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H.O.P.E. is igniting change in our youth, their families, the Toledo community and beyond

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

- Nelson Mandela

In the case of H.O.P.E. Toledo, H.O.P.E. stands for Helping Our Population Educate.


H.O.P.E. is a one-of-a-kind educational funding program that provides senior students AND one parent/guardian access to post-secondary education funding.  This  includes tutition, room, board, books and fees.  This program is offered initially for the class of 2020 graduating seniors at Toledo Jesup W. Scott High School, but our vision for the future is much greater.


The Class of 2020 was funded by The Kadens Family Foundation with the hope of creating a groundswell movement to ensure that all under-resourced public school children in Toledo, Ohio would have access and opportunity as it relates to post-secondary education upon high school graduation.


H.O.P.E., has a goal of gaining access to $100,000,000 from all across the world to ensure that MANY more students in the future will receive this access and opportunity as well.

H.O.P.E. On CBS News

with Steve Hartman

H.O.P.E. Needs 100 YouTube Subscribers! 

Will you help?  Visit our channel

H.O.P.E. Toledo Story

by TPS

H.O.P.E. is a Responsibility

WTOL 11 News with Pete Kadens


Meet Pete Kadens, H.O.P.E. Toledo Founder

Pete Kadens is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist who currently serves as the chairman of The Kadens Family Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to closing the pervasive wealth and education gaps in the US. Pete retired in August 2018 as CEO of Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest publicly-traded, legal cannabis operators in the US with a current market capitalization of over $2 billion.  Prior to Green Thumb Industries, in 2008 Pete started one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, SoCore Energy. Under his leadership, SoCore expanded operations into 17 states and was named one of Chicago's most innovative businesses by the Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2013, he sold SoCore Energy to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy holding company. Pete employed thousands of people and created billions in shareholder value over his 16-year career as a CEO.

Pete believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as chairman of StreetWise (2009 – 2018), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in Chicago. Pete currently serves as chairman emeritus at StreetWise and sits on several other boards in the nonprofit and for-profit space.


Pete was awarded the Trailblazer Chicago Award by The Cara Program in 2019, The Catalyst Man of the Year by Streetwise in 2015,  The Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010 by his college alma mater, Bucknell University, where he earned his bachelor’s of arts in political science. He was also named one of the 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012. Pete was named one of 20 People to Watch in the Cannabis Industry in 2018 by Marijuana Business Daily.  

Pete is a 2019 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a fellowship that accepts roughly 20 people from around the world each year who have been identified as individuals who have the capacity to create ventures that solve one of society’s intractable problems.

Pete, and his wife, Amy, are blessed and honored to provide students a free education in their hometown of Toledo, Ohio.


Funding education opportunities for the poor is the pathway out of poverty


"In my experience working with the underserved and the youth over the last 15 years, I have seen that all it takes is one human being to invest in another and their life can take flight. I have also witnessed a sense of hopelessness in our urban ecosystems that can be extinguished and converted into a sense of HOPE by investing in education and positive relationships for our youth.


Many people have told me my ideas are “too big and too bold” and that “this isn’t possible to do on this scale” or that “it won’t work.” But my parents taught me that I should always do things with no downside, and this platform has NO downside, only upside for Toledo and its youth and it WILL work. I’m excited to come back to my hometown and to participate in some small way in its renaissance."


Pete Kadens

Founder, HOPE Toledo


  • Dr. Kadee Anstadt, Superintendent, Washington Local Schools (ex officio)

  • Dr. Romules Durant, Superintendent, Toledo Public Schools (ex officio)

  • Bishop Edward Cook, New Life Church of God in Christ

  • Wendi Huntley, Esq., Connecting Kids to Meals

  • Pete Kadens, The Kadens Family Foundation

  • Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, Mayor, City of Toledo (OH)

  • Randy Oostra, CEO, ProMedica


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