Duffy's Hope, founded in 1998 by Allen "Duffy" Samuels, is a service provider for at-risk and hard to reach youth ages 12-17 with DOCUMENTED  proof of success. Located in the heart of Wilmington, Delaware Duffy's Hope has changed lives for the better for over  4,500 youth.  Of the 4,500 youth served, 2,500 were participants in Duffy's direct services programs.  Duffy's Hope uses a HOLISTIC approach that includes 10 components to not only determine the root causes in the lives of at-risk youth but also address, and more importantly, helps to rectify those issues.  Duffy's Hope programs include the following:

  1. One-on-One Mentoring
  2. Parent and Family Participation
  3. School & Home Visits
  4. Life changing "shock therapy"
  5. Tutoring
  6. Educational & Enrichment Trips
  7. Guest Speakers
  8. Financial Literacy
  9. Group Discussions
  10. Etiquette Training
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At Duffy's Hope, we provide intellectual, emotional and interpersonal growth opportunities for youth and their families. Our after-school and summer programs are free of charge and have a proven track record of addressing risk behaviors and increasing protective factors among youth living in the Greater Wilmington area of New Castle County, Delaware. The overall focus of our programs can be summed up in one word: prevention.

Since 1998, Duffy's Hope has served youth in our community and was recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2002. In that time we have reached more than 4,500 at- risk and hard-to- reach youth though direct program and mentoring services. Our office is located in the Community Service Building at 100 W. 10 th Street, Suite #9 in Wilmington, Delaware, but the programs take place in the community where they are needed most.

We use evidence-based programs that are designed to meet the needs of at-risk youth age 12-17, their families and their communities to promote well-rounded success. Duffy's Hope staff and mentors work with each young person to improve academic performance and attendance, increase community and pro-social involvement, provide positive peer relations, improve protective factors related to youth violence and suicide, decrease risk factors related to youth engagement in violence and suicide, and reduce youth involvement in maladaptive behaviors and criminal activity.

Parental involvement is the key to our success and what makes Duffy's Hope's programs unique. We encourage family involvement in after school and summer prevention programs provided through Duffy's Hope and promotes parental involvement in school, sports, and community activities in which the youth is engaged. In addition, a parent advisory committee meets once a month. Parents are exposed to guest speakers that address relevant topics related to parenting and household management. Not only are the students impacted through the program, but the parents as well.

We are proud to say that students who have successfully completed our programs have a plan for their future and a way to achieve it. This is a great accomplishment in a world where crime, violence, gangs, substance abuse, suicide, teen pregnancy and school dropout are some of the many issues young people face. Our programs focus on positive opportunities and experiences for youth to combat the risk factors they encounter every day. Duffy's Hope envisions a world where young adults take control of their lives by proactively seeking and rising to achievements beyond their perceived potential, so they can improve their – and their community's – quality of life.

Want to learn more? Call us at 302.652.3532 or send an email to




Youth today need someone to guide them into positive choices that will lead toward a productive future. Did someone along the way make you feel capable? Make you feel cared about? Help you see your talents? Children today need the very same gifts that helped you become who you are now! Servicing youth between the ages of 12-17, the Ambassador Mentoring Program utilizes evidence based practices from the Phoenix Curriculum. The Ambassador Mentoring Program also incorporates the Trauma Awareness Suicide Prevention Program curriculum. The program also includes a 10 components which include, one-on-one mentoring, parent & family involvement, school & home visits, life changing shock therapy, tutoring assistance, educational & enrichment trips, guest speakers, financial literacy, group discussions and etiquette training. What is a Traditional One-to-One Mentor? Like other mentors, traditional mentors provide caring and guidance to their mentees through an on-going relationship. These mentors and mentees meet one-on-one at times and places that fit their schedules.

    Typical Activities:
    • Passing a football, playing hoops
    • Baking cookies
    • Talking about school and friends"”and life
    • Planning a project and doing it together
    • Exercising, crafts, playing computer games
    • Attending a festival or sporting event



Duffy's Hope, Inc. (DHI) we believe involvement in organized team sports provides meaningful, healthy and safe activity for youth. Astonishing incentives for academic achievement and character building are developed through team supports. Sports programs are proven positive social interaction with peers. Therefore, DHI supports using sports as an educational medium that stresses the importance of reaching youth through sports. As a result, for 12 consecutive summers DHI has organized and facilitated a boy's basketball league; for the first summer, a successful girls league was started in 2009. The free basketball leagues will be open to youth ages 14 to 18 years old, the program provides a safe haven and emphasizes the value of sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills. Overall, DHI uses basketball as a prevention platform teaching young people the importance of healthy lifestyles, literacy, self-esteem, conflict resolution and leadership. The organized venue also introduces youth to positive role models and opportunities for mentorship.



Duffy's Hope, Inc. manages and owns a youth led garden and market that will provide fresh fruit and vegetables to youth and families within the Wilmington Eastside Community. Phase I, site acquisition, included soil testing, site excavation/construction/maintenance, equipment purchases, crop production/harvesting supplies. Phase I is complete and operating. Phase II will add a market component which will teach youth the concepts of entrepreneurship and allow for eligibility for scholarship opportunities. This initiative provides extensive exposure to S.T.E.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career opportunities.

    Overall, the project will encourage youth to live healthier lives through the proactive benefits of gardening while focusing on their strengths and assets.
    • Project will work with experienced gardening programs to create a profit making enterprise in the high-need neighborhood, Eastside of Wilmington. Youth will learn aspects of marketing, packaging and small business management through the support existing farmers markets as an income generation component of the garden and a way to further improve access to local and fresh produce.
    • Project will mobilize at least 25 youth for summer and fall programming reinforcing the IM40 principles of engagement, leadership and empowerment through the gardening process.
    • Project will encourage youth to work as teams and learn socialization skills while working together in the garden. Youth will forge healthy relationships with adult volunteers.