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Mentoring students to envision a better future

The Hope Circles Program is a peer-to-peer mentoring program that combines positive psychology with the tradition of the circle process, creating bonds and building relationships among students with shared backgrounds, supporting mentee growth and development.

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Positive psychology for middle and high school students

Along with peer-to-peer mentoring, Hope Circles helps students build success-oriented habits and teaches them to believe they “can” persevere through the obstacles that will try to block their success.

This program showed me, ‘You can do this.’ When you have this person, who is from almost your exact situation, and they’re doing great things, that means it’s possible. You can do them, too.

Myles Parks, high school student in Dr. Dixson’s program

Leading with hope

Hope is one’s perceived ability to envision a better tomorrow, regardless of their current circumstances, coupled with the belief that they can make it so.

Hope has two components:

  1. VISION: the ability to envision, with as much detail as possible, paths to desirable future goals or outcomes
  2. BELIEF: one’s perceived ability to follow through on their vision to make it a reality.

Why teach students to hope?

Looking toward the future with positive expectations is a powerful force on the present.

Against a backdrop of political strife and tense race relations in the U.S, minority students don’t always receive the hopeful messages they need to envision a bright future. Our program strives to give them the confidence they need to be more hopeful toward the future, making them positive change agents in their schools and community.

Dr. Dante Dixson, PhD