David Clark was attending high school in Camden and was struggling to stay focused and motivated with virtual learning. David admits he was more interested in sports than in academics, so high school during a pandemic was a challenge. He didn’t feel supported and left school in December 2020, but knew he needed to find another path. His friend was a Hopeworks GIS intern and David saw that despite some personal challenges, his friend had opportunities at Hopeworks and life was improving for him. He saw his friend making plans and achieving goals, so he started training that same month.
David shared that early in the training, he continued to have trouble staying focused. His schedule was keeping him from getting enough sleep to be productive. David’s Job Readiness Assessment (JRA), conducted during his training, made David aware of the patterns that were keeping him from moving forward. He immediately made the changes needed to get to work on time, be productive and professional, and was able to complete the training program in February. David then earned an internship in the training room helping other youth achieve their goals!
Obtaining a H.S. Diploma is one important goal for David. He is an Adult Basic Skills (ABS) student at Hopeworks preparing for the HiSet test to earn a diploma. David took the first of five tests on March 19th! With an entrepreneurial spirit and the dream to own a business in the future, David feels that Hopeworks has provided the tools he needs to make it happen.
David expressed his gratitude by sharing, “Hopeworks has so many opportunities. I get so much support and learn skills and everyone here is very positive. Outside of Hopeworks, I don’t get that or the guidance I need. I know I need to do the right things and I’m learning the right steps to take at Hopeworks. I stay motivated by the positivity here. I feel more at home at Hopeworks than I did at home.”
"Hi! My name is Jeriamyah, and I was referred to Hopeworks by my mentor at College Together. Until then, I never really had a solid plan for my future. I tried college, and then a few trade programs. I thought of game design but didn’t commit. That is how I ended up attending a trade school for IT (Information Technology). I have always liked technology and figured I would want to end up within that work space but was never really sure how to enter it. Out of everything I learned, only one thing truly piqued my interest and that was coding. I was introduced to C++ and found it fun even though I was doing very basic coding. So I looked for something that involved coding. But I didn’t find anything right away. It was only when I started to consider college again that I heard about Hopeworks. I was going to College Together and my mentor, Oscar Wang, not only introduced me to the program, but also helped me enroll in it. The rest is history.
Through Hopeworks, I have gained goals and I now feel closer to achieving something I thought was unattainable for me. I never thought I would be able to get my feet wet in coding, let alone gain an internship. Thanks to Hopeworks, I was able to get a Web Development internship with Annie Rose Webb. Since I started, I have learned a lot. I am becoming more and more comfortable in Web Development. Thanks to Annie Rose and the Web Department, I now feel closer to reaching my goals. Through the experience, I am gaining hope that I can have a good career and earn enough to support my family, especially my siblings."
Coming to Hopeworks, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take. I was working part time as a home health aid and needed a second job. I came across Hopeworks on a job posting site and reached out. I was called the next day for an interview. Thankfully, I took the interview because Hopeworks introduced me to my current career path in website development!
After a long job search during the pandemic, Hopeworks connected me to Being Design, where I now have a professional job! I’m able to continue to grow as a developer and provide website maintenance for their clients. I’m thankful to be able to continue to build my skill set and to learn more everyday.
“Hopeworks has defined a clear career path for me and a still growing skill set in web development. I’m honored to hold the title of an alumna as it shows with hard work, you can move forward and progress.” - Beth Antrilli
Before I came to Hopeworks, I had already heard about it from a friend who had started some time ago. At the time, I was more focused on school and maintaining my academic standing. With the events of 2020, namely the pandemic, the entire world shifted to online/remote school and work. While still a priority for me, my classes became more comfortable to manage online and opened up a lot of free time for myself. Jobs that were hiring were either unable to accommodate my school schedule or put me in roles that increase my risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19 to my family. Again, Hopeworks was mentioned to me, and I found out it took place remotely, so I jumped on the opportunity to join.
Hopeworks has opened up a new world of possibilities, experiences, and connections to me. While the technical skills I have learned won’t be applied explicitly to my field of study, they are very valuable. Hopeworks provides more than just the technical skills; there are also the interpersonal skills we develop by having open and honest dialogue with supervisors and peers alike. The trauma-informed approach is crucial to the Hopeworks experience for me, understanding why I feel the way I do, and how to manage and work through these complicated feelings. Hopeworks has also helped me speak with people in fields different from my own and see where they may be interconnected.
Presently, I am a pre-med student at Rutgers University in my final year of undergrad, preparing to take my MCAT and then applying to medical school. My dream is to become a pediatrician, and I believe the trauma-informed care taught at Hopeworks will help me better tend to my future patients as I heal them physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
A few weeks ago, I joined the GIS team as an intern at Hopeworks because geography plays an important role in understanding people. I hope to use the skills that I will learn in the future to analyze health trends, track the spread of infectious diseases, and better understand my patients through a different perspective.
You can view Luisa’s portfolio presentation here!
Acasha was in her second year as a Bio-Chem major at Rowan University when she realized she was suffering from depression and anxiety. Her mental health was negatively impacting her grades and she needed a break. She found out about Hopeworks from a friend who was a Web Intern. Acasha was curious about building Websites and thought this would be a good opportunity to learn something new; she was most interested in the CRIB.
Acasha contributes a large part of her success at Hopeworks to her Career Readiness Coach, Tina. “Tina does care about my wellbeing and goals.” Acasha feels the addition of the GIS module in the training program gave her insight to the work of GIS and helped prepare her for the internship. She stated, “my future is looking really bright and I know that it's because of all the support and love I received from Hopeworks.”
When asked to describe Hopeworks in one word, “Family”.
Nina Mercado was skeptical when she came to Hopeworks. Having struggled with so many barriers, she found it hard to believe in herself. With support from the Hopeworks team, Nina is proud of her achievements. She bravely shares her story here.
When Jili walked through the doors of Hopeworks she had just lost her management position at Checkers and her sister told her she should come to Hopeworks. Her sister, Alejandra, was already a Recruitment Intern and working to obtain her High School Diploma. Jili admits that when she first started the training she felt lost, but when she earned her Training Room Internship she started to figure out all the opportunities that could further her education and career. "I know I will accomplish my goals by getting my car, my own place, and starting my career in Medical Assistance or Google IT, or Entrepreneurship".
Jili says that she learned patience while working in the training room something that has caused her to lose jobs in the past. Her proudest technical skills were learning how to code. When asked to describe Hopeworks in one word she replied, "Hopeworks to me, means success!"
Trauma and toxic stress don't go away during a pandemic. In fact, they increase and so does the need for tools and resources for nonprofits and for-profit businesses to support their teams. To help, the Hopeworks Youth Healing Team is taking trauma training virtual with a webinar and we're bringing on two new interns to help us meet the demand for this training. Interested in learning more? Contact us below.
In the meantime, meet our new interns Kadijah Mustapha and Kayana Clue!
“Serving my community has given me a purpose in life, not only am I helping others but it gives me a better understanding of the circumstances of other people in my community. By joining the Youth Healing Team, I can gain additional skills to get to know and understand individuals who have dealt with trauma and be able to support them. This opportunity will help me give back in a way that can be beneficial to the members of the community” ~ Kadijah Mustapha
"I chose an internship with the YHT because I have a strong interest in learning about trauma trainings and I felt that this team would best contribute to my personal growth by enhancing my presentation and people skills, expanding my knowledge about trauma, as well as assisting me with other leadership and team building techniques that are necessary for any job or career. Working with the YHT will give me the opportunity to achieve my goals as a college student, and provide the education and experience needed to be successful in my career as a trauma therapist or psychologist in the future.” ~ Kayana Clue
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Hopeworks interns have proven their value time and time again. All three of our businesses are meeting the needs of our clients without interruption!
Our latest project with Tennessee American Water has Hopeworks GIS interns working hard at home processing records and interpreting scanned engineering drawings to populate data into TNAW's ArcGIS Online. Hopeworks not only does the data transfer and updating, but provides QA/QC.
GIS Director, Luis Olivieri, reports that interns are ”processing close to 15,000 records in a month, comparable to any other GIS professional service. In fact, we are on course to complete our project with TNAW in approximately half the time expected!"
Xavier Hilton is one of several interns making this possible. Xavier has processed over 2,000 records in recent weeks and tells us, “This project means a lot to me especially during this pandemic, because even though there is a lot going on in the world, we are still able to produce our amazing work and make positive changes to help better communities.”
To learn more about our GIS services, visit our own new website at https://gis.hopeworks.org/.
Hopeworks Web Team has been busy, like all of us, working remotely! They recently launched a new website - Philly Homes for Youth - a coalition of organizations working to end homelessness in Philadelphia.
Philly Homes for Youth was the first website new web intern Andrew McFarlane worked on. About the project, Andrew shared, "Working on the website for Philly Homes for Youth was a fun experience for me. I enjoyed developing the layout as well as the content. I learned so much from hands on experience."
Hopeworks team of interns, under the guidance of Web Director Annie Rose Webb, are designing and developing solutions for businesses of all sizes in all sectors. Let’s keep them working on your project!
To learn more about our web development services, visit our own new website at https://web.hopeworks.org/.
Hopeworks Youth Healing Team (YHT) has been meeting virtually to design a webinar so they can continue delivering our Trauma Informed Care Training!
YHT Intern Alicia Hinkle shared, “Working from home hasn’t stopped us from doing what we do best. We’re currently working on a webinar to help everyone find ways to deal with the stress of the coronavirus while working from home and in isolation.”
According to Hopeworks Community Impact Director, Kate Daugherty, they recently piloted an interactive slide presentation: “Dealing with Trauma and Toxic Stress During the Coronavirus.”
To learn more about our services, visit our own new website at https://yht.hopeworks.org/.
Genesis Sanchez is the Youth Healing Team's newest intern. We asked her to share her journey with us here:
I started training at Hopeworks in February of last year. I was working at McDonalds and trying to find a way out of all the negativity in my life. I thought dropping out of school was the best decision I could make, because I thought it would help remove stress and take weight off my shoulders. I had a lot going on at home and in school I just could not handle all of the stress. When a friend called me one morning before work, I cried and said I wish I could go back to school. I'm miserable working here. Then my wish came true.
My friend said there's a program I just started at a place called Hopeworks. He told me,“they gave me a tour, and they made me feel so welcomed. No other program has ever made me feel equal.” That very day, I got on the bus and went in for a tour. As soon as I entered Hopeworks, there was nothing but good vibes, bright smiles, and a genuine welcome from everyone.” On that day, I was able to get started training! Being at Hopeworks was great, I was so happy, I was thriving, I went to classes everyday, and I even set up goals. Then suddenly a dark cloud rained over me and I lost my motivation. Things at home started to get worse, and every day I just felt down, depressed, and very stressed. Again, I gave up on myself. I didn't believe in myself anymore. I did what many youth do, I ran away. I guess I ran away because I was not used to people caring about me, I wasn't used to someone trying to help me become the best me.
I returned to Hopeworks about 7 months later and it was the best decision I ever made. My goals were to get my H.S. diploma and to make sure I got an internship at Hopeworks. It is actually my proudest achievement to return to Hopeworks. Because since coming back, every day my life is changing for the better.
Where am I now? I finished the training and I’m finally an intern for my dream job, which is working with the Youth Healing Team. I am also currently still in the process of getting my high school diploma. You may be wondering what Hopeworks means to me, and all I can honestly say is that Hopeworks means home.
One thing I would love to say to Hopeworks is,” I really appreciate everything you guys have done for me. Without your support I don’t think I’d be where I am right now.” I get great support, and I can definitely say Hopeworks is like a big happy family. Hopeworks comes with lots of opportunities for young people which is great.