Hope for Tomorrow was launched in 1997 by two women who wanted to make a difference in the lives of young women, and they understood the impact of mentoring relationships in their own lives and careers. They believed that becoming a positive force in a young person’s life can make a difference in what direction that young person will take towards their future.
These two women established a partnership with Valley View Middle School in Bloomington, Minnesota. Valley View identified students who could benefit from a mentoring relationship and provided facilities and staff support for the program. The program formed one-on-one relationships between mentors and mentees to help develop important life skills such as positive self-image, public speaking, and goal setting. The sessions also included a field trip to both a corporation and a college to speak with other adults about their life’s journey. Many of the young women were the first in their household to consider college.
It took eight years for the second chapter to form in Burnsville in 2005, but from there Hope for Tomorrow began to spread across the metro area. A second Burnsville school signed on in 2007; by 2008 there were 8 chapters; as of fall 2017 there are 12 chapters in 7 Minnesota cities, including Bloomington, Burnsville, Lakeville, Eagan, Farmington, Rosemount, and St. Paul.
Boys’ chapters began forming in 2008. Starting in 2018 there will be boys groups active in 3 cities—Bloomington, Rosemount and Lakeville.
In recent years, alumni groups have formed in Bloomington and Lakeville. These gatherings with former mentees provide opportunities for mentors to continue to offer support through the students’ high school years.