We’ve known for a long time that kids with CASA Volunteers receive more medical, therapeutic, and educational support. And we’ve known that kids with CASA Volunteers spend less time in foster care because they find safe, permanent homes faster. Now studies are also showing the logical product of that advocacy: hope. When kids have CASA Volunteers, they have more hope.
Why does hope matter so much?
Hope leads to higher academic achievement
According to a three-year study, hope can predict academic achievement even more reliably than intelligence, personality and previous academic achievement can. Give kids hope and you will see it positively reflected in their studies.
Hope increases focus, problem-solving, and creativity
When kids have hope, they are better able to access their prefrontal cortex – and that is where thinking, imagining and learning occur. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for sound decision-making and planning, control over emotions and body, and self-understanding and empathy.
Hope improves relationships
Hope leads to empathy, kindness and forgiveness – three skills that increase overall health and happiness. Inspiring empathy, kindness and forgiveness not only benefits an individual child; it also benefits children they interact with. Studies show that an act of kindness not only improves the child’s hopeful mindset; it improves the hopeful mindset of everyone who receives or witnesses the act.
Hope leads to increased participation
Hope is associated with stronger immune systems and greater resilience to sickness. Additionally, hope decreases the likelihood of stress, anxiety and depression, all of which have been tied to increased absences from school. Therefore, as hope increases, kids participate more in school, sports, and other activities.
Hope gives kids a greater willingness to learn and grow
The ability to hope helps give kids purpose, and the ability to set goals. If they fail at something, hope gives them the strength to use the failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Hope encourages students to take time to do things they enjoy. All of these skills work in harmony to encourage curiosity and enthusiasm.