From Student to Staff

Meet our Co-Director, Alejandro, and hear why he loves the Institute!

Ignite the future for a student like Alejandro now. Make a gift today at!

English Translation:

I have encountered so many different perspectives. As a student, I learned a lot. I was able to learn so much, and I got out of my comfort zone. But now, as part of the staff, I’m learning about the strength of the team, how to prepare, the time you have to invest in planning, and the passion for serving that every single person on the staff has. These experiences have been unique, but they both have served me and have made me a better person. I hope people can see that I am the fruit of this good work—the Institute.

Hello! It’s great to meet you.

We are so excited to be the new co-Directors for the Hands Offering Hope Institute this summer—it is great to meet you! (That’s us in the picture!)

Thank you for being a part of our countdown to the Institute! (Only 9 more weeks to go!)

As former students in the Institute, we know what an amazing experience it is. We learned so much during our summers there, and for the past few years, we have returned in leadership roles to help other young people from our communities. We know that this program works. We know that it creates a ripple effect that can change Mexico and the world.

We know how powerful it is because we experienced it firsthand. 

The Institute changed our lives. Now we get to help other kids change their lives, too. This opportunity is a big honor—plus it’s so much fun!

This year, we’re in charge. We’re the “jefes.” And we want to make this the best Institute summer ever!

In July, we will welcome 20 new first-year students and 9 Michael Lotito Fellows. We are busy with logistics and plans (wow, it’s a lot of work!), but it’s all worth it for these awesome students.

To make it all happen, we need your support. We need to raise $100,000 before July 14. Will you help us make this the best Institute yet?

Thank you for helping us. We can’t wait to share stories from Mexico this summer.

Muchas Gracias y Seguimos Adelante!

Alejandro Ventura and Sabrina Valerio
Institute Co-Directors

PS – Make sure you’re following Hands Offering Hope on Facebook and Instagram to hear more about our preparation for the summer. We’ll be sharing videos and updates there!

Adaly is grateful for you.

One of our Institute alums, Adaly, said something that I can’t stop thinking about.

“We are all used to studying just to work here,” she said. “Nothing changes. We’re in a square.”

“But the Institute shows us that there are things outside of that square. That’s the most important thing I have learned. How cool is it that people from all over care about us and have an interest in us?”

Friend, you are one of those people who cares.

So behalf on Adaly and all of our students, THANK YOU. 

Your generosity of time and resources matters to young leaders in Mexico. You are helping them surpass expectations, break paradigms, and redefine success, not just for themselves, but for their entire communities.

You can make a difference right now.

Make a gift to support the Institute this summer. Help another student like Adaly see the big, bold life that exists outside of her square. Give now. 

Girls like Yanelí are the future

It never gets old, friends.

Every summer as we welcome new students, I am struck by just how incredible this experience is. How honored I am to be a part of these young leaders’ lives. And how grateful I am to each of you for making it all possible.

When I meet girls like Yanelí, I remember that we have a big, bright future ahead of us.

Yanelí attended our Winter Conference this January with several of her friends from San Angel. She sat quietly in our sessions, taking it all in—and she was inspired.

At the end of the weekend, she shared, “I am learning that I can go after what I want. And that I can get back up and keep going when things go wrong.”

“This conference changed my thinking,” she said. “I learned about my dreams. For the first time, I learned that I can be what I want to be.”

It’s a freedom and a confidence that many girls in Mexico struggle to find. And one that we are proud to help instill in our female students, especially this month as we celebrate women and girls around the world.

Now, Yanelí wants to apply for the Institute. She wants to keep learning and growing. And we want to help her achieve her goals.

Give now to support girls like Yanelí.

Fund programs that are transforming the lives of young leaders and giving them the boldness to chase their dreams.

Julissa inspires me.

Julissa talks a million miles a minute and has a permanent smile on her face. But her life has not always been easy.

When she talks about her community, she says, “Our neighborhood is super closed-minded. No one is growing. No one believes in us. People don’t think about doing new things.”

But Julissa refused to let her circumstances define her, so last summer, she joined the Institute.

“It was an unforgettable experience for me,” she says. “At the beginning, I couldn’t talk to anyone. Now I’m different. I like participating. I can make new friends. Before I didn’t think I was anything—now I can dream things for my future. The Institute made me a better person.” 

She loves that her involvement with the Institute doesn’t need to end.

In her words, “I have a million things I love, but now I need to figure out what I want to study. That’s why I want to come back for a second year—so I can learn more and help more people.” 

While her career path has yet to be defined, Julissa’s plan is clear: “I want to do something great so that I can be an example for others.”

She knows that her life—and her community—isn’t easy, but she has one big vision in mind:

“I want people to see me and say, ‘If she can do it, so can I.'” 

Friend, you can support girls like Julissa right now. This International Women’s Day, change the life of an incredible young leader in Mexico.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are sharing the incredible stories of female students with you all month long. We invite you to celebrate IWD with us and support special programming designed to address the unique challenges these girls face. Empower young women now at