About the Hopkin Foundation

The Hopkin Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on helping lower-income individuals successfully receive a college education.

We believe the most effective way for individuals from humble means to improve their circumstances and achieve their personal and professional aspirations is through receiving a college education. Our work not only helps the individuals we serve today, but will also provide increased opportunity for future generations.

By combining financial aid with careful mentoring and progress monitoring, we achieve exceptionally high graduation rates and prepare our students for success in their careers, personal lives and community involvement.

Our Vision and Mission

The vision of the Hopkin Foundation is that people of all backgrounds might have the same opportunity for socioeconomic progression. It is our mission to help lower income individuals improve their livelihood through receiving a college education. We make this possible by providing students with the necessary resources to succeed, including financial aid and mentorship.

Our History

The Hopkin Foundation was established in 1982 by John and Bonita Hopkin. The original purpose of the foundation was to unify the charitable efforts and promote community involvement among members of the extended Hopkin Family. Over the years, the Foundation has contributed to humanitarian projects, social and religious programs, and provided financial aid to college students. Recently, the foundation has focused primarily on the college scholarship program and has welcomed outside contributions.

Education has been a core value of the Hopkin family for generations. John Hopkin grew up in humble circumstances in Wyoming where receiving an education past high school seemed out of reach. The following excerpt from John’s autobiography summarizes an important cross-road in his life that changed his future and the future of his descendants:

“In the spring of 1936, a recruiter for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) came to [Star Valley, Wyoming] seeking enlistments. Three of my friends and I decided we would drop out of school and join. The job offered army-type travel to whatever CCC Camp we might be assigned, and it paid $21 per month plus room and board with weekends free. Just a week before the CCC sign-up, a knock came on the class-room door in my English class. It was the County Agent, Seymour B. Murray, asking for me. We visited in the hall for some time while he persuaded me to make application for a Union Pacific Railroad Scholarship to the University of Wyoming. He had my annual reports of 4-H projects over six years and showed me how to summarize them as part of my application. He seemed appalled at my plan to join the CCC and strongly encouraged me to think of college. I agreed to think about it and possibly complete the application which I did with further help from him. This experience started me thinking about my future and the economic dead-end for which I was then heading. I decided to not sign up with the CCC and to begin making plans for attending the University of Wyoming if I received the Union Pacific Scholarship.”

“I felt some pangs as my companions left for the CCC, and I was lonely for them from time to time but making the decision not to go was a good experience for me then and provide to be a very important bench-mark decision in my life. Those friends who left never did finish high school. One died of a drug overdose some six years later while in the armed services, another is an alcoholic.”

“Many times, I have reflected on the profound impact that knock on my English room door had on my life and express gratitude to my Father in Heaven for a tireless and dedicated County Agent who went the second mile to be at a critical cross-road in my life when I most needed it. On the surface, it may seem like a little thing, but I know it was a turning point in my life.”

Hopkin Portrait
John and Bonita Hopkin

In the same spirit exhibited by the County Agent, Mr. Murray, the Hopkin Foundation encourages everyone to pursue a college education. We provide guidance in addition to financial resources to make higher education a possibility for underserved individuals. Because of John’s decision to accept the scholarship and attend the University of Wyoming, all of John and Bonita’s five children and over 20 grandchildren have received a college degree. The Foundation not only contributes to current students but impacts future generations.