For many students, they’re the first in their families to attend college or vocational school. After teaching for thirty years, Dominican Sister of Hope Lucy Povilonis, OP now sits on the Board of the Academy. As Sister Lucy says, the girls’ education starting in sixth grade is imperative to breaking the cycle of poverty in their families. The Academy offers an extended school day with cultural enrichment and vocational programming after school. They also continue to formally mentor students after they graduate and go on to high school.

Sister Lucy calls the work of the school “astounding.”

“We have one student who got a full-time scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),” she recounts. “Students enter the Academy reading below grade level, and by the time they’re in high school they’re excelling.”

This post is part of our Hope Is series to commemorate Hope’s 23rd birthday. Follow along and see all of the posts here.