Our Approach

Theory of hope

Theory of Hope

In 1991, the positive psychologist Charles Snyder developed Hope Theory: Hope consists of agency and pathways. An individual who has hope has the will to set goals and the belief that they can be achieved, and also access to different ways to reach their goals.  The two conditions are co-dependent: Goals without pathways can lead to frustration; pathways without goals can result in wandering and cycling.

As we carry out SOAR’s mission of elevating community voice, we support both elements of hope. Young people involved in our King County Youth Advisory Council and Opportunity Youth United Seattle groups develop skills and gain experiences that increase their self confidence, ability to set goals, and their belief that their voices and actions can lead to positive community change. Central to our work is creating and maintaining pathways through which community members can make their voices heard. This can look like a youth-led video project, meeting with legislators so to discuss policy decisions, public testimony at local or state levels, opportunities to speak on panels or lead workshops, or more.

“Hope is the leading indicator of success in relationships, academics, career, and business—as well as of a healthier, happier life.”
Dr. Shane Lopez, Senior Scientist at Gallup.

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