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Providing Hope - A Genesis Project Book Club

The Genesis Project has long embraced the idea of power through hope. Hope is the motivator and generator of good things for a better life. Sadly, many of our boys come to us without much hope.

On average, each boy has failed 13 to 18 foster placements before his behaviors led him here. Most boys trust no one, they are scared and angry. All have either been physically, sexually and/or verbally abused. The extent of the abuse or neglect is so great, that for most, parental rights have been terminated.

It's easy to see why they don’t have hope.

At The Genesis Project, giving hope is one of our highest priorities. As we continue to embrace this effort, the administrative team is reading one of the most encouraging books at the forefront of the study of hope. "Hope Rising. How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life" uses more than 2,000 studies to demonstrate how hope is the best predictor of success—personally and professionally. It teaches the science behind hope and demonstrates to organizations like ours how to measure hope by assigning a hope score. Yes, hope is measurable. According to the research, hope is the single best predictor of well-being compared to any other measures of trauma recovery.

“Our team goes over two chapters of "Hope Rising" during our weekly administrative meetings. Each week, one of our leaders walks us through the highlights as we discuss how we can better incorporate the science into daily life at Genesis,” said Scott Coppenbarger, executive director.

The Genesis program already uses a hope scale to measure hope. As noted in another article in our blog, 92% of our boys have maintained or improved their overall hope during the past fiscal year. Hope has increased more than seven percent since 2022.

Recently, the administrative team attended a presentation at The Rotary Club of Edmond during which one of the book’s authors and the science’s leading researchers, Dr. Chan Hellman of The University of Oklahoma, re-inspired and re-enforced our efforts to provide pathways to hope.

“We are learning that hope is not a wish and it just doesn’t happen. Hope is not a feeling either. Hope must have goals, pathways, and the willpower to achieve it,” Coppenbarger said.

So how do you provide hope to boys who understandably have given up on hope? One pathway at a time.

“We don’t focus on the end result. We focus on providing pathways that can be achieved. For instance, if we can help a child discover his talents, we are creating hope by showing possibilities and the great life he can have someday,” Coppenbarger said. “It won’t make up for the fact the child doesn’t have a family now, but it will build a foundation of hope that could last a lifetime.”