OUR MISSION

Education and Hope was founded on the belief that education is a fundamental human right, and that all the world’s children deserve to be educated. We believe that education is the most effective means to truly break the cycle of poverty. A promise is made to each child welcomed into the scholarship program that we will provide assistance to them for as long as they wish to continue their studies, the only condition being their commitment to success. We are deeply committed to fulfilling that promise.

Staff Members in 2016

Scholarships in 2016

After School Participants in 2016

OUR TEAM

Education and Hope is run by a strong team of people who possess unique talents and a shared sense of responsibility for the program’s success. One of the secrets to our success is that many of our employees are intimately involved in our program; some are scholarship recipients themselves and some have children who receive scholarships. As beneficiaries of the program they deeply identify with our mission and are sincerely committed to the program’s success. Education and Hope grew out of our director’s desire to give back to families for all that they had shared with her when she first moved to Guatemala. If our atmosphere is family-like it is simply because we are like family!

Administrative Staff 

Our administrative staff consists of 5 part-time and 3 full-time employees, 7 of whom were once scholarship recipients.  This amazing team is responsible for a seemingly endless list of tasks that keep our program running smoothly and efficiently.  Our passionate staff bring diverse skills in program management, budgeting and accounting, childhood development, and education. Their dedication to improving the lives of the children of our program is an essential element of our success.

Kitchen Staff 

At the foundation of our work we have 19 cooks and housekeepers who provide hot, nutritious meals to 150 people every day. They are all mothers or grandmothers of students in our program, and many are the sole income providers for their families. Only a few of these women were given the opportunity to attend school.  Lack of education makes it very challenging to find a job that pays well enough to support a family. We are proud to offer stable employment to so many people, and each day we feel the ripple effect that this economic stability provides.

Teaching Staff

Education and Hope students attend classes at various institutions around the city and then head to the after school program for lunch and tutoring. Knowing that our students often face other obstacles at home (extreme poverty, malnutrition, abuse, alcoholism), the sensitivity of our after school teachers to these issues is a crucial element in the classroom.  We are very fortunate that thirteen of our twenty teachers were once scholarship recipients themselves, and their teaching styles have been shaped by this experience.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Julie Coyne

Executive Director

Laura Swensen

Board Secretary

Ana Blaze

Board Member

Elizabeth O’Mara

Board Member

Tracy Troy

Board Member

Karen Elders

Board President

Kelly DeGulis

Board Member

Kathy Coyne

Board Member

Johann D. Nottebohm

Board Member

Rev. David Blanchfield

Board Vice-President

Alison Laney

Board Member

Beth Lovinelli

Board Member

Todd Raker

Board Member

Graham Foster

Board Treasurer

Philip Schemel

Board Member

Lisa T. Dale

Board Member

Jennifer Tarleton

Board Member

“Education and Hope grew out of my simple desire to help impoverished children attain an education.  Along the way our program has become a refuge, a safe place where our students grow in the love they need to thrive.  We offer meals and medical care to keep young bodies healthy and strong; we offer showers and clothing to promote cleanliness and a sense of dignity.  At the heart of our work is building confidence and self-esteem, helping our students to recognize their inherent worth, to know their lives matter.  Education is the objective behind our outreach, but my goal has always been much greater: that every child who walks through our doors knows beyond a doubt that they are loved.”

– Julie Coyne, Founder & Executive Director –

The Beginning

Julie Coyne, a native of Norwalk, CT, traveled to Guatemala in 1994 to study Spanish and  stayed on to work as a volunteer. Having developed deep bonds with many of the families she was working with in the rural communities, Julie dreamt of the opportunity to provide the opportunity of good education to the children she had grown to know and love.

First Seeds Are Planted

When a substantial donation was given towards this dream in 1997, Education and Hope was formally established as a non-profit organization. In our first year we offered five scholarships. Our after school program began in 1998 with 10 students, one teacher and one cook.  The program has evolved organically over time to respond to needs within the community. 

How We’ve Evolved

Today we serve hundreds of children and their families.  We are concerned for the education as well as the physical, emotional and social well-being of each of our students.  Meals, medical care, shoes and uniforms have all become integral pieces of our outreach.  The after school program nurtures the holistic well-being in each child we work with.