What difference does God’s love make?

His love gives us a new perspective.

Every child at Hope Academy learns our school’s creed, which proclaims: “I am created in the image of God, and he loves me–beyond my imagination.” As students and teachers recite these priceless truths, we learn to see ourselves and each other from God’s perspective.

His love gives us courage.

In Hope’s creed, we also learn that, “God calls me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ…to not do harm against another, but to love and encourage others, and to serve my community. For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Our staff, families, and partners have done this in beautiful, heroic, myriad ways, fueled by God’s life-changing love.

His love fills us with hope.

As we’ve faced the many stresses of this year, my spirits have been lifted remembering, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us” (Romans 5:3-5). Amen!

May you be encouraged and filled with the love of Christ today.
Let Hope Arise

How School’s Going this Year

While this has undoubtedly been the most challenging school year we’ve faced, we’re also seeing God do some extraordinary things at Hope Academy.
Be encouraged as you watch this mid-year update:





By God’s grace, your prayers and support are enabling us to provide the love, structure, and learning that children so desperately need right now. Thank you for investing in the youth of our city.

3 million missing from school | The difference you’re making.

With up to three million children missing from school nationwide, we’re extra grateful for 14 weeks (and counting!) of mostly in-person learning, and the stability and normalcy it’s brought to our students and families. Here are just a few ways we’ve seen God at work through your prayers and support:

  • 545 urban children are receiving a remarkable, God-centered education at Hope Academy.
  • Students are actively engaged in their classes, with 95% attendance.
  • Each child has a technology device and safe access to their schoolwork.
  • 97% of parents completed their parent-teacher conferences.
  • Hundreds of parents were equipped at Parent Involvement Day. Workshops covered topics like: helping children cope with trauma, communicating effectively with teens, and staying mentally and physically healthy during winter.

 

  • Staff have distributed $32,000 in Crisis Relief Funds to families and connected them to other resources in the community.
  • We’ve added a second school social worker to help families with the immense challenges of this year.
  • Students and families are being blessed with new books, gifts to open on Christmas, and a special holiday meal to enjoy.

In this especially challenging year, you are helping to make Hope possible for hundreds of children and families in Minneapolis. We thank God for you and pray this season brings you more joy in Him.

Update from Hope Academy in Week 8!

Dear Hope,

We’re thanking God to be in week 8 of this school year, and wanted to share an update. Though it has been by far the most challenging and complex school year, we praise God that we’re able to continue caring for the majority of students in-person (about 70%), as well as providing online schooling for those who need it (about 30%).

Even with face masks, desk dividers, and new protocols, children know they are loved, and are adapting to this year’s new normal. Students are happy to see their teachers and friends again, and flourish with structure and routine.

Last week, teachers did a virtual “home visit” with each family in their class, connecting, encouraging, and praying for one another. Next Saturday, we’ll host a virtual Parent Involvement Day, providing a variety of workshops parents can choose for their growth and equipping.

This fall, we’re also grateful to have launched initial HopeTech courses in woodworking, coding, robotics, and more. This is part of a broader initiative to better prepare students for the future of work by exposing them to the trades and technology, in addition to their classical coursework.In all of this, we praise God that He is our Rock, our Refuge, and our Hope in times of trouble. As the world continues to swirl around us, He is constant, eternal, and unchanging. If you are praying, giving, or otherwise supporting our community in this time, thank you. You are making a world of difference for children and families in our city. If you’d like to learn more or get involved in these ways, please see the links below.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love, and Christ’s perseverance.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Let Hope Arise,


Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School

Students are back! Photos & updates from the first day of school

It’s a first day of school like no other!

Teachers, balloons, music, and even our mascot gave a warm and energetic “Welcome back!” to students who returned today for the first time since March.

This fall, Hope Academy is grateful to provide both online and in-person schooling options to serve the unique needs of our families (details here).

Our plan prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff, and addresses the educational, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of our students. We’re thrilled to have most students returning in-person!

As we’ve all felt in different ways, this year is anything but easy. But the most important things in life come at a cost. C.S. Lewis said:

“There are always plenty of rivals to our work…If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come… We must do the best we can.”

With firm hope in our faithful God, the Hope Academy community will persevere amid the current adversity and do all within our power to help all our children continue “to grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

Your prayers and support are vital as we proceed with caution this fall. Thanks for your partnership in loving the children of our city, who this year have been through so much.

Introducing a new way to “see” Hope! Invite your friends!

Education in Minneapolis consistently ranks at the bottom nationally for our children of color. We want more people to hear how Hope Academy is changing that story for hundreds of youth in our city. Will you help?

Next week, we’re rolling out our first Pursuing Remarkable Experience: The Hope Academy Story. It’s a one-hour Zoom experience where we unpack the urban education crisis, explain how Hope Academy is offering a proven solution, and share how it is impacting our city, one life at a time.

Who do you know who hasn’t visited Hope? How about you–have you seen Hope Academy for yourself?

Invite your friends! Click for details, and to register.

Each event is limited to 20 people. Private events available on request.

Please make check out to “Hope Academy”, and mail to:

Hope Academy
Office of Development
2300 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

 

•  Spread out your giving and reduce your mail.

•  Your regular contributions can be automatically debited from your bank account or credit card. If you change your mind, just give us a call to change or cancel your recurring gift.

•  On our online gift form, under “Type of Donation” select  “Recurring Donation.”

•  Click here to make a recurring gift.

Giving appreciated stock can save you money on taxes, and allow you to give more (click to see how)!

If you’d like to give a gift through a stock transfer, here is the info you’ll need:

•  Charles Schwab, “Hope Academy”, Account #7619-2343(DTC # is –0164)

•  After you’ve transferred the stock, contact Sara Neterer at saraneterer@hopeschool.org or 612-540-2093, and we will sell the stock immediately.

•  If Sara is unavailable, you may also contact Denise Heskin at 612-540-2067.

•  Memorial giving to the youth of the city is a meaningful way to help remember the legacy of a beloved person.

•  We also deeply appreciate those who encourage gifts to Hope Academy in honor of a person or an event, such as a wedding.

•  Contact Jim Stigman or Jamie Olson in the Office of Development to let them know the details.

•  Gifts in honor or in memory can be designated using our on-line giving form as well.

 

Please contact your employer to see if they offer a matching gift program. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and a fully accredited K-12 school, and are eligible for nearly all matching gift programs.

 

In-Kind Gifts & Donations

We typically welcome donations of books, office furniture, or school supplies. If you have an idea of something to donate, please contact Denise Heskin.

Highly Appreciated Assets

Gifting appreciated assets, such as real estate, personal property, businesses, or publicly traded securities, can financially benefit you and Hope. Contact Jim Stigman, or our friends at the National Christian Foundation, to how you can avoid taxes and give more.

Planned Giving

Save taxes and give smarter through various planned giving options. Click to learn more.

Endowed Giving

Fund Hope in God for generations to come by giving to our Free & Faithful Legacy Fund. Click to learn more.

Amazon Smile

Hope gets .5% of all eligible purchases made through the Amazon Smile program. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and search for “Hope Academy”. Return to smile.amazon.com for all your future Amazon purchases.

 

Hope for the Future: Introducing the Class of 2020

God has used your love, prayers, and incredible investments in our seniors to get them to a momentous occasion: high school graduation!

As we celebrate each graduate, we are humbled to consider how much has been invested in his or her growth at Hope Academy. Each student has had priceless truths planted in their hearts, been touched by the love of God in Christian community, and had their minds stretched, grown, and sharpened.

Join us in praising God for:

  • 100% graduation rate, in a city with some of the worst non-white graduation rates in the country.
  • Graduates who are serving and investing in our community.
  • Seniors who’ve been awarded full-ride college scholarships, are pursuing trade school, further education and gainful employment.
  • Young men and women who are growing in faith and virtue.

I thought you’d be particularly encouraged to hear from one of our seniors, Makayla. Here’s a piece she wrote and performed about God’s faithfulness:

To each person who has prayed for, encouraged, and invested in our seniors: thank you. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Please make check out to “Hope Academy”, and mail to:

Hope Academy
Office of Development
2300 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

 

•  Spread out your giving and reduce your mail.

•  Your regular contributions can be automatically debited from your bank account or credit card. If you change your mind, just give us a call to change or cancel your recurring gift.

•  On our online gift form, under “Type of Donation” select  “Recurring Donation.”

•  Click here to make a recurring gift.

Giving appreciated stock can save you money on taxes, and allow you to give more (click to see how)!

If you’d like to give a gift through a stock transfer, here is the info you’ll need:

•  Charles Schwab, “Hope Academy”, Account #7619-2343(DTC # is –0164)

•  After you’ve transferred the stock, contact Sara Neterer at saraneterer@hopeschool.org or 612-540-2093, and we will sell the stock immediately.

•  If Sara is unavailable, you may also contact Denise Heskin at 612-540-2067.

•  Memorial giving to the youth of the city is a meaningful way to help remember the legacy of a beloved person.

•  We also deeply appreciate those who encourage gifts to Hope Academy in honor of a person or an event, such as a wedding.

•  Contact Jim Stigman or Jamie Olson in the Office of Development to let them know the details.

•  Gifts in honor or in memory can be designated using our on-line giving form as well.

 

Please contact your employer to see if they offer a matching gift program. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and a fully accredited K-12 school, and are eligible for nearly all matching gift programs.

 

In-Kind Gifts & Donations

We typically welcome donations of books, office furniture, or school supplies. If you have an idea of something to donate, please contact Denise Heskin.

Highly Appreciated Assets

Gifting appreciated assets, such as real estate, personal property, businesses, or publicly traded securities, can financially benefit you and Hope. Contact Jim Stigman, or our friends at the National Christian Foundation, to how you can avoid taxes and give more.

Planned Giving

Save taxes and give smarter through various planned giving options. Click to learn more.

Endowed Giving

Fund Hope in God for generations to come by giving to our Free & Faithful Legacy Fund. Click to learn more.

Amazon Smile

Hope gets .5% of all eligible purchases made through the Amazon Smile program. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and search for “Hope Academy”. Return to smile.amazon.com for all your future Amazon purchases.

 

students pictured with Minneapolis downtown background

Education is the Great Equalizer of Systemic Injustice

Where is the front line of the civil rights movement in 2020

Housing disparities, income gaps, policing and incarceration rates, healthcare inequities–the systemic injustices of our day are deep and complex. But what is at the heart of these issues

Education. Education is the fulcrum that can change these disparities. But not just any education. If you want to impact a community for the long run, do it through an Imago Dei education: the formation of both heart and mind (more on that here).

Believing all children are made in the image of God and capable of great things, Hope Academy seeks to unleash kingdom citizens who work for justice, economic opportunity, racial harmony, hope for the family, and joy in the community. And that gives me hope.

Education in Minneapolis is still worst in the nation for our children of color. We believe that a remarkable, God-centered education has the power to right that wrong. There has never been a more critical time for Hope.

Here are just a few ways to give, as together we work for justice, economic opportunity, racial harmony, hope for the family, and joy in the community.

Please make check out to “Hope Academy”, and mail to:

Hope Academy
Office of Development
2300 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

 

•  Spread out your giving and reduce your mail.

•  Your regular contributions can be automatically debited from your bank account or credit card. If you change your mind, just give us a call to change or cancel your recurring gift.

•  On our online gift form, under “Type of Donation” select  “Recurring Donation.”

•  Click here to make a recurring gift. (Scroll to the second half of the giving form labeled “Give a Monthly Recurring Gift”).

Giving appreciated stock can save you money on taxes, and allow you to give more (click to see how)!

If you’d like to give a gift through a stock transfer, here is the info you’ll need:

•  Charles Schwab, “Hope Academy”, Account #7619-2343(DTC # is –0164)

•  After you’ve transferred the stock, contact Sara Neterer at saraneterer@hopeschool.org or 612-540-2093, and we will sell the stock immediately.

•  If Sara is unavailable, you may also contact Denise Heskin at 612-540-2067.

•  Memorial giving to the youth of the city is a meaningful way to help remember the legacy of a beloved person.

•  We also deeply appreciate those who encourage gifts to Hope Academy in honor of a person or an event, such as a wedding.

•  Contact Jim Stigman or Jamie Olson in the Office of Development to let them know the details.

•  Gifts in honor or in memory can be designated using our online giving form as well.

Please contact your employer to see if they offer a matching gift program. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and a fully accredited K-12 school, and are eligible for nearly all matching gift programs.

 

In-Kind Gifts & Donations

We typically welcome donations of books, office furniture, or school supplies. If you have an idea of something to donate, please contact Nick Frost.

Highly Appreciated Assets

Gifting appreciated assets, such as real estate, personal property, businesses, or publicly traded securities, can financially benefit you and Hope. Contact Jim Stigman, or our friends at the National Christian Foundation, to how you can avoid taxes and give more.

Planned Giving

Save taxes and give smarter through various planned giving options. Click to learn more.

Endowed Giving

Fund Hope in God for generations to come by giving to our Free & Faithful Legacy Fund. Click to learn more.

Amazon Smile

Hope gets .5% of all eligible purchases made through the Amazon Smile program. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and search for “Hope Academy”. Return to smile.amazon.com for all your future Amazon purchases.

A Letter From Russ Gregg, Head of School

Dear Hope Academy Friends,

If you are reading this letter, you are a beloved member of the Hope Academy community. And whether you are a parent, a staff member, a student, volunteer, or a financial partner   in this pivotal moment in the life of our city, we are all in need of the healing power of God.

The last few weeks have been devastating, and I have grieved with the families of our city. My heart has been torn apart by the murder of George Floyd by officers sworn to protect and serve him. I will never forget watching George’s anguished plea for his life under the officer’s knee, and his repeated cry, “I can’t breathe.”

 

Most of all, I mourn my own sins of prejudice and racism, and my own contributions to George Floyd’s death. I lament my complicity of silence over previous unjust violence towards my neighbors of color, and my misplaced hope that things were improving. As Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

As I’ve sat with our families in the ruins and grieved with them, and prayed and protested for life with them, I am determined to do four things:

    1. I’m Determined to Look.
      I’ve forced myself to watch the horrific 8 minutes and 46 seconds recording of George Floyd’s death, and I am devastated by the defacing of the image of God in a fellow human being. I have visited the 38th memorial site to look upon the pain and anguish of my brothers and sisters.
    2. I’m Determined to Listen.
      Scripture commands us to be slow to speak and quick to listen. I have listened to my fellow African-American spiritual leaders pour out the pain in their hearts over this tragedy. I’ve heard their anger over the silence and indifference of their white brothers. I’ve listened to our parents question the safety of their children. I’ve heard their cries for justice, and pleas for change. I’ve heard the dignifying request of a black man in our city: “I simply want to be able to walk outside my home and not be afraid that I’m going to be attacked by police or die.”
    3. I am Determined to Lament.
      Scripture calls us to mourn with those who mourn. I am on guard against the temptation to move on from this uncomfortable feeling too quickly. The Lord accused the false prophets, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace” (Jer. 8:11). Lament and grief are uncomfortable. Self-examination is painful. It takes time for lament to do its righteous work in the heart.
    4. I am Determined to Lead.
      I believe this is a pivotal moment in my life. In many ways, this is the moment of a lifetime. And what I must do in this defining moment is lead with grace, humility and courage.

Why is this a pivotal moment in the life of Hope Academy?

    1. Only those holding to the creation narrative will be able to see and treasure the image of God stamped on every human being. Seeing one another as highly evolved and sophisticated bags of chemicals will be woefully insufficient to change the prejudice of our hearts. What has outraged our city is the defacing of the image of God in the murder of George Floyd. We who are believers in the creation story must lead the way in hallowing the image of God in all people.
    2. Only those holding to the hope of forgiveness in Christ will also be able to lead in the confession and repentance that is necessary for true reconciliation. Repentance is our true hope. Sin will not win if we repent of it. Ultimately, justice and righteousness will triumph under the redemptive leadership of the Messiah through his followers.
    3. The followers of Jesus have the blood bought hope of reconciliation and the unifying Spirit of God within each of us. Jesus’ death has made us into one new humanity. We are, therefore, Christ’s ambassadors and are compelled to live as agents of biblical reconciliation.
    4. Our mission at Hope Academy is primarily a formational work—a work of forming youth into the character of Christ. We are preparing the next generation of future leaders for just such a time as this. And we, the ones training our students, must continually be re-formed into his image.

How will Hope Academy lead in these days?

    1. We will lead in repentance. We will examine our hearts regularly for the stain of prejudice and arrogance and the love of the approval of men.
    2. We will lead in practicing humility. We will spend more time listening to one aother so that we will not be held captive to the lie of a single story.
    3. We will lead in inviting more Christ-centered, culturally diverse voices into our planning and leadership work.
    4. We will lead by applying the Scriptures faithfully in doing the courageous, kingdom-building work of cultural harmony.
    5. We will lead in taking more risks. Our school is a laboratory of reconciliation and hope. We will experiment, sometimes fail, and then we will try and try and try again to live out the hope arising from the love of God and the reconciling work of Christ.
    6. We will lead by continuing the difficult and necessary work of closing the achievement gap for children of color—whatever the cost. Educational inequity in our city is biblical injustice and grieves the heart of our Lord.
    7. Most importantly, we will lead in demonstrating the forgiveness of Christ. Forgiveness will be the foundation of all the work we will do together to rebuild our community.

As one of our Hope Academy Board Members, Dr. Donna Harris recently said, “We cannot distance ourselves from the battle. Our Christian identity does not provide immunity from the layers of race-related trauma, institutionalized racism, and its effects. Our work is not done! We cannot be silent as silence often signals consent. We must courageously call out our own prejudice, arrogance, and pride, take them to the feet of Jesus, then work diligently toward harmony and peace in the space we own.”

A week ago, our teachers prayed a blessing from our Vision Statement over every one of our Hope Academy graduates. It is a vision that has served us well for 20 years. Over each of them we prayed: “Hope Academy has covenanted with your family to prepare you as a kingdom citizen. Now is your time to work for justice, economic opportunity, racial harmony, hope for the family, and joy in the community. And remember, Jesus came to serve and not be served.”

Now, more than ever, I call on the entire Hope Academy community to let Hope arise!

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90-Second Stories | This Neighbor Became a Supporter

Raised in Guatemala and Miami and having lived in the neighborhood around Hope Academy, watch as one of our Partners provides a unique perspective on how we can help Minneapolis change for the better:

I’m so encouraged by the army of people I see investing in the youth of our city, and pray hundreds more like you will be inspired to join this work.