to our mentors, HOPE makes them passionate about pursuing career paths related to juvenile justice and education.
To give an idea of how HOPE impacts the mentors, we've talked with some of those who have graduated to see where they are now.
Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility
After graduating from Hanover College in May, I decided to dedicate the next year to service before continuing higher education. I was accepted into the PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) program, which invites university graduates to partner with a Pittsburgh nonprofit for a year of service and leadership. I have been fortunate enough to partner with the Hockey Sticks Together Foundation as their Director of Program Development for the year, where I am doing outreach to grow their inner-city hockey program. HOPE ignited a passion in me to serve inner-city and underserved communities because all too often these populations are becoming incarcerated. HOPE transformed lives inside juvenile facilities and it showed me how much a difference just one person can make in someone's life, which is what I hope my work continues to do.
Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility,
New Castle Community Mentoring
After finishing my courses for my Masters degree in Special Education at Indiana University in May, I decided to move to Baltimore Maryland in order to pursue my passion to become a special education teacher for students in inner city communities. After interviewing at several schools, I chose to work as a special education teacher at an alternative program within Baltimore City Public Schools. The school is focused on transitioning over-age and under-credited middle school students to high school. Most of my students have emotional behavior disabilities, and they have all been put out of their local public school due to their behavior and/or poor attendance. My work as a mentor with HOPE has provided a strong foundation where I can apply the skills that I learned working with my mentees, in order to be a positive role model for students struggling to make ends meet in their inner city neighborhoods. HOPE is the organization that allowed me to pursue my interest in working with this population of students, and I am forever indebted to HOPE for opening the door to the first step of my long career in education.
Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility
After graduating from Indiana University in 2016 with degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice, I started a graduate program in Chicago furthering my education in psychology. I am currently a doctoral student studying clinical psychology with a concentration in forensics at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. As part of my clinical training, I was a diagnostic extern for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court at the adult probation building (Waukegan, Illinois) and juvenile detention center (Vernon Hills, Illinois). I evaluated both adult and juvenile offenders’ current level of functioning through interviewing and clinical assessment, provided diagnostic impressions, and identified necessary treatment recommendations. This year, I provide similar diagnostic services at the Illinois Youth Center (St. Charles, Illinois). I am also currently a therapy extern at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana where I provide therapeutic services to adult males in the Restrictive Housing Unit. My work as a HOPE mentor gave me the confidence to work with incarcerated individuals of all backgrounds. It taught me that there is more than meets the eye in a population that is misjudged and misunderstood far too often. Being a HOPE mentor helped open my eyes to the importance of being a positive role model while providing support in ways that the individual may have never been exposed to previously.