Mentoring students to envision a better future

The Hope Circes Program is a peer-to-peer mentoring program that helps students realize a better future through positive academic mindset training, service-learning projects, and workplace internships.

The mission of the Hope Circle program is to increase the percentage of Black high school graduates who enroll at high-quality postsecondary institutions while preparing them to be successful during high school and college.

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Positive psychology for middle and high school students

To support peer-to-peer mentoring, the Hope Circles Program aims to help students build success-oriented habits that teaches them to believe in their ability to persevere through obstacles and accomplish their dreams.

I used to be a very negative thinker in middle school. If I had been in this program when I was younger, I would have understood how important it was to think positively and plan out my life and my studies. I wouldn’t have been so anxious.

Caira Blevins, high school student in Dr. Dixson’s program

Leading with hope

A hopeful outlook can start a positive feedback loop between students’ beliefs and behaviors that leads to higher student success.

Higher hope is associated with a host of positive academic outcomes including higher academic engagement, curiosity, academic achievement, and happiness within the school context. It is also associated with a lower risk of negative outcomes, including anxiety and depression.

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 United States, minority students don’t always receive the hopeful messages they need to envision a brighter future. Our program strives to give them the academic mindset they need to be more hopeful toward the future, making them positive change agents in their schools and communities.