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Course Description

This Introduction to the Science of HOPE Course provides the basic language and science of hope for all participants through eight one-hour modules. There will be required 15-minute readings (from Hope Rising: How the Science of HOPE Can Change Your Life) with each module which will help provide the evidence-based background for each module within the course.  The modules include practical examples of Hope in Action and will provide a basic understanding of the relationship between trauma, hope, resiliency, and well-being.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learners will gain a basic understanding of the science and language of hope
  • Learners will be able to apply the basics of the science of hope – goals, agency, and pathways thinking – to their personal lives
  • Learners will be able to identify specific changes to language and analytical processes in a professional setting around agency, goals, pathways thinking when working with trauma survivors and those who have harmed others including learning principles of coaching others
  • Learners will be able to articulate the evidence-based research around lower hope and higher hope in customers/clients and will learn to dialogue with customers/clients more effectively in a non-judgmental, interested, concerned, and empathetic way.


Training Length: Eight Modules with a Course Introduction


Course Directors:


Casey Gwinn is the President and Co-Founder of the Alliance. He is the visionary behind the Family Justice Center Movement, first proposing the concept of the Family Justice Center model in 1989. Casey founded Camp HOPE America in 2003. He is a national expert on domestic violence dynamics, including investigation and prosecution, the handling of non-fatal strangulation cases, and is one of the leading thinkers in the country on the science of hope. Prior to this position, Casey was the elected San Diego City Attorney.



Gael Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Alliance for HOPE International. The Alliance has five main programs: the National Family Justice Center, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, VOICES and the Justice Legal Network. Gael is an internationally recognized expert in non-fatal strangulation cases and regularly trains on numerous topics. Gael is also an Adjunct Professor at California Western School of Law teaching a class on “Domestic Violence and the Law”.



Jamal Stroud provides oversight of all mentoring and outreach components of Camp HOPE America. He has a BA in Social Science from Allen University and an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne University. In 2017, Jamal founded Big Homie Lil Homie (BHLH), a nonprofit mentoring program for young boys growing up without father figures. Jamal is also a motivational speaker who prioritizes children and overall improvement of character.




Yesenia Aceves is the Alliance’s Director of Culture, and is responsible for measurably increasing employee Hope, engagement, and well-being while managing employee development and retention. Also serving as the Alliance’s Director of Creative Services, Yesenia oversees the branding and design for all of the Alliance’s programs. Yesenia is also the Founding Director of the Pathways to HOPE Project, the year-round mentoring component of Camp HOPE America.