By Devin Bramhall

Hope to me speaks to the core of our mission: we’re teaching children that there are greater possibilities for them in the future by teaching them the skills they will need to achieve those great goals. It’s not enough to know what is out there in the world. You have to see a path from where you are to the place you want to be. It’s hard to see that path when you feel like you don’t have the skills you need to get there. Also, having general knowledge about history, math etc isn’t enough. Confidence is what drives people to move, and skills like leadership, communication and teamwork are what build that self-assurance in people. Couple that with their traditional education and you now have children who can do more than imagine what they want: they have the life skills to navigate how to go get it.

Hope to me is not the goal, it’s the starting point. One can hope (and pray) for all kinds of things, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to get it or even be motivated to try. However, without hope, you’ll never get started. After all, you need that naiveté, that childish wanting to do something that will truly fulfill your soul.

My mom is the one who has always taught me to have hope. I am inherently cynical and always think in terms of the worst case scenario. It makes me good at my job in certain ways, but in the past it has limited my ability to reach for is truly possible. But as a home birth midwife, she has seen miracles both big and small, and she showed me that having hope is how I will elevate beyond living and reach a life of loving.

What no one tells you is this is actually the hard road! But the thing is, the difficulty you face when you’re motivated by hope and pursuing your dreams is not in vain. It’s part of your education. And if you can embrace the hard times, wade through them, ask for help, be kind to yourself, and keep trying, the hope that drove you to start will surface in ways that surprise you – whether it’s a helping hand or some random thing that finally goes right – and keep you going.

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