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Hope House Scholars Program

Started in 2001, each quarter two Stanford instructors teach a course in the humanities to the residents of Hope House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for women, many of whom have recently been incarcerated.

This collaborative effort between the Center and Stanford Continuing Studies focuses on themes such as ethics, social justice and moral responsibility. The courses allow the women of Hope House to engage in college-level coursework as part of their rehabilitation and recovery.

Upon successful completion of the course, each Hope House resident receives a certificate from Stanford Continuing Studies that verifies two units of earned credit. Along with Continuing Studies, these units are recognized by Cañada College and are entirely transferable to other educational institutions. In addition to the units, Stanford Continuing Studies awards each graduate with a voucher to take one of its courses in the future, free of charge. Every quarter, approximately 16 women complete the Stanford class.

The Hope House Program proceeds with two main convictions: First, a liberal-arts education should be available to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds; and second, the program exists to support the vocational and educational aspirations of the students. Utilizing Stanford’s greatest resources — our faculty and students — everyone who participates in courses are pushed beyond their limits. The program offers unique, non-traditional avenues for the Hope House residents to deal with their addiction, recovery, incarceration, freedom and reunification with their children. Stanford seeks to do what Stanford does best: offer a challenging, liberal education to a non-traditional group of students who would otherwise not have this opportunity.

Debra Satz' Lecture About The Hope House Scholars Program

Debra Satz, the Center's former faculty director,  gave the 2009 Miriam and Peter E. Haas Centennial Professorship Lecture on Public Service and the University. In her talk, Riches for the Poor, Satz speaks about the program. 


Roland Prize Awarded to Rob Reich and Debra Satz (2010)

Debra Satz and Rob Reich, who founded the Hope House Scholars Program, shared the 2010 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize. This award, given by the Haas Center for Public Service, is presented to faculty who make significant contributions through public service and encourage their students to do the same. 

Stanford's Community Partnership Awarded to Hope House (2008)

In 2004, Stanford’s Office of Public Affairs created the Community Partnership Awards. These annual awards serve to recognize individuals and programs that have formed successful community partnerships between Stanford and its neighbors. This year, we are pleased to report that the Center's partnership with Hope House has been chosen as one of four recipients of this award. Stanford's then director of community relations, Jean McGown, said: "The Hope House Scholar’s Program partnership has been selected for its initiative, leadership and involvement in a collaborative project that promotes the vitality and well-being of our mid-peninsula community."

Hear the story of Hope House

Mitch Neuger produced a series of audio recordings about the Hope House Program.