HOPE for Youth: USA

The HOPE Mentoring program is a subset of a larger team of colleagues that comprise the HOPE organization. The HOPE team researches incarceration, transition, and employment practices related to youth in the Indiana and greater United States area, with HOPE being an acronym for "Helping Offenders Prosper through Employment."

The HOPE Mentoring Program Director is Dr. Theresa Ochoa, a professor of Special Education at Indiana University. Our leadership team is comprised of IU faculty, undergraduate students, and IU alum from a variety of majors and departments. Our mentors are undergraduate students from several Indiana University campuses, although we are eager to accept mentors from any Indiana college or University!

Our mentors are majoring in education, criminal justice, psychology, social work, public policy, and many other fields. We accept students from all backgrounds and fields of study, and would love to discuss how HOPE Mentoring can complement your course work.

Where do we mentor?


What Our Mentees Say

“HOPE helps you to see the brighter side of things. They give you hope. They show you all the possibilities and opportunities you have instead of letting you give up. They've made it fun while being able to learn at the same time.”

“It built my self-esteem and confidence and my hope for the future that I could be a better person.”

"A lot of people don't have someone to come in and just talk to them and hear them. So yeah, it's good to have that here."

What Our Mentors Say


“We had a great discussion on why his old life doesn’t reflect who he is and who he wants to be, and how changing the thought processes he uses to evaluate himself and others is a great step in the right direction.  He also told me that he was proud of the “baby steps” he’s been taking to improve upon his mental health, which is something that he didn’t believe in before.”

“He did not know that with a GED [General Education Degree] he could still go to college.  After I told him he could, he told me of a couple of careers he wants to do.  He ended up smiling and wrote them down as a long-term goal, even though he does not know which one he is interested in more.”

"I am proud to tell anyone that I talk to that I am involved in HOPE. I, myself, have always planned to go to medical school, but after getting involved in HOPE, I am now planning on getting a masters in social work and then plan on applying to law school. I hope to become involved in the criminal justice by being a mentor, mediator, and an individual that can be an advocate for striving young adults that may have a past but want to overcome that past and be successful."