Beacon of Hope instills desire in all Lynchburg City School students to pursue the next step in life after high school graduation.
Beacon of Hope also offers tools to help students achieve their goals of a four-year or two-year college degree, trade or technical school or industry certification.
By providing college opportunities, especially for those who would not otherwise be able to attend college, Beacon of Hope will create a well-qualified workforce and improve the quality of life in Lynchburg.
Beacon of Hope will fund and maintain Future Centers at Heritage and E.C. Glass High Schools, which will serve as college-and-career-readiness hubs for students.
At a recent press conference, Beacon of Hope announced a $100,000 Challenge Gift, named in honor of the donors, The Honorable Elliot and Rosel Schewel.
Senator and Mrs. Schewel have been strong supporters of education throughout their careers. "We are supporting Beacon of Hope because we feel it will benefit our entire community from its very core. When all students have the opportunity, the tools and the resources to earn an education beyond high school, our local workforce is improved, the families of the students are improved; and we know that a better educated citizenry results in better health."
Beacon of Hope also announced its new Director of Development, Joan Foster. Foster brings years of non-profit experience and community relations to the new position.
Foster stated, "One of the goals of Beacon of Hope is to change the culture of the community to a cradle to career one. Through Beacon of Hope, our students will receive educational and job training opportunities which will enable them to maximize their potential."
Laura Hamilton, Executive Director of Beacon of Hope said, "We have worked very hard to get our Future Centers operational in both Heritage and E.C. Glass High Schools. This gift is a huge confirmation that we are on the right track and already making a significant impact with our Lynchburg City School students."
Early impacts of Beacon of Hope during the Future Centers' first year of operation include:
- Launched two Future Centers to serve as the hub for college and career readiness at E.C. Glass and Heritage High Schools. Each is staffed with a full time director and volunteers who coordinate closely with LCS administration, guidance offices and teachers.
- Reached 1,600 students in LCS high schools and middle schools.
- Served 96% of seniors through financial applications, college applications and exploration of future aspirations.
- Organized opportunity for more than 200 seniors at Heritage High School to complete at least one college application at the first College Appreciation Day.
- Increased by 23% the number of seniors taking the SAT for the first time.
- Increased by 20% the completion of early FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Studies conclude there is a direct correlation between FAFSA applications and college attendance.
- Achieved nearly 70% of the 2013 graduates of Heritage engaging in post-secondary education, up from 53% in 2011.
- Attained a record number of Glass students enrolling in general studies and technical certification at Central Virginia Community College who did not have a post-graduation plan.
- Registered dozens of athletes in the NCAA Athlete Clearinghouse.
Beacon of Hope also created numerous partnerships during its first year in operation. For more information about Beacon of Hope or to donate, visit the website.
Our children are our future. Beacon of Hope offers hope for a brighter future to the students in Lynchburg City Schools and to our community at large.