Against the Odds

By Betsy Johnson

Many may not know that the Global Outreach Developments International headquarters and training facility is situated in a neighborhood called Hopewell.  As an onlooker perusing through the neighborhood, one may not find Hopewell as a suitable title: houses are often left vacated due to foreclosure, many of which are in poor condition, and pit bulls are the common family pet.  Yet, those involved within our movement at G.O.D. International see great potential in this neighborhood.

As a movement, we desire to partner with God in his redemptive work in the world.  We have begun to do so by tutoring the youth in the Hopewell neighborhood.

During the month of May a group of students surveyed families in Hopewell to see if there was an interest for a tutoring program.  We were excited to find so many families willing to participate, as mothers and grandmothers expressed gratitude for such an opportunity for their children throughout the summer months.

Hopewell’s demographic is primarily comprised of minority groups and lower-income families, which are the two highest contributing factors to the increasing high school dropout rate in our country.  Each year, approximately 1.2 million students dropout of high school, more than half of which are from minority groups.  Although only 71% of all high school students graduate from high school on time, nearly 1 out of 2 African American and Hispanic students dropout.[1]

Hence, many parents and grandparents within the Hopewell neighborhood eagerly embraced our willingness to spend time and work with their children this summer.  One hopeful grandmother expressed her gratitude as her family has yet to have a high school graduate.

It is our hope by working with the youth in our neighborhood, instructing them in the basics of reading, writing and mathematics, that we would not only increase their chances to complete their education, but that we would develop quality relationships together.  This tutoring program has the potential to establish lasting mentorships as we get to know our neighborhood youth, and their families.

Although Hopewell might not seem like a suitable title for this neighborhood, we at G.O.D. International think that it is, due to the potential that exists in the youth.  By developing relationships through tutoring, we desire to be conduits of hope for their families, as we assist in the education of their children.


[1]Alliance for Excellent Education, High School Dropouts in America, Fact Sheet, February 2009.