History shows the negative consequences society reaps when at-risk individuals lack hope and become disengaged from healthy communities.  Sun Valley is located in one of Denver’s most impoverished areas[1] and remains disengaged from the city surrounding it.

With almost half of the neighborhood’s population under 17 years of age[2], it is the youth of Sun Valley who embody the neighborhood’s potential for growth and change.  Yet, for the vast majority of Sun Valley students the chances of transcending their current circumstances remain slim. In addition to 82% of children under the age of 18 living in poverty[3], Sun Valley has also been deemed a “most likely location” for disengaged youth[4], who are neither employed nor attending school. Moreover, the neighborhood has one of the highest teen birth rates in the Denver metro area[5].

In response to this overwhelming need, Hope In Our City created the Youth Leadership Program.

Open to both middle and high school students, our curriculum is built on the core principles of vision, hard work, follow through, serving others, integrity, humility, and courage. Each participant will be assigned to a small group of similar age students with adult volunteer leaders that meet on a weekly basis. During the Fall 2016 semester we will be teaching grit and how to apply it during our 15-week semester.