A huge congratulations is in order for former Training Room Intern Tony Morales who recently joined the GIS Team! Tony will be a GIS Team lead working with clients such as American Water, Comcast and more.
Everyone who knows, or has interacted with Tony can say how much he embodies the spirit of Hopeworks with his enthusiasm, passion, and care for others.
Tony’s day-to-day responsibilities will consist of supporting the operations of the GIS department by entering and managing data along with keeping track of interns by monitoring their attendance, daily quotas, and conducting supervisions to ensure job-readiness.
Tony says that the support and belief of Hopeworks has been paramount to his growth and development.
“When I initially received my offer letter, shock flowed through my body. I had reminisced about everything I’ve learned and experienced, and to see that Hopeworks believed enough in me to offer me a permanent position was mesmerizing. My Hopeworks journey refined valuable skills I possessed, such as project management and software usage. These skills will help with my transition to becoming a full-time staff member at Hopeworks.”
We are happy to announce the recent addition of Arielle Loffredo to our staff as our new Resource Navigator!
Arielle has worked within Head Start for the past 5 years where she built strong relationships with stakeholders and community members within the Camden Community.
Arielle prides herself in being a true thought leader in the Latinx Community. She fights alongside her community for access to education, healthcare, and quality family services.
Arielle completed undergrad education at Wingate University, with a degree in Human Services. She loves to travel to Puerto Rico and considers herself to be a self taught home cook.
Welcome to Hopeworks Arielle! We are eager to begin working with you, and having your expertise aid in supporting our mission.
We are happy to announce the recent addition of Latesha D. Beasley to our staff as our new Director of Youth Development!
Latesha has deep professional roots in the nonprofit and educational sectors, where she has advocated for social justice and sustainable change in pursuit of equity and opportunity for all.
She most recently served as Chief of Staff for North10 Philadelphia, a community development and neighborhood revitalization organization.
Additionally, Latesha also has experience working in the Camden City School District where she supported recruiting, staffing, and diversity initiatives. Latesha attended Rutgers New Brunswick for her undergrad degree, and Villanova University for her Master’s in Public Administration.
Welcome to Hopeworks Latesha! We are eager to begin working with you, and having your expertise aid in supporting our mission.
This month, Hopeworks added another alumni to our team, inviting the amazing Zamir Williams to join the GIS Team as a GIS Team Lead!
In this new role, Zamir will work with the interns from the GIS Program to assure the timely completion of development and GIS maintenance projects and that the project meets the standards (QA/QC) established by the customer. Zamir will also assist in organizing the workflow and ensuring that the GIS interns understand their duties, and providing training and guidance for interns as they build their skills.
Zamir is a perfect fit for this position. Coming to Hopeworks from PowerCorps PHL, Zamir’s experience as an Assistant Crew Leader prepared him well to take the lead in supervision here at Hopeworks.
For Zamir, this new chapter in his life is an exciting one. As Zamir shared, “Every human being has genius-level talent. There are no chosen ones. You just have to find what you are great at and tap into it”-Jay-Z.
Hopeworks is proud to release its annual report for the fiscal year from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Even more exciting, the report was designed by Hopeworks alum Yanlexis Arizaga!
Check out the report here
Hopeworks is so excited to welcome our new Director of Development, Angel Serrano, to the Hopeworks team!
Angel’s background is primarily in nonprofit fundraising, as she previously worked for local, national, and international nonprofit organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, MANNA and the Food Bank of South Jersey.
Her most recent position was at Soroptimist International of the Americas in Philadelphia, as the Director of Fund Development. She was responsible for developing and implementing fundraising strategies for the organization's annual fund, digital marketing, and stewardship. In addition, she worked as part of a cross-functional team on a 100th Anniversary capacity building campaign.
Angel was born in Camden and currently resides in Burlington County. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Rutgers University and became a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 2015. On a personal note, she has been married to her husband for 8 years and they have a dog named Justice. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling.
Hopeworks is lucky to have a professional of Angel’s expertise, experience and energy joining our team!
Less than three months ago, Grace Manning stepped into her current role as Community Manager for the Cohen Technology Center. Yet she already has a clear vision for how the CTC can evolve beyond its original function as a co-working space.
“There really is so much more potential than that,” says Grace. “Hopeworks is such a supportive organization for the young professionals that come and go through the system. But once they graduate from the program, there isn’t any formal programming to continue their evolution as a young professional.” Her idea: put a “more formal structure in place” that offers support with professional development, networking, and hunting for—and landing—the right next job to continue their upwards career trajectory. “I think the CTC can be the hub for all of these things.”
Grace is the ideal person to do this. She has a history of “building things from the ground up” (something she has done in three previous jobs), and a real gift for “connecting the dots,” seeing what’s needed, gathering the necessary resources, and launching the new initiative. Grace is all about making a real impact. She also has great respect for inclusive, data-driven practices, which is what drew her to Hopeworks initially. Grace says she recognized that Hopeworks had the data to back up its mission, a measure she uses to size up nonprofits. “There are a lot of people doing good work,” says Grace, “but not all can prove they are actually working toward a theory of change and actually making a real impact.”
Prior to Hopeworks, Grace served as the Head of Impact for Saxbys, a social impact company that uses food, beverages, and hospitality to make a positive difference in the community it serves. At Saxbys, Grace oversaw all social and environmental impact-based initiatives, such as multiple workforce development programs, partnership creation, and scholarship management. She was also responsible for creating and implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies. In that role, Grace took charge of content and communications creation, the implementation of DEI strategies, and all the training necessary to see that they were carried out. She also facilitated Saxbys’ transformation into a certified B Corp and Benefit Corporation.
All in all, Grace brings over eight years of community development experience to the Hopeworks team. Hopeworks’ alumni stand to benefit greatly from all of it, and Grace’s vision for what can be.
Shout out to Jase Elam, who was promoted to Youth Healing Team Lead in June, and hit the ground running. They came on board just as their supervisor, Kate Daugherty, stepped away briefly to attend Fellowship activities with the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program. Without Jase on board, Kate might not have been able to step away to do the Fellowship.
Jase, a former Youth Healing Team intern, was chosen for the role because of the many strengths they bring. “They have an innate ability to present,” says Kate. “That’s a really important skill for the Youth Healing Team. They’re great at explaining particularly hard concepts like trauma and trauma-informed care.” Another key strength? “The ability to connect with other young people, and take the lead in terms of making sure that not only are they connecting with the people they are training, but making sure the rest of the team does as well.”
The Youth Healing Team Lead is a new position, created expressly to support the ongoing growth of one of Hopeworks’ core profit-making businesses.“Before we hired Jase, I was limited in how many training sessions I could offer, how many supervision sessions I could provide in a week—and that meant I could only hire so many young people,” says Kate. “Now, with two of us, we can double our trainings. Also, there always needs to be a staff member present with our young professionals when they give trainings,” says Kate. “We doubled our capacity there, too. Our goal is to do more trainings and hire more young people.”
Jase came almost to the end of their Hopeworks training before they learned about the Youth Healing Team. When they did, the sense of fit was palpable. “It was pretty much aligned with everything I had been doing the last seven years,” they said.
And those seven years were packed. Earlier in their career, Jase served in a leadership role for an LGBTQ organization. Volunteering as a young educator, they provided training designed to help other organizations better understand “what LGBTQ identities are, and how they, as an organization, can best serve their clients.” Jase moved on from there to another volunteer position, as a youth healer, with the Office of Behavioral Health in Delaware County, PA. “That was a collaboration of family and youth services, (such as juvenile justice, education, and foster care services.) Everyone was collaborating to provide the best quality of care to youth and families in the county. I was part of that, sharing my own personal experiences and also learning more about trauma-informed care, and what those processes are like. There, I did presentations for them where I talked about youth experiences and things like that.”
From there, Jase was encouraged to become a certified peer specialist “That’s someone who has lived experience with mental health, and uses that lived experience to work with folks,” they said. Jase worked as a peer support specialist at a specialized clinic for early intervention in psychosis. Their work was instrumental in helping youth who are in recovery live fulfilling lives and gain independence. Jase continued in that role for about 2 ½ years, until November 2019.
By the time Jase found their way to Hopeworks, they had also created their own organization, Nebulous Healing. As Jase describes it on the group’s Facebook page, it is an “intentional peer support mission focused on helping people from all walks of life achieve and maintain their ideal wellness” Jase says they chose the name, Nebulous, in celebration of their own “brand of chaotic energy” and in recognition of the fact that healing is not a linear process. (At the time this was written, the website for Nebulous Healing was under reconstruction.)
Nebulous Healing brought Jase into contact with Kayla Wilson, and the two partnered for a time on peer support work. Kayla introduced Jase to Hopeworks, and the rest is history.
As Youth Healing Team Lead, Jase has much to contribute. Certainly, they will help grow the team. That’s a given. They also want to support Youth Healing Team members in finding niches where they can excel, such as Elise Vogue’s initiative to spread trauma-informed parenting. In time, Jase would also like to share with the team ideas they have about new ways to bring trauma-informed practices to bear on the culture inside Hopeworks. Jase hopes to incorporate direct support experience into their work on the Youth Healing Team and looks forward to partnering with the Youth Development Team to help young professionals thrive. As a young professional who has come up through the training, Jase is in a unique position to see what’s needed. That’s one of the benefits of hiring staff members from the internship pool. They have come to learn, and also to teach.
As Cory Communications ventures into a new year and our 20th Anniversary, we’d like to share some of the stories and highlights of our journey. One such highlight is happening currently in 2021. Now, more than ever, it is important to reinforce our purpose to our customers and the community.
Our industry is full of partnerships, whether it be business partners or our charitable community partnerships. Cory Communications was very fortunate when one of our oldest business partners, George Hutchinson of Hutchinson of Business Solutions, introduced us in 2006 to Hopeworks in Camden, NJ.
With their focus on education, technology, and entrepreneurship, Hopeworks provides a positive healing atmosphere that propels young people to build strong futures and break the cycle of violence and poverty in Camden, New Jersey.
Last week, we received a call from one of our top business partners Paul Boyer, from Ancero, who is also a Hopeworks sponsor. He brought us up to speed on a current need of Hopeworks and asked us to join in. By the next day we were in contact with Dan Rhoton, Executive Director of Hopeworks, and had also pulled in another Cory longtime partner Tom Greeno from TG Communications. Presently, we are all working on a project and subsequent solution to support this wonderful SJ nonprofit organization.
The current project involves equipping youths with private work stations to allow them to effectively become remote workers and learners, because unfortunately many of them do not have adequate access or privacy in their current home environment. When complete, the upgrades will allow more youth to be employed using the training they receive from Hopeworks’ programs. As a result, it will also help them to progress with their careers and lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a small business in the community, Cory Communications is proud that during these challenging times for so many, we along with our valued business partners can rally to help and serve those in need.
From LinkedIn, Jan. 10, 2021:
Today is my 23rd birthday 🎊 and I have to be honest I didn't believe I'd make it past 18 years old. I've had my share of trials that I somehow was able to survive through. Hopeworks has been a huge factor in my survival and the staff among the organization literally have saved my life over the 5+ years I've been a part of the organization. The extent that they go to helping the youth within Camden County and expose them with opportunities to better themselves is truly inspiring to me.
With that being said Monday I will be starting as the new Youth Training Specialist. From lost teenager, to trainee, to intern and now becoming an official staff member. I will now have the opportunity as well to inspire the next generation that will lead us into the future.
I thank Dan Rhoton for trusting me with this role and I promise to give it my all just like he has for us everyday.
View his original post and connect with Da’Shek on LinkedIn!