Hope Circles incorporates Dr. Dixson’s latest research in hope, student well-being, and academic engagement through a mentoring model. It is offered to high school and middle school students and ensures that students receive a cutting-edge and high-quality program.

Program Facilitators

Bernadette Doré, JD, M.Ed

Bernadette is the Executive Director of Project Healthy Community, leading the community engagement and resource development work. Bernadette’s career also focuses on urban youth social emotional learning, educational psychology and restorative justice practices. She has many years of experience creating educational curriculum for K-12 through university students. She works closely with Dr. Dixson conceptualizing the framework and content development for Hope Circles.

Dante D. Dixson, PhD

Dr. Dixson is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University. His research examines the role of hope in the educational and psychological functioning of children and adolescents. Much of Dr. Dixson’s collaborative work with schools and nonprofit organizations is conducted through the Hope Laboratory, which specializes in positive perception-based academic interventions that aim to increase the achievement of minority and disadvantaged youth, creating more equity within education.

Education Advisors

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

Dr. Keltner is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, social class and social equity. Dr. Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He has collaborated with directors at Pixar, including for the film Inside Out.

Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D.

Dr. Worrell is a professor of School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and an affiliate Professor in Personality and Social Psychology in the Psychology Department. Dr. Worrell’s research interests include several psychosocial constructs (ethnic and racial identity, time perspective), which he studies in a variety of populations, including adolescents, youth at risk for school failure, and gifted and talented youth.

Tony Reames, Ph.D

Dr. Reames is a multidisciplinary scholar, with degrees in engineering and social science. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and currently on leave, serving in the Biden Administration as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Department of Energy. Dr. Reames’ research agenda seeks to connect the areas of technological advancement, the policy process, and social equity. His research extends the environmental justice scholarship to focus on energy justice. He is currently exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability- focusing on the production and persistence of inequality by race, class, and place.

Career and Workplace Leadership

David T. Brooks, MHSA

Chief Strategy Officer for Education Genius, Dave has a thirty-year career in healthcare administration including Director of Wayne County Department of Health, Human and Veterans Services and health system president jobs with Ascension St. John, Trinity Health Systems and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Dave is  a proud graduate of Detroit’s Cass Tech High School and is helping to lead the career development aspects of Hope Circles. 

College Student Advisors

The aim of this work is to offer students meaningful and relevant strategies to support them on their path toward accomplishing their dreams and aspirations. These goals can not be accomplished without student voices providing feedback and guidance in program development.   

Devin Woodruff

Michigan State University, Political Science Major

Ellington King

North Carolina A&T University, Finance Major

Joya Mahone

Alabama A&M University, Computer Science Major

Maria Fields

University of Michigan, Engineering Major

Myles Parks

Norfolk State University, Chemistry/PreMed Major