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 jimstigman@hopeschool.org.

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!

For many people, summer is a season to relax and head to the lake. At Hope Academy, it’s a tipping point.

Much research shows that, while summer learning loss is common, it hits low-income students the hardest–compounding the academic achievement gap year after year.

That’s why Hope Academy requires 4 weeks of summer school for every student, K-8. And it’s making an impact.

Last year, Hope Academy 4th-6th graders made slight gains in math and reading from May to October, while national averages show students backsliding in both subjects.

In addition to more time on task in math and reading, summer school offers our students a rich variety of opportunities to grow through hands-on learning and exploration.

“Summer is an extra special time to enjoy fun things like field trips, more exploratory projects and focused learning modules in the classroom,” says 1st grade teacher Mrs. Look. “I love the extra time with the students!”

In short, summer school is a game-changer for our students.

Thank you to every teacher, parent, volunteer, and donor who helped to make this year’s summer school possible–and a special thanks to our partners at Inverted Arts, Junior Achievement BizTown, and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for their generous hand in its success.

 

 

 

Hats off to Hope Academy’s Class of 2018

There is an undeniable grace over the Class of 2018.

God has restored lives that appeared lost to gangs and drugs. He has softened hearts that seemed hardened beyond repair. For children the world calls fatherless, poor, and disadvantaged, He has cast a greater vision for a hopeful future.

“There is so much that we have learned as a class, but the one thing that God has shown us that no other being, idea, or person could show us better, is humility. This is how we should live, with humility, understanding first that God is in control of every situation, and enabling His plans to take control of our lives.”
– Kenneth Granados, Class of 2018

 

Kenneth Granados, ActSix recipient

 

Taron Busby, Summer Bridge recipient

 

While troubling opportunity gaps persist locally and nationally, praise God for enabling our students to beat the odds:

  • Kenneth Granados, a first-generation college student, received a four-year, full-tuition, full-need ActSix scholarship to attend the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
  • Taron Busby was awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Augsburg University through their Summer Bridge program.
  • Jose Castillo, a first-generation college student, received a highly-competitive, four-year, full-ride scholarship through QuestBridge to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Other graduates are pursuing employment, community and technical colleges, internships, missions, and four-year universities.

 

Thank you for your support in making hope happen. By God’s grace, it is making a life-changing difference for our students.

 

Praise God! College Students Receive Full-Rides

This month, Hope Academy students Jose Castillo, Tian Elder, and Kenneth Granados were each awarded full-tuition, full-need, four-year college scholarships through the Act Six program for emerging urban leaders.

 

Jose Castillo, Hope Academy Class of 2018, will attend the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (UNWSP) this fall. Jose is considering becoming a physician assistant (PA). “I want to use my money wisely and bless others like I’ve been blessed.”

 

God is doing amazing things in Tian Elder, Class of 2017, North Central University. Click to see what his teacher and mom say.


Kenneth Granados, Class of 2018, UNWSP. Kenneth is pursuing nursing and missions. “I’m nothing but grateful.”

 

Jose is the second in his family to receive this scholarship. His sister Shania, who graduated from Hope in 2015, is currently a junior at Northwestern.

“As Latinos raised by a single mom in an urban setting, the chances of both my sister and I going to college — let alone receiving full rides — was really small,” said Jose. “But God made it happen.”

These students are soon to join Hope Academy’s 81 graduates who together have received millions of dollars in college scholarships.

More importantly, though, I am so encouraged by the spiritual maturity and perseverance these young men demonstrate. To see our students seeking God in trade school, college, employment, and family gives me great hope.

On behalf of Jose, Tian, Kenneth, and their families, thank you to each person who has volunteered, prayed, and financially supported their flourishing at Hope Academy. You are making a world of difference.

With joy,


Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

 

Lemuel Haynes

People Spotlight – Lemuel Haynes

The following is an article based on the book, “Lemuel Haynes Biography,” by Pastor Luke Walker of Redeeming Cross Community Church in Minneapolis, MN:

It’s 1753 and our friend Olaudah Equiano is still a happy child in Africa. We’re in West Hartford, Connecticut, North American colonies. Jonathan Edwards is finishing his course, the free sons of Columbia are waxing warm against the Crown, and slavery and racism cast their shadow over much of American life. This was Lemuel Haynes’ world. He was born strategically in time, wedged as it were between these influences, pressed by them into a diamond-tipped iron stylus, and destined to inscribe HOLY TO THE LORD on the souls of men.

As to the spec sheets, Lemuel Haynes was a profoundly gifted preacher with wits of steel. He was the first African American pastor to be ordained by a North American denomination and was probably the first to pastor an all-white congregation. He was an American Revolutionary, Abolitionist, Calvinist, Puritan, and Federalist.

He was the Black Republican long before Nas and Jay-Z put their first rhymes together. He was the ebony Puritan centuries before the modern resurgence of Reformed Theology among urban hip hop heads. The woke memes your Facebook friends post have never mentioned him, and yet he was 200 years ahead of his time. He refuses to play nice with our neat little modern categories of race, politics, and religion. He was the American Black Puritan. He bled red, white, and blue and fought for an America to come. Take up and read for yourself and learn the true history and—would to God, were it possible even now—future of this nation.

But above all, Lemuel Haynes took up the sword of God’s word and swung it valiantly for the kingdom of Christ. He lands squarely on the right side of history. God’s mightiest servants all seem to have their glaring faults, and yet, we confess the struggle to find any scandal whatsoever in his life, other than the scandal his very existence was and still is to America’s hypocritical history. Soon, very soon, Lemuel Haynes will have his vindication from God. Will you join the rowdiest black preacher America has yet produced on the side of Christ? For his kingdom is swift in coming. He will right every wrong and bring every act into judgment.

“It was reliance on the merits of the Saviour that supported me. Had I a thousand souls, I would venture them on him.”Lemuel Haynes