One child at a time

Building life-changing relationships one at a time.

For children, elementary years are critical for their development, as they form values, establish self-esteem, and acquire academic skills. Often this includes having support, encouragement, and one-on-one attention.

Through a Kids Hope USA mentoring program, students develop transformative relationships with an additional caring and consistent adult, empowering them to thrive.

We connect churches with the neighborhood elementary and middle schools to operate a proven and established school-based mentoring program. Through intentional training and support, churches mobilize volunteer mentors into schools to meet with students once a week and develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship. And those relationships matter.

“My student has become a thoughtful young man who offers wisdom to those around him. I am grateful for my relationship with him.”

– Kids Hope USA Director


In 1995, serial social entrepreneur and Kids Hope USA founder Dr. Virgil Gulker researched: “How can churches have the greatest impact on America’s children?

He gathered input from sociologists, law enforcement, health professionals, educators, and child development experts. One response to his question appeared at the top of everyone’s lists: Fill the relational voids in kids’ lives. In other words, send people to meet with students who need reliable, caring adult relationships, starting with children in the earliest grades.

With the church’s abundant potential and desire to share love to others, this faith-based mentoring program pairing churches and schools began.


Today, thousands of students are partnered with a caring, consistent adult who shows up each week—just for them, providing another source of encouragement and support for them to thrive.

“I’m already seeing a difference in my son’s interest in going to school, thanks to the time he spends with his Kids Hope USA mentor.”

– Kids Hope USA Parent


Through a Kids Hope USA program, the impact goes beyond success for the student. It also serves volunteers, teachers and the community.

of students promote to their next school grade.*
of mentors and prayer partners said they feel they are making a difference in the life of a child.**
of teachers say the program improves student’s attention, academics and behavior.***

*Kids Hope USA Director Survey, 2011  

**Kids Hope USA Fall 2004 Survey Results 

***Frost, Carl. Evaluation of Mentoring Program, KIDS HOPE USA, Carl Frost Center for Social Science Research, Hope College. September, 2003. 

Be part of making a transformative impact in the lives of students and the community. Learn more about starting a program at your church or school.


2023 Spring Presidential Update

Check out our Spring 2023 Presidential Update! Included in the Update is a letter from our President, Dr. Karen Pearson, an invitation to engage and learn more about the exciting things happening at Kids Hope USA, and an invitation to express generosity in supporting the work of Kids Hope USA programs.
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