Growing Hope Campaign Complete!

Dear Hope,

It began as a question four years ago: “How could we provide a remarkable, God-centered education to even more urban youth?

Our enrollment had topped 400, but we were running out of space. Many questions remained. Would financial Partners who already give so much give even more to make room for more students? Could we navigate the nuances of our old building, and build a new gym, even though we were land-locked?

Today we are celebrating the answer to all of those questions. It is a resounding “Yes, and amen!”

Through the joy-filled, above & beyond support of so many, God has provided 16 new classrooms, added student support spaces, an expanded cafeteria, and a new gymnasium.

We’ve also celebrated the launch of the Spreading Hope Network, a nationwide initiative to create 10 more Hope Academy-style schools around the country. The first school in Houston opened in 2018, and three more have opened now near Raleigh, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City.

What does this mean for urban youth?

  • Our enrollment has already grown by 125 students, and we’ll be able to serve an additional 150 students in the coming years.
  • Students are receiving more robust training in the sciences due to expanded science facilities.
  • We’ll be able to grow our students’ appreciation for beauty, music, and art with the addition of designated art and music rooms for both our upper and lower schools.
  • Students struggling academically and emotionally can receive one-on-one tutoring and support to help them be successful in the classroom.
  • We’ll be able to deepen the sense of community among student and families through sufficient gym seating for basketball games.
  • Expanded recess and physical education space will ensure that our urban students are exercising both their minds and bodies, and developing critical team-building skills.
  • Lunch time will be more efficient and organized with the addition of a second serving line and added seating capacity.
  • And thousands more inner city children will have access to a Christ-centered education around the country.

Praise God for each prayer warrior, student, and the 141 donors who together contributed $9.4 million to make hope in God come to life for more children in our city, and beyond.

With great joy,

Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

Why Parents Matter

Dear Hope,

Simply put, parents are the most important teachers in a child’s life. But not every parent has had healthy role models of their own.

That’s why we go to great lengths to equip, encourage, and build true friendships with our parents–from home visits, to parenting workshops, to teacher/parent communication and more.

Click below to hear why one of our parents loves this.

With joy,

Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

I Didn’t Think They’d Accept Me Back

Dear Hope,

Have you ever been humbled by a second chance?

Andrew was on a path to destruction–until God’s grace intercepted him. Click below to hear Andrew share how his teachers’ love and grace changed his life.

With joy,



Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

90 Second Stories: Where’s Hope When Life’s Hard?

Life is hard for our students. Sometimes unimaginably so. The stress of fatherlessness, homelessness, poverty and trauma mounts quickly for some.
That’s why the best thing we can do is to be present, and to teach our students how to grapple with life when it’s tough.
Click below to hear how “Mr. G” helps our students find strength in pain, and how they’ve helped him do the same:
The more hardship I see, the more grateful I become that God truly is a refuge for our staff and the families we serve, even in the most excruciating of times.
Thank you for praying for us, and providing an extra layer of support when times are tough.
In hope,
Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

7 simple ways you can help this Christmas!

Dear Hope,

Each December, I’m overwhelmed by the kindness that pours into our Hope Academy community: presents for families, winter wear for students, generous year-end gifts. Proof that it’s more blessed to give than receive!

If you’re looking for ways to be blessed, and be a blessing this Christmas, here are 7 simple options:

1. Give a book

Each Christmas, every child at Hope receives a gift-wrapped set of books to take home and enjoy, to encourage literacy and foster a love of learning.

$25/book, $500/class.

2. Read a book

Come to our Christmas Book Giveaway Tuesday, December 18th to enjoy a brief program, then deliver and read books with students. One of the most joyful events of the year!

3. Give a day

Each year, we trust the Lord to provide for the financial needs of our students — including someone to sponsor each day of Kindergarten!

$625 sponsors one day for one class.
119 days left!

4. Pray for Hope

Please pray with us.

So often, we are reminded that only God can heal wounds, change hearts, unite families, strengthen the weary, heal the sick, open the floodgates of provision, and provide divine wisdom. We are daily in need of God’s grace.

5. Give a year

Almost every child at Hope Academy needs a financial Partner to be here — someone who will make a generous gift to help offset the cost per student.

19 students still need a Partner this school year ($3,625/half, $7,250/full).

6. Tell a friend

Spread the word!

If you’re like most of our supporters, you found out about Hope Academy through a friend. Share your favorite video on Facebook, invite a friend to a tour, or contact us to set up a visit.

7. Bless a teacher

Our teachers are the most selfless people I know, pouring themselves out on behalf of their students.

This Christmas, send a note of encouragement to a teacher, or email us about other ways to bless.

In a season that can so easily by dominated by consumerism, may you experience the deep and lasting joy of giving this Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who is making hope happen!

With a grateful heart,

Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

Giving Stock? Get Double Benefits.

Did you know that giving appreciated stock can save you money on taxes, and allow you to give more? Click to learn how.

If you’d like to give a gift through a stock transfer, contact Jim Stigman at 612-540-2016 or

A good time for good news.

Do you ever feel like bad news is increasing at an exponential rate?

Today, I want to share 7 happy headlines from Hope Academy that I think we can all celebrate (click here for the full report):

1. Breaking down barriers

Regardless of income, family composition, ethnicity, or zip code, Hope Academy is increasing access for low-income, urban youth to a remarkable, Christ-centered education.

2. Addressing the heart of the matter

At Hope Academy, we teach to the heart, as well as the head. “The thing I like best about Hope Academy is our teachers and how much they care about us,” said one student.

3. Transforming lives

“I”m not the same person I was two or three years ago, and that’s all because of God and because of my teachers,” shared Andrew (far right).

4. Strengthening urban families

“Coming from a Hispanic background with a single-parent home and a low-income family, there’s a lot of challenges that we face. I believe that God has totally flipped the story around; both my sister and I were awarded full-ride scholarships,” said Jose, Class of 2018.

5. Beating the odds

By God’s grace, we are seeing incredible results. In 2018, our students scored higher than ever on standardized tests in math and reading. 95% of seniors graduated on time, and 94% of all graduates have been accepted to 2- and 4-year colleges–many on full scholarships.

6. Grads giving back

One of our greatest joys is to see our graduates working for justice, economic opportunity, hope for the family, and joy in the community. Graduates are already leading and serving their communities, at Hope and abroad.

Praise God for his incredible faithfulness, and for each teacher, donor, volunteer, and prayer warrior who has made these things possible.

We are still trusting the Lord to provide supporters for 26 of our students this school year. Click to see how you can get in on the joy!

With a grateful heart,

Russ Gregg

Co-Founder & Head of School

We’re Growing!

Hard hats are back at Hope–an exciting reminder that, “We’re growing!”

Click below for a brief Growing Hope update:

With 500 students this year, there are many ways to get in on the joy! Learn more about the Growing Hope Campaign, and how you can give, serve, or spread the word.

With great anticipation,

Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

Join Us for a Growing Hope Tour!

Each month, we invite people in for a glimpse of the remarkable things God’s doing in our community, through Hope.

The number one response from visitors? “I wish I would have known about this sooner!” That’s why we invite you to invite your friends, and help us to get the word out.

Click to see our 18-19 Growing Hope Tour dates, and RSVP for you and a friend. We look forward to welcoming you!

Want change?

Right now, African American, Hispanic, and Native American children in Minneapolis have less than a 60% chance of graduating from high school on time.

That makes my heart break.

The good news is, we can all do something about that. But like all love, it will mean sacrifice.

C.S. Lewis said: “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.”

Friends, there is no greater joy than investing in the life of another person–especially a child.

I don’t know what God might be calling you to, but I know there is no better advice than to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Mt. 6:20), and why not start now?

May God give you faith today to love your neighbor, whatever the price may be. I guarantee it will be worth it.


Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School


Growing Hope Update–Student Funding Top Priority

Last month, I shared that we’ve hit the homestretch of the Growing Hope Capital Campaign to serve 700 students in Minneapolis, and help plant 10 Hope Academy-style schools nationwide.

And while we are thrilled to Grow and Spread Hope, our number one priority is to faithfully serve the students God has currently entrusted to our care.

Here’s a quick update:
  • 500students are receiving a remarkable, God-centered education at Hope Academy this school year. Praise God!
  • 10 people have already signed up to financially Partner with a student, and we’re trusting God for 35 more.
  • 3 classes of Kindergarten need Day Sponsors – 180 each.
  • Spreading Hope’s first school plant, Harbor Christian Academy in Houston, TX, welcomed 3 classes of students today!
  • Through you, God has provided $7.15 million to Grow Hope in Minneapolis, and $1 million to Spread Hope nationally.
  • We’re seeking an additional $1.4 million in above-and-beyond giving by August 2019 to finalize our expansion and make room for more students.
Praise God for his provision now, and in the year to come!


Click to Give Hope


Click to See Hope


Click to Volunteer!

We’ve never done this before

Welcome to the start of a BIG year at Hope Academy.

It’s a joyful day as we welcome nearly 500 students with big smiles and open arms — each child reminding me just how much God loves the youth of our city.

It’s also a year unlike any we’ve seen. By God’s grace, we’re embarking on the final push of the Growing Hope Capital Campaign to serve 700 students in Minneapolis, and help kick-start 10 new schools nationwide.

What does that mean?

More students than ever

35 of whom still need financial Partners, and 3 classes of Kindergarten who each need 180 Day Sponsors.

Learn more.

Hard hats are back!

Phase II of Growing Hope construction will soon begin on a new gym, classrooms, expanded cafeteria, and family ministry space.

Learn more.

Houston, we have take off.
Spreading Hope’s first school plant, Harbor Christian Academy in Houston, TX, opens Sept. 4!

Learn more.

We’re running on grace.

We’re acutely aware of our need for God’s grace each day as we seek to love our students more deeply, be flexible with major construction, and extend grace to one other.

Stay tuned for updates, and ways you can link arms with us in giving, serving, and praying to grow Hope for our city, and beyond.

Volunteers Wanted!


Come Visit!

90-Second Stories: We all need a push

When I see graduates like Nate coming back to mentor younger students, it makes my heart sing.

Nate is a young man who entered Hope Academy like most middle schoolers: not quite sure of who he could be. Through the deep care of teachers, classmates and mentors, God is developing Nate’s potential as a leader–and opening his eyes to a whole new world of opportunities in the trades.

Isn’t that what we all need–a community of people to call out and cultivate the best in us? I can think of few investments more rewarding than that.

Soon we’ll be welcoming 500 students whose lives are in the balance, and whose futures are still being written. Would you consider how you might put your arm around one student like Nate this school year?

We’re excited and expectant to see how the Lord will provide prayer warriors, volunteers, and financial partners for our students this school year. Don’t miss out on the joy!

Volunteers Wanted!


Come Visit!