Trauma is weaved into our daily activities whether we like it or not, but the threads of love and hope are carefully intertwined into the overall pattern by our hands and hearts.

In keeping with our mission of renewing minds and restoring hope in the Southside Region, STORY has big dreams for our programs and a proven track record of the impact they have on the community.


ML2 After School Program

Kids from STORY at the play "In the Heights"
Children from the ML2 After School Program holding their “In the Heights” playbills.

The ML2 After School program currently serves elementary age children in the Thomas Rolfe Court Public Housing community. The program, which runs Monday–Thursday from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, focuses on math, literacy, and leadership skills-building through homework assistance and enriching activities. Bimonthly parent socials are an essential component of the program designed to increase parental involvement in educational outcomes.

STORY Mentoring Program

Formerly a part of the ML2 After School Program, the STORY Mentoring Program has grown into a stand-alone program that pairs an adult mentor from the community with a child living in Hopewell Housing & Redevelopment Authority communities. Mentoring is provided in large part by a partnership with students in Virginia State University’s Student Liaison Outreach Team (SLOT), but volunteers from the wider community are also encouraged to participate in the program.



If youth from low-income families continue to be disconnected from the new economy, the Southside Region will keep seeing an increase in violent crime, at-risk behavior, and poor education and health outcomes. STORY addresses this disconnect beginning with our youth education programs.

ML2 After School Program

kids from STORY reading books
ML2 After School Program participants gather by the bookshelf to read their favorites stories.

The ML2 After School Program offers after school programming with a focus on youth development, life skills, parental engagement, and improved access to wellness opportunities.

The program strives to create the following changes in youth participants:

  1. Enhanced leadership ability to guide or direct others on a positive course of action and positively influence behavior.
  2. Increased ability to self-evaluate and analyze individual strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Decreased propensity to engage in at-risk behaviors.
  4. Enhanced ability to set personal and vocational goals.
  5. Minimum increase of one grade level for both reading and math skills.

STORY Mentoring Program

Through relationships with caring adults, the STORY Mentoring Program seeks to improve youth access to opportunity, strengthen the fabric of the community, and provide youth participants with additional avenues of care and support.

The program’s main goals are to:

  1. Increase self-esteem in youth participants and broaden knowledge of life’s opportunities.
  2. Create opportunities for youth to feel more connected to their community.
  3. Support growth in the ability of youth participants to form meaningful relationships with others.
  4. Make space for youth to share thoughts and express emotions while feeling validated and heard.

Looking to the Future

STORY and its Board of Directors are working to develop and implement new programs as funding is made available to the organization in order to address service gaps within the Southside Region. Future programs may include a focus on creative arts, youth education and STEM, young adult workforce readiness, and holistic health. A continued goal of all programming is to rewrite the story of Hopewell by demonstrating an improved perception of low-income residents and youth to residents and businesses.