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Giving back, one dream at a time

  • National Recognition
    National Recognition
    Nicole Lewis '03 appeared on the Steve Harvey Show Oct. 25 to discuss her non-profit organization, Generation Hope.
  • Big surprise
    Big surprise
    Lewis (c) accepts a $5,000 donation for Generation Hope from Harvey. Jennifer and Marikit (l), Generation Hope Scholars, look on.

Nicole Lewis ‘03 was recognized on national television Oct. 25 for her work as founder of Generation Hope.

Comedian and television personality Steve Harvey invited Lewis to appear on his nationally syndicated talk show. Unbeknownst to Lewis, the invitation was at the request of two Generation Hope Scholars, Marikit and Jennifer, whose last names were omitted for privacy.

The pair reached out to Harvey so they could publicly thank Lewis for what Lewis and the organization have meant to them. 

Lewis was a single parent when she entered William & Mary. Still, she graduated in four years and went on to receive a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University. It wasn’t easy, Lewis noted, but it was worth it.

Lewis with her daugheter at Commencement 2003“I started Generation Hope because looking at my own experience of being a teen parent in college I realized that my college degree completely transformed my life,” she said. “I was able to provide my daughter with a life that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”

Lewis felt she had something to give back – hope. One’s life dreams and goals could still be met despite teen pregnancy.

Marikit, who is on her way to completing her undergraduate degree, and Jennifer, who is working on her master’s degree, are recipients of that hope, and they had a surprise for Lewis.  Their public “thank you” came with an extra surprise, a $5,000 donation from Liberty University Online for Generation Hope to help other teen mothers attend college. Harvey presented the check.

“Your career is what you’re paid for, your calling is what you’re made for,” Harvey told Lewis.

“You’ve created a legacy of hope,” he continued. “You are an incredible person.”

Generation Hope was founded by Lewis in 2010. According to the organization’s website, the nonprofit is dedicated to reducing poverty “one family at a time by providing direct sponsorships and one-on-one mentoring to teen parents who are attending college in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.”

Lewis and Generation Hope were featured earlier this year on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

Additional information about Generation Hope is available at www.supportgenerationhope.org. The Steve Harvey Show airs on ABC and FOX affiliates nationwide.