As Hopeworks prepares to move to a new, larger location — allowing us to more than double the number of youth that we serve — Hopeworks trainees, staff, and youth interns are also working to make sure we bring along the trauma informed culture that makes the magic work!
Some Hopeworks traditions will remain unchanged. As we enter the new space, guests will continue to be welcomed by our youth, and the smell of fresh baked bread will stay within our space. Similarly, the self portraits of all of the Hopeworks youth who have come before will still adorn the walls, highlighting the accomplishments of 18 years of Camden young people.
Some traditions and symbols will come with us in a different way. A cutting from the “little tree that could” outside of 543 State Street will come with us to our new home, symbolizing the roots of our work even as we continue to grow into a new location. In our new location, youth will still do “chores” to take care of their common space and to learn accountability, even as the type of chores change with the needs of the new space.
Finally, some Hopeworks traditions and resources will be able to grow in the new space. Hopeworks annual hackathons — often hosted elsewhere in Camden — will find a “home” in our new space, giving tech innovation for youth a home right in Camden. In addition, the South Jersey Technologists meetup, on hiatus due to a lack of space, will finally have a new home for monthly meetings, networking, and idea swapping. Finally, our fledgling “working wardrobe” for youth interviewing for jobs will finally have dedicated space where youth can shop for the clothes they need to land their first professional job!
Thanks to the hard work of Hopeworks youth, Hopeworks staff, and Hopeworks supporters, Hope — already well rooted in Camden — is really taking off!