The Center of Hope Club has helped Katie Thompson, a 17-year-old high school student, to keep her hopes and dreams alive while living at the shelter. Katie plays in a traveling basketball group for elite high school athletes and is looking to be recruited by colleges such as North Carolina State and the University of Florida. The Club's focus on planning and schoolwork-made possible in large part to the Speedway Children's Charities grant-helps her remain on a solid academic track as she pursues her athletic dream.

"My grandparents tried to help," Katie said, "but after my mom lost her job there were only so many times that they could send checks. We also stayed with family for a while, but eventually wound up coming to the shelter."

Club activities provide stability in children's lives while their mothers are involved in job training or job searches. The Club's programming helps young people to realize that they are in charge of their own lives-and that they have the power to break the pattern of poverty and generational homelessness. Katie is one young woman who is breaking the cycle.