STORY is a 501(c)3 nonprofit rewriting the story of generational poverty in Virginia’s Southside Region through access to programs that renew minds and restore hope to low-income youth and their families.

collage of photos from youth programs

STORY, or Southside Transformation Opportunities for Residents and Youth, was founded by Steven Benham and Kathryn Thompson at the Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) to support the development of  resources and community programming for low-income residents in Virginia’s Southside Region. STORY received its 501(c)3 designation in April 2015, and has been driven by the leadership of Executive Director Kathryn Thompson since its founding.

In our first three years, STORY has made huge strides toward developing effective partnerships to support our mission as we provide research-based youth programs to public housing communities in Hopewell, including our ML2 After School Program and the STORY Mentoring Program. We are passionate about the opportunity to edit the traditional path taken by many low-income residents stuck in generational cycles of poverty, and hope to have your support.


We are so thankful to all of our partners who make our youth programs possible.

Youth from the ML2 After School Program enjoying the Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Foundation Partners

  • Cameron Foundation
  • The Community Foundation
  • John Randolph Foundation
  • SunTrust Foundation

Program Partners

  • FeedMore
  • Latin Ballet of Virginia
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
  • Virginia Mentoring Partnership
  • Virginia Repertory Theatre

    Kids from STORY at the play "In the Heights"
    Youth from the ML2 After School Program see a play at the Virginia Repertory Theatre.

Community Partners

  • Appomattox Regional Library
  • Friendship Baptist Church of Hopewell
  • HandsOn Greater Richmond
  • Hopewell Redevelopment & Housing Authority
  • The James House
  • Pleasant Grove Baptist Church
  • Rotary Club of Hopewell
  • The Spark Mill
  • The Virginia Bar Association