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HOPE Centered Agency

OJA is a HOPE Centered agency whose mission is to collaborate with youth, families, and community partners to create pathways for success through prevention and treatment for all Oklahoma youth.

With the support and communication of our OJA worker, we have been able to navigate through the challenges we face as a team.                                                                      - OJA Youth Parent

"....hope can be applied to all aspects of our work, kids, families, other providers, co-workers, and of course ourselves."         - OJA HOPE Navigator   

"Hope encourages us to continue working on our goals, while inspiring us to achieve those goals, despite unforeseen circumstances. Spreading hope isn't a choice, but a responsibility for all of us".        - OJA HOPE Navigator  

“Every kid deserves to know that life can get better and that they have the power to make that happen, even if it’s only in the smallest ways.  If I don’t see hope in the work I do, I need to find a new job.  I owe that to each kid who crosses my path.”         - OJA Hope Navigator      

HOPE Steps

Hope is the belief that your future can be brighter and better than your past and that you have the power to make it so.

Change does not happen instantly; it takes deliberate actions, but you can start small. You have choices.

1)     Envision what you want to change or create? (Goal). 

2)     What have you tried and what else can you try? What is robbing your peace and what steps can you take to your goal? (Pathways).

3)     Find your support system, plan self-care and celebrations, who can support and encourage you when things seem impossible? (Willpower).

4)     Reach out for help or guidance when you feel you have hit a roadblock or frustrating situation. Others can help you find pathways around your hard times. (Removing Barriers).

Dr. Chan Hellman

Chan M. Hellman is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center. He has written more than 150 scientific publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences worldwide. Chan’s research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity.

Chan is the co-author of the award-winning book “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life” with his co-author Casey Gwinn published by Morgan James.

A lot of people want to change their lives, but they are not quite sure how. They think of hope as a magic wish, or an ideal that is out of reach. In this talk, Dr. Chan Hellman shares there is both science and power in hope to help people create the change they want in life.

Chan M. Hellman is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center. He recently visited the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) in Tecumseh.


Questions you may have?

  • We understand this system is new to you and you probably have a lot of questions. We are here to guide you. If you want to know the juvenile process, please click here.

  • Does the science of hope remove accountabilities?
        Hope is a strategy for change, to find pathways to well-being and healthy choices. 
  • Is there a pamphlet that can help me understand my youth’s intake? Click here

Empowering hope in my home?

  • My child seems distant, indifferent, disengaged, and helpless. These are signs of low hope. In this moment, they are struggling to believe they can succeed. What do I do? Nurture hope. Believe in your child and help them to identify paths to success and celebrate successes.

  • You have the power to increase hope in your own home.

    Find your free hope score at

The Office of Juvenile Affairs is here to help you identify pathways to your wellbeing. We have county offices all over the state with juvenile justice specialists to help guide you. 

If you have question or comments about hope. Visit

Last Modified on Jan 30, 2024
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