The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the stark reminders of race-related discrimination that took center stage in 2020, have created a surge of hopelessness around the world. The isolation of social distancing and quarantine, along with the uncertainty of when “normal life” will resume, has only exacerbated the issue. In the face of the rise of hopelessness, there has never been a more crucial time to focus on the skills that help us to find hope.

While it can be hard to reach a hopeful mindset yourself, it can be even harder to help your child create, maintain, and grow hope in today’s world. It is for this very purpose that Hopeful Minds was created. Hopeful Minds is a program dedicated to helping educators, parents, and leaders teach their children critical hope skills. 

Hope, a vision fueled by positive feelings and inspired actions, can have lasting, positive impacts on your life. Studies show that higher hope is associated with improved attention in class, better sports performance, better quality relationships, reduced likelihood of anxiety and depression, less violence, less likelihood of addiction and risky behaviors, and less loneliness. Anxiety and depression can begin to appear by age seven, and will continue to develop through middle school and high school. And, most researchers agree that the number of children with anxiety and depression will likely increase due to current events. Therefore, the more we can encourage children to aspire to increase their hope, the more we can help them to nurture the skills they need to succeed.  
The Hopeful Minds curriculums were published in 2014 and re-released in 2020 with new lessons, worksheets, and activities that address current events and built on the last six years of extensive hope research conducted in Suriname, Northern Ireland, Malaysia, Chicago, and more. The curriculums acknowledge the current climate through remote-learning capability while teaching the skills needed to find hope in adversity.

Hopeful Minds also released a Hopeful Minds Parent Guide that introduces parents to the hope language, activities, and skills that they can easily implement in their home, as well as resources for where to find support, and how to help children experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Now, more than ever, we need to make hope a priority for our children. As Dr. Myron Belfer, Professor of Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical states, “Hope is tangible and teachable, and it is an essential ingredient for a successful life trajectory.” 

You can find out more about hope and the Hopeful Minds curriculums at


  • Kathryn Goetzke

    MBA, Global Hope Ambassador, iFred Founder, Chief Mood Officer

    iFred, The Mood Factory

    Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, strategic consultant and global depression advocate. She is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Mood-lites™, a brand that achieved over 35 million dollars in retail sales. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, her goal is to ‘Improve Moods’ by teaching consumers how to get in the present moment through engaging the senses. Armed with an MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, over 20 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies, and a successful product launch of her own under her belt, she aims to do just that with her new line of product based on how scents impact moods and 21 Day Courses teaching how to rewire the brain. In addition to launching Mood-lites, Goetzke founded a non-profit organization for depression called iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression – dedicated to eradicating the stigma of the disease using the sunflower, a focus on hope, the color yellow, celebrity engagement, creating hopeful mindsets, and education on the biology of the brain. According to the World Health Organization, there are 300 million people around the world with major depressive disorder, yet depression is treatable and episodes often preventable. She is most excited about her Hopeful Minds initiative (, based on research that hope is a teachable skill and aimed at teaching kids around the world so they may be equipped to always create, maintain, and sustain hope. Goetzke and her work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Home, InStyle, Family Living, Scholastic Choices Magazine, and others. She has spoken at the United Nations, World Bank, Global Mental Health Conference, Mental Health Community Associations Conference, the Scent Marketing Institute, and more. She has been featured on multiple radio and television shows including BBC, WGN Chicago, CBS Chicago, Tasty Trade, and eWomenNetwork. Goetzke is a regular contributor to the Thrive Global and PsychCentral, writes regularly for iFred and The Mood Factory, and serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG, the Global Mental Health Movement, and Women's Brain Project, and is a member of the Founding Steering Committee Member of YMentalHealth, a global coalition for youth mental health nonprofits. Goetzke has a Master of Business Administration degree in International Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, International Studies and Biology from Winona State University. She currently resides in Reno, NV, where she enjoys hiking, meeting new people, playing with her nieces, exploring the mountains, skiing, and solving complex global challenges.