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June 2020 Update: Equipping students to live boldly and with purpose

We are so excited to begin our countdown to Institute 2020! 

On July 27, we will kick off the summer program with 25 first-year students from Chiquila, San Angel, Solferino, and Kantunilkin and 14 Michael Lotito Fellows! And while things certainly look different this year due to the pandemic, we are so excited for the opportunities that have emerged. 

First-year students

  • Since our global team of staff and volunteers are unable to travel to Mexico this summer, 30 instructors from around the world have spent the last few months recording 135 video lessons covering all of our Institute topics. We have virtual sessions on everything from health and wellness to self discovery to art to communication to entrepreneurship. And of course, we have a full lineup of English classes, too! 
  • Our first-year students will each receive a tablet loaded with these videos and a comprehensive daily schedule for how to move through the coursework. 
  • In each of the communities we serve, Institute graduates will serve as leaders, mentoring first-year students as they participate this summer. 

Institute Junior 

  • In Chiquila, we have 60 elementary school children registered for Institute Junior. They will receive special activity packs and tons of ideas for fun ways to play, learn, and create this summer. 

Michael Lotito Fellows

  • Our Michael Lotito Fellows have the opportunity to live on-campus at the newly completed Casa Hope. Our team in Mexico has been working tirelessly to get this space ready to welcome them in a few short weeks (including a <brand new, professional-grade kitchen!>). 
  • In addition to video lessons, students will also learn from former Fellows who are now part of the Hands Offering Hope Mexico staff. This has always been the dream — and it is so exciting to watch it unfold! 

Meet the training team! As we prepare to welcome students to the Institute this summer (both virtually and in small groups), this group is thinking carefully about how to keep everyone safe and engaged in our community. They are awesome and we are so grateful for them!


For five years, we have been equipping students to live boldly and with purpose — creating opportunities for them to step into positions of leadership in both the organization and their communities. We never could have expected a pandemic, but we have been preparing for Institute graduates to be at the helm since the beginning. 

Now, this summer, 80% of our Institute graduates are involved in our summer programs as leaders or volunteers.

Because of your support of past years of the Institute, this summer is being led by remarkable young people. You invested in them, and now they are investing in their peers and neighbors. Thank you for being a part of our story.