Boys Hope Girls Hope and Bottom Line Band Together to Build a Better Foundation for Collegian Success

Partnership with Leading Organization in College Access and College Success

Boys Hope Girls Hope recently wrapped up a 10-part session this summer with Bottom Line to train and support Collegian Success team members across the Network.

The partnership with non-profit Bottom Line dates back to 2019, when CEO Steve Colon attended Boys Hope Girls Hope’s ACTION gathering, sponsored by Porticus. Bottom Line supports 8,000 first-generation students from low-income backgrounds with getting into college, graduating from college, and successfully obtaining a career-related job or enrolling in a graduate school.

“As Boys Hope Girls Hope embarks upon a plan to scale to serve three times the numbers of young people over the next decade, there were many insights gained on how to leverage our resources and expertise effectively and efficiently to impact larger numbers,” said President & CEO Kristin Ostby de Barillas. “By working internally and with external partners like Bottom Line, our goal is to remove systematic barriers for predominantly first-generation collegians.”


Boys Hope Girls Hope’s Collegian Success team members from every affiliate took part in the monthly sessions facilitated by ShaCara Telemaque, assistant director of training for Bottom Line. Training topics covered the spectrum of college access and success, ranging from the application and decision process to selecting the right major and preparing for a career after graduation. 

“I thought the training was great,” said Rachel Labuda, director of postsecondary services for Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio. “I especially enjoyed the college success part. It helped me think of a framework to create a good foundation for my team.”

ShaCara Telemaque, assistant director of training for Bottom Line

ShaCara Telemaque, assistant director of training for Bottom Line


The meetings also allowed team members to connect with colleagues across the Network. The group shared and discussed their experiences in helping young people navigate college and careers.

The training served as a professional development opportunity for attendees, as well. For newer team members, this was the first time they learned about specific topics; for others, it served as a refresher.

“The scope of higher education is constantly changing, so it’s important to learn industry best practices,” said Lysandra Hutchinson, director of college access and collegian support for the New York affiliate. Hutchinson was instrumental in helping to select the training topics.

Overall, the training provided a chance to create a more unified approach across the affiliates. The Network will also use this opportunity to build on its postsecondary model to continue to provide comprehensive support for scholars and collegians.