Where I Focus, I Will Go was one of the Truth Statements of the day in our new curriculum for Camp HOPE America – California.  As a way of incorporating the Science of Hope, Karianne Johansen, our Program Director, asked the campers to share one goal that they have for themselves and one step that they can take toward that goal in the next year.

A camper named Jane raised her hand.  “I want to be a veterinarian.”

“Jane,” Karianne responded, “what can you do in the next year to take a step closer to being a veterinarian?”

Jane answered, “I need to stop getting F’s and start getting A’s!”  Everyone at the campfire cheered for her in recognition of their belief that she is capable of doing just that.

The next day, it was time to leave. Campers and staff members were wrapping up with their Closing Circle.  As they were closing, they talked about what they learned, what the kids’ favorite Truth Statements were, and so on.  As a group, some really sweet moments were shared.

During Closing Circle, Karianne told the campers the wonderful surprise that The Verizon Foundation was gifting them Samsung tablets at their Camp HOPE America reunion in the next month. These tablets would be a great way for them to practice reading and grammar and math and all kinds of things.  They, of course, were very excited and Karianne could hear lots murmurs of “games.”  Educational apps weren’t the first thing on their brains.

Jane came up to Karianne right after Closing Circle ended.  Her face lit up and she said, “I can finally get my grades up!”

“YES!” Karianne responded. “That will be such an amazing way for you to get your grades, up, Jane!” They talked about how to find apps on the tablets that could help with reading, science, math, and other subjects.

Instantly, Karianne could see hope on her face.  The tablet became her pathway to a brighter future.


“Verizon, thank you for making this moment possible.  Because of you, an 11-year-old girl left camp believing that her future can be brighter than her past and that she has the power to make it so.  Thank you for believing in us and trusting us to do this important work of changing the lives and futures of kids impacted by family violence.  There’s no one else we’d rather partner with!” – Karianne Johansen, Camp HOPE America Program Director