HOPE Christian High School has set an excellent example of education that is making a significant difference in the lives of Milwaukee’s young men and women.
For the second consecutive year, 100 percent of HOPE’s three-dozen graduating seniors have been accepted to a four-year college or university. The school is located in the Harambee neighborhood on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.
“At HOPE, college is not a dream, it’s a reality,” said senior Teaomnmi Wright.
“Before I went to HOPE, I hadn’t planned to go to college,” Wright said. “Now, being the first in my family to graduate from college is a main priority of mine. I have to do it so that I can set an example for everyone who looks up to me.”
Students at HOPE say they have found a different sort of peer pressure than many high schools offer.
“At our school, it’s cool to get good grades and to want to go to college,” senior Taylor Brown said. “We work hard, and we encourage each other to do our best.”
The Department of Public Instruction reports that only about 60 percent of Wisconsin seniors take the ACT, a standardized test for college admissions, but that is not the picture at HOPE. Here, all of the seniors took the test, and photos of the 2013 seniors holding college acceptance letters literally cover an entire “Wall of Acceptance” outside the main office.
“These young men and women from HOPE High are proving what is possible for students,” said Patricia Pattillo, publisher of the Milwaukee Community Journal. “We couldn’t be more proud of them and their accomplishments.”
HOPE plans to celebrate the achievements of their senior scholars with a special “Signing Day” assembly on Friday, May 31. Similar to the concept of Signing Day for athletes, HOPE seniors will undergo a rite of passage when they announce where they have chosen to attend college in front of their families, schoolmates, faculty and community supporters.
“We are hosting this event to surround our seniors with love and support as they prepare to head to college in the fall,” said Principal Zach Verriden. “As a team and family, we also want to reinforce with our younger students that college is the expectation, not the exception.”
HOPE Christian High School is part of HOPE Christian Schools, a network of four schools serving more than 1,200 students in four-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade on Milwaukee’s North Side. Nearly 100 percent of HOPE students participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
HOPE students typically come from low-income families, and most students arrive at school at least two grades behind, according to school administrators.
“Those statistics are just a number,” Verriden said. “They do not define our students. HOPE seniors will leave here empowered with the knowledge, skills and character necessary to succeed in college and to become inspirations for their families, leaders in the community and successes in the workplace.”
HOPE Christian High School seniors from the class of 2013 have been accepted to nearly 70 colleges and universities, and they have amassed more than $1 million in scholarships and grants. Below is a list of colleges to which members of the class of 2013 have been accepted.
Alabama A&M University
Alcorn State University
Art Institute of Wisconsin
Bethany Lutheran College
Bryant and Stratton College
Cardinal Stritch University
Central State University
Clark Atlanta University
Concordia University, Saint Paul
Concordia University Wisconsin
George Williams College
Illinois Valley Community College
Indiana State University
Iowa State University
ITT Technical College
Jackson State University
Kentucky State University
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Minnesota State University-Moorhead
Mount Mary College
Northcentral Technical College
Northern Arizona University
Northern Illinois University
Northland Community and Technical College
Olivet Nazarene University
Potomac State College
Rochester Community College
Saint Catherine University
Saint Xavier University
Silver Lake College
Southern Illinois University
Southwest Minnesota State University
St. Cloud State University
University of Arizona
University of Dubuque
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of Sioux Falls
University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County
University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc
University of Wisconsin-Marinette
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
University of Wisconsin-Richland
University of Wisconsin-Rock County
University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan
University of Wisconsin-Washington County
University of Wisconsin-Waukesha
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
West Virginia University
Wisconsin Lutheran College