Our Mission

The ongoing mission of The Hope Center is to mentor and empower at-risk youth, with a focus on 5th-7th grades, in DeSoto County and provide a safe place for them to play, learn, and grow. The Hope Center endeavors to come alongside our youth to encourage, strengthen, and build character so that they can become life-giving adults and productive citizens in their families and our communities.

The Hope Center is a registered non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status. We have no building and no paid employees.  We have been blessed to be invited into local schools and churches to be where the need is most prevalent. Our program is run by volunteers in the local community who have a passion for reaching the most vulnerable students.

All of our events are at no cost to the students we serve.  Our activities are sponsored through private and corporate donations.  We are also an official Affiliate of the Mentor Memphis Grizzlies Foundation.  Every dime we get is used to bring the activities, events, and materials to the youth in our community.

We focus on group mentoring and 1:1 mentoring of students in 5th-7th grades as we believe that this is a transitional age that faces the most challenges.  Our mentoring team works with these students to give them a voice and to help them navigate through these trying times.  The benefits of mentorship are great, and much needed in today's climate and have been documented to reduce gang violence, increase leadership skills, reduce bullying, and increase school performance and citizenship.

We have big plans for our future and would love for you to partner with us in our journey as a mentee, mentor, volunteer, sponsor, or with prayer.

The Hope Center is a beautiful, positive, upbeat addition to DeSoto County. Its place in the community enhances opportunities for our youth and provides skills and leadership training for the next generation.      

Donations can be mailed to The Hope Center, 1709 Linden Drive, Nesbit, Ms. 38651. Please make checks payable to The Hope Center. A donation receipt letter will be mailed to all donors. Our EIN Tax ID is 35-2519986.

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Our team

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KENNETH MCKINNEY, SR.

Education:

  • Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA), Delta State University, Cleveland, MS

  • Master of Educational Leadership (M.Ed), University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Certifications:

  • Computer Skills Certification, U.S. Air Force

  • Mentorship Certification, Memphis Grizzlies Mentorship Organization

  • Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Kenneth serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of The Hope Center.  His passion is educating and mentoring at-risk youth and families in the community by giving them knowledge, wisdom, and opportunities to grow and learn in an encouraging environment. 

 

Kenneth is the Principal of Hope Sullivan Elementary School in Southaven, MS, an Associate Pastor at Golden Gate Cathedral Church in Memphis, TN, and a member of the Southaven Chamber of Commerce. He is also the author of a new book titled, "Yes, You Can Win!". Visit his author's website at www.kennethlmckinney.com.

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STACY DODD

Education & Certifications:

  • Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals

  • Certified Peer Support Specialist

  • Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression

Stacy serves as the COO and Co-Founder of The Hope Center.  His passion is to enrich the lives of at-risk youth in the community by giving them opportunities to grow and learn in an encouraging environment.  

Stacy is the Mid-South Regional Community Ambassador for Vertava Health (formerly Turning Point) in Mississippi and Tennessee and is also the State Representative of Celebrate Recovery.

Stacy is a published author of several books. His newest book, "God's Rocks" takes the reader on a journey to uncover God's precious treasures. "Outcast to Executive" deals with leadership roles for the recovering addict. "Backpack to the 'Burbs", is the story of his life as an addict.  These books are available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.