Academy of Hope Works to Break the Cycle of Poverty

“Throughout history, marginalized people have fought for their rights to freedom, justice, and education. The American education system continues to be plagued by discrimination, homophobia/transphobia, classism, and racism.” –  Academy of Hope Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Impact is honored to work with Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School (AoH). For the past 35 years, AoH has provided free, high-quality adult education to more than 500 Washington, DC residents each year.

Research shows that adult education is directly correlated with breaking the cycle of poverty. Adults with no high school diploma or low literacy suffer higher rates of poverty. And, children of adults with low literacy are five times more likely to drop out of school.

With over 64,000 adults in the District lacking a high school diploma, the need for adult education is vital. While DC boasts one of the highest proportions of residents with advanced degrees, the sobering truth remains that “1 in 5 DC adults cannot read a newspaper, a map, or complete a job application.”

AoH is working to change these statistics every single day. In fact, an impressive 72% of AoH graduates report becoming employed or entering college.

At AoH, many adults graduate with not only their diploma, but also their first college credits through an optional dual enrollment program with the University of the District of Columbia. And through AoH’s career academies, learners can earn credentials in high-demand industries like healthcare and office administration. Graduates of this program receive practical, on the job experiences and coaching to help them thrive in long-term careers.

When AoH was forced to implement distance learning in March due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, economic disparities further exacerbated access to education. As many as 75% of AoH learners don’t have a computer or Internet at home. AoH is bridging this digital divide with laptops, hot spots, and additional support so their learners can graduate as soon as possible.

As the fight for racial equity continues, AoH’s work and investment in adult education is more important than ever. And with increasing economic uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, AoH is helping DC residents secure reliable employment in an extremely difficult economy.

To learn more about Academy of Hope’s important work in our city, please visit:


-By Jamie Sargent








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