Kids Hope USA

Cornerstone Church is committed to school partnerships and investing in kids in our communities.  One way you could positively impact a child is through a one-on-one mentoring relationship through Kids Hope USA.

The Purpose

Kids Hope USA pairs trusted, reliable, caring adults from one church with elementary aged, at-risk kids of one school. Mentors give one hour, once a week, for one school year and build a relationship with a student. Cornerstone partners with Kids Hope USA at Bowen Elementary in Kentwood, at Vanguard Charter Academy in Wyoming and at Campus Elementary in Grand Rapids.

Mentors go through a background check, and receive video-based training to equip them to be a mentor. Mentors also receive on-going encouragement and are able to ask questions of the Cornerstone Volunteer who is the Kids Hope USA Director.

The Need

At-risk students live at-risk lives, often with no boundaries or ones that make no sense at all. They long for direction, structure and other life basics. There are at-risk children in every school, in every community. Let’s help change that reality together, by showing up consistently, and caring deeply about these children.

 What we're looking for:

  • Mentors (male and female) who will give one hour, once a week, to meet with one student in-person at the school, during the school year during school hours. Training is provided.
  • Prayer Partners who will commit to pray for the mentor/mentee meeting each week. Prayer can happen from anywhere. Prayer partners do not have to be on-site at the school.
  • Co-Directors for each of our schools who will guide potential mentors through the steps of becoming a mentor and facilitate matching mentors with students at the schools. Co-Directors serve as the link between the school and the mentors for that school.


Hear from Cornerstone Kids Hope Mentors

Mike Letherby

Kristi Halquist

More Information


  • Love children
  • Be ready to listen
  • Have your own transportation
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Be a regular attendee of our church
  • Be there for only one child
  • Believe in your child
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Clear a background check


Training is provided.

Time Commitment:

  • Be faithful – one hour each week during the school year
  • Mentor visits the student during the school day


  • Believe that prayer has the power to change things
  • Be faithful


  • Make a commitment to faithfully pray for a Kids Hope USA Mentor and child that he/she is assigned.
  • Contact the mentor on a regular basis to get a progress report on the child.
  • Prayer can happen from anywhere. Prayer partners will not be on-site at the school.

Time Commitment:

Prayer is the foundation of all we do, so we ask that you pray for your mentor and child on the day that mentoring happens, as well as other times throughout the week.


  • Is enthusiastic about the ministry
  • Feels passionate about children
  • Enjoys working with others
  • Cares about our community
  • Has a heart to serve


  • Serve as the link between the school and the Cornerstone Mentors for that school.
  • Guide potential mentors through the steps of becoming a mentor.
  • Facilitate matching mentors with students at the schools.
  • Set mentors up to succeed through encouragement and connecting them to online training. (Training is provided by Kids Hope USA to prepare you to do all of this).
  • Communicate with the school, mentors and Cornerstone Church.

Time Commitment:

  • Varies.
  • Up to about 3 hours a week (once training is completed and program is launched at the school).
  • Varies based on how many new mentors are joining at one time.
  • Launching at a school could take up to 10 hours a week, for 4-8 weeks to get launched, due to the amount of time to meet with mentors one-on-one and depending on how many mentors are interested at the same time.

See the Director Job Description

Learn More

If you’d like more information, or you have questions, our Kids Hope USA Directors are awesome! They’re happy to talk with you.

Kids Hope USA Director / Bowen Elementary

Laurie Hoyt

Kids Hope USA Director / Vanguard Charter Academy

Tami Melpolder

Kids Hope USA Director / Campus Elementary School

Cara Piper


Tracy Bowers

Tracy Bowers

Director of Outreach