“Anyone can succeed when someone believes in them.” -Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder and executive director of Generation Hope
Fewer than 2 percent of teen mothers finish college by age 30, so when Nicole Lynn Lewis became a mother at age 19, the odds were stacked against her. Today, she is the founder and CEO of Generation Hope, a nonprofit in Washington, DC, that matches current and former teen parents now working their way through college with mentors who will help them with the real-life struggles that come with their dual roles as students and parents. Since its founding in 2010, Generation Hope has helped 19 teen mothers earn college degrees, with 13 more scholars slated to graduate in 2017.
Hager Sharp is a proud sponsor of Generation Hope. Not only does the firm cover the annual scholarships for three scholars, four of our team members serve as one-on-one mentors to local college students through Generation Hope, and many others volunteer as tutors, babysitters, and event planners. And this holiday season, in lieu of high-carb snacks or trinkets, we have donated to Generation Hope in honor of our amazing clients and business partners.
I have served as a Generation Hope mentor since 2013. My current scholar, Aurora, is a student at Montgomery College and the mother of two hilarious boys. I am inspired by her every day! She works hard to grow and learn, and to build a solid life for her and her family. And while I certainly can’t help her over every barrier, I try to provide a little boost wherever and whenever possible.
Kim Varner, Roshni Devchand, and Bonnie Powell are my fellow colleague/mentors.
Kim says: “Through Generation Hope, I’m able to help a young woman achieve her dreams. My scholar is very determined to better herself and her children. And I’m committed to helping her along that path.”
Roshni says: “I love being able to share my scholar’s wins with her and help her through whatever questions and challenges she may be having. She’s so fun to talk to and be around, and I love seeing her commitment to her education as a path to helping her family and her son’s future. I know he must be so proud of her when he sees how hard she is working!”
Bonnie says: “Participating as a Generation Hope mentor allows me to share my hard-earned wisdom from years of parenting. To see my scholar grow and learn—as a college student and as a mother—is a real joy.”
We are inspired by Nicole, Aurora, and all of the people who come together to as Generation Hope to help light the way for a brighter future for young parents and their children.
Like Generation Hope, Hager Sharp was founded by someone who had a vision and wanted to make a difference. Susan Hager was a volunteer community worker who saw that each of us in our own way could make a difference and together it would add up to a big impact. In that spirit, we continue to work every day with clients who want to make the world a better place, and in our private lives, in the community, to support people like Nicole Lynn Lewis. We know that the gift of hope is the best kind to give.
Happy holidays from the Hager Sharp team!
Darcy Sawatzki, MA.
Senior Vice President