Rae's Hope Inc

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Rae's Hope Inc: Rae's Hope Fitness for Life

Dallas, United StatesDallas , United States
Year Founded:
2008
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Scaling strategies launched within the past 6 months:
Organizational Growth
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The purpose of Rae's Hope is to establish long-term relationships and build personal skills with at risk girls to develop resilience and offer an alternative to self-destructive behaviors such as gangs, drug use, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all girls had good social skills and had programs that teach awareness self esteem and confidence and challenged girls to become more active and put themselves first.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

To reduce risk to these challenges, Rae’s Hope creates opportunity, nurtures potential and inspires achievement. We recognize that it is the individual who—through her actions and attitudes--must create a different life and set of possibilities for herself. This is more likely to happen if she has self-esteem, at least one caring adult in her life, access to knowledge and support, exposure to the larger community and understanding of the world.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Rae's Hope brings education to the girls. Corporate partners and organizations that specialize in the subject being taught provide many of our enrichment programs. This provides the dual benefit of exposing the girls to more caring adults in their lives, while nourishing the integrity and connection of the Rae’s Hope group to each other and to the organization. The annual calendar includes twice a week clinics in Physical Fitness, Life and Social Skills, Healthy Living and Community Life as well as monthly bike rides, spring volleyball leagues, community projects, special events and a summer camp.

Awards

Recognition from Ebony Magazine
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

While Rae’s Hope does reduce risk, our work is more accurately described as creating opportunity, nurturing potential and inspiring achievement. We recognize that it is the individual who—through her actions and attitudes--must create a different life and set of possibilities for herself. This is more likely to happen if she has self-esteem, at least one caring adult in her life, access to knowledge and support, exposure to the larger community and an understanding of what it takes to be successful in the world. Athletics are a powerful tool with many girls. Other girls may feel proud that they improved their reading test scores. We believe in practical education and the opportunities to practice new skills in real life.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The purpose of Rae's Hope is to establish long-term relationships and build personal skills with at risk girls to develop resilience and offer an alternative to self-destructive behaviors such as gangs, drug use, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school. Through its programming, Rae’s Hope improves healthy behaviors, increases social support and decreases social isolation to build self-esteem, ultimately producing happy, healthy, empowered and productive members of society. Significant outcomes include: • To date, Rae’s Hope has a 100% high school graduation rate from three under-performing schools as compared to 83% for DISD (includes magnet and other high-performing schools. (DISD does not disclose the graduation rates of individual schools). • Only 1 in 41 of our girls have become pregnant as compared to 1 in 9 in in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Empowering at risk girls to take charge of their lives and become productive members of their community. Most of Rae’s Hope at risk participants are Black and Hispanic where the family lives in poverty in distressed and disadvantaged communities with under-resourced schools and high unemployment rates. Rae’s Hope offers an innovative research-based, data driven, outcome focused solution to key challenges at risk girls face in North Texas. Risks include failing one or more grade levels, being expelled, legal troubles, becoming a parent or having limited English proficiency.
Sustainability
Funding: How is your project financially supported?: 
individual donations or gifts - 50%
foundation or NGO grants - 20%
corporate contributions - 5%
other - 25%

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Individuals, corporations and foundations in our community generously support Rae’s Hope. In addition, the board of directors has 100% financial participation and an annual fundraising event is being planned.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many organizations cover one or more of these components, however, only Rae’s Hope offers a comprehensive, long-term program from elementary school through high school. Our integrated program leads girls becoming women to: • Think long term • Make good decisions • Cope and recover from setbacks • Defer parenthood and graduate from high school
Team

Founding Story

Asija Woodson, now 13 years old, has been a member of Rae’s Hope since 2011. Her family consists of a single mom, grandmother and older brother who is in special needs classes. Both mother and grandmother work part time jobs. Like many of the members of Rae’s Hope, her father has been incarcerated for much of her life. When Asija joined Rae’s Hope as a third grader, she was withdrawn, had little self-confidence and was overweight for her age. Through her participation with Rae’s Hope programming she has developed leadership skills and works hard to maintain a healthy body mass index. Currently, Asija competes on the debate team at the state level and is on a college-preparatory track.

Team

Currently, more than 100 volunteers work 1,600 to 2,000 hours per year as one on one mentors, teachers and chaperones. Parents are significant volunteer contributors to the operations of Rae’s Hope and they are often the client, as well. They frequently need help with a lease, bank account, credit or public systems. With Rae's Hope, the whole family has a better chance at success.
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