In DC, more than one in three adults functions below the most basic literacy level – a statistic that correlates strongly with poverty. What’s more, children of parents who have not graduated high school are much more likely to drop out themselves. So Academy of Hope provides Adult Basic Education, equipping students with real-world skills in technology, math, reading, and writing. Some study for the GED or the National External Diploma Program (which offers credit for life experiences); others pursue rigorous IC3 computer certification. A career pathways program prepares students for the high-demand fields of hospitality, healthcare, and office administration, complemented by job placement services. And extra support helps students overcome additional barriers to success, such as transportation, mental health, and housing needs. Serving 600 individuals annually, Academy of Hope brings real hope to this generation – and the next.

COVID-19 Update: Academy of Hope has continued to provide high-quality education through its distance learning programs. In fact, 13 adult learners earned their high school diplomas in Spring 2020. It expanded its health, business administration, and information technology career offerings to include a new phlebotomy certification launching in January 2021, and more classes for the popular Certified Nursing Assistant program. Adult learners are gaining audio-visual skills, mastering virtual meeting technology, and working with telework-based collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack – all while earning high-level Microsoft Office certifications and developing leadership skills.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 5

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; Academy of Hope's main site and programs are located in the Northeast quadrant of the District, close to Rhode Island Metro Station. However, we serve adult learners from all wards in the District. In 2010, Academy of Hope expanded to Ward 8 with adult basic education, GED preparation and computer literacy programs. Our Ward 8 site is located in Southeast. In 2014, Academy of Hope was approved to become a public charter school which will be implemented in 2015. We have plans to expand physically in order to reach more adult learners.

Age Groups Served: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Population(s) Served: All


  • Number of adult learners served in FY2012:   834
  • Number of volunteers in FY2012:   83
  • Total hours of class-time instruction or tutoring our learners received in FY2012:   42,743
  • Number of adult learners obtaining their GED credential or high school diploma:  
    42 in Fiscal Year 2012. Note: over 90% of adult learners enter our programs below an 8th grade level.
  • Percent of adults making significant academic progress (defined as grade-level gains tested at 70+ hrs. of instruction):   86%

Awards & Recognition

2011 - Academy of Hope's Executive Director, Lecester Johnson, is the recipient of the 2011 Exponent Award given by the Meyer Foundation for Excellence in nonprofit leadership.

2011 - Temple Sinai Social Action Service Award, for Academy of Hope's dedication to bring high quality education and job support services for DC adults.

2014- Academy of Hope's executive director, Lecester Johnson, is the recipient of the 2014 Legacy of a Dream Award given by Georgetown University

Press

Budget (FY2015)

  • The current budget for Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School is: $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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