Here at Hopeworks our mission is to train young professionals in tech and help them become ready to thrive in the professional world. Many of our young professionals face circumstances in life that do not allow them to successfully graduate or earn a diploma.
Our ABS program is in place to assist with HiSet testing and other educational support so we can remedy this. Earlier this month, both Ra’San Lindey AND Henessey Colon completed their testing and received their diplomas!
“Hopeworks is a family that accepts all of me for who I am. There have been times when I didn't know what to do with my life and I have found myself and my voice here.” I am thankful for everyone who helped me on the path to receiving my diploma.” - Ra’San
“Thanks to the support at Hopeworks I have finally been able to receive my high school diploma! Accomplishing this goal is a dream come true. My future has never seemed brighter, and my possibilities are endless, I could not be any happier.” - Henessey
Congratulations to you both, you are well on your way to building the future that you want!
Last week, Hopeworks hosted our first ever Adult Basic Skills Graduation Ceremony to celebrate young professionals who recently earned their high school diplomas! Family, friends, and Hopeworks team members attended the ceremony at the Kroc Center in Camden to honor their achievements. Keynote speakers included Hopeworks alumni Caloua Lowe, GIS Team Lead Leandra McCullough, and graduates Kayondra Garrison and Elise Vogues!
There was food, fun and fellowship had by all following the ceremony. Each graduate was also presented with a hard copy of their diploma, a Hopeworks swag bag, and a brand new laptop! Thank you to Hopeworks staff Shawneeq and Carol for coordinating this incredible event!
Congratulations are in order for La’Shay who has recently secured her high school diploma! This is a great accomplishment and it’s certainly not an easy road to get there. La’Shay, your journey is just beginning and we’re so happy that you’ve overcome so many obstacles to obtain your goal.
On May 21, in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts and EPAM, Hopeworks hosted our annual Hackathon, which focused on the digital divide.
During the event, volunteers worked on storyboards and captured content to produce an augmented and virtual reality experience.
This includes an online repository for individuals in Camden and Philadelphia to share their experiences of the digital divide and how to solve it.
Not only will these stories exist online, but they will also form a key component of an upcoming pair of murals that will be developed in Philadelphia and Camden.
Visitors to the mural will be able to use their smart devices to see and experience these online stories as part of their experience. The Hackathon event was also covered by KYW News Radio reporter Racquel Williams!
Check out some photos of the experience below!
Graduation season is in full effect! Over the past few weeks we’ve had a ton of Hopeworks alumni graduate from College and we want to take the time to recognize them. We also want to acknowledge the graduates that may not have been highlighted during the pandemic.
Congratulations to Corey Thorpe, Monica Perez-Reyes, Brandon Rodriguez, Daniel David, Kayana Clue, Tianna Coleman, Luisa Lechuga, Marcel Njighe-Tezeh, Rhys Okun, and Ashlee Alexander! You have all worked incredibly hard for this achievement!
We’ve had a huge year of young professionals receiving their high school diplomas and now we’ve added two more to the list! We are so proud of Alejandra and Joseph for all of their hard work and perseverance to get to this point, we know it has not been an easy road.
When asked about some of the challenges she faced along the way, Alejandra said there were many, but she continued to push through.
A lot of times I wanted to give up. I felt as though I was never going to get to where I wanted to be with all the craziness in my life.”
She pinpoints the support of staff and friends at Hopeworks for helping her to remember to keep the big picture in mind.
“Those at Hopeworks taught me that there are going to be trials and tribulations to try to stop you from succeeding. Just remember to always keep pushing. No matter the circumstances. If you believe you will achieve. Most certainly you will.”
We are so excited to see where you both go from here!
Earlier this month, we announced that Web Team member Jordanny had received his high school diploma, and now it’s OFFICIAL! Jordanny has encountered a number of obstacles within his diploma journey, but he was able to overcome them all.
“The main challenge I faced while getting my diploma was just getting over my anxiety to take the test.”
Luckily, Jordanny pushed past his anxiety and fears and completed all of the requirements to achieve this special accomplishment. He credits Hopeworks for helping him grow as a professional and learn valuable skills for his future career.
“Hopeworks has helped teach me about the professional side of things. They've taught me a lot of skills that I can use later in my career such as UI design and G.I.S training.
Hopeworks also has helped me achieve my goal of finally getting my diploma and moving on to college.”
Jordanny, you have a bright future ahead of you and we cannot wait to see you continue to shine your light!
Benjamin Thomas is an engineer, producer, and mixer from Philadelphia, PA. A Temple University Graduate, Ben has faced a number of pitfalls in his personal journey to reach the levels he has today.
Ben has had the opportunity to work with major artists including Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign, The City Girls, Lil Dicky, Meek Mill, NLE Choppa, Donn T, Chill Moody, Jorja Smith, and many others. In 2020, Ben Opened his first commercial studio space, After5 Studios in his hometown.
During his Chat and Chew with Hopeworks young professionals earlier this month, he opened up about EVERYTHING. Ben’s transparency about the music industry, entrepreneurship, working with major artists, along with losing everything and bouncing back was incredibly engaging to everyone in attendance.
Thank you Ben for sharing your story and showing our young professionals a different side of the music industry!
Interested in learning more about Ben’s story? Click here: http://benthomasproductions.com/about
Interested in hosting a chat and chew? Click here: https://hopeworks.org/contact/
Hopeworks is so proud to share that Youth Healing Team intern Rose Nunes has graduated from Drexel’s Community Health Worker Peer Training Academy, an impressive accomplishment that prepares Rose for a career in public health as community health worker!
The Training Academy is a nine-week, 165-hour, trauma-informed, mutual learning environment for young adults with lived experience of violence to become Community Health Worker Peers and Certified Peer Specialists. The Training Academy helps young adults grow into trauma-informed, human services professionals who share life experiences with their clients, break down stigma, and walk alongside people to help them access services.
For Rose, this is just the beginning. This program has prepared her well for her dream job in public and community health, really working to make a difference in communities across the region!
On Friday, December 3 at 10:30 AM, New Jersey American Water will host a graduation for the Water UP! program. In partnership with non-profit Hopeworks, APEX Solutions Group and Jingoli Construction, the 11-week workforce development program offered water utility and other essential business training to equip young Camden-based participants with the skills required to successfully enter the industry upon graduation.
“It’s important for the sustainability of our company and the water utility industry to invest not only in our technology and infrastructure but also the talent behind it,” said Mark McDonough, president, New Jersey American Water. “This is why we created Water UP! We hope this new program will inspire a new generation of qualified and diverse water utility workers.”
Water UP!’s pilot class features young adults from Camden, selected by Hopeworks through an application process. Over the 11-week course, the group experienced hands-on field training facilitated by New Jersey American Water and classroom-based lessons administered by Jingoli and APEX Solutions Group. With completion of the Water UP! program, participants are uniquely qualified for open roles within New Jersey American Water, as well as roles with American Water and its utility industry partners.
This training proves yet again that Camden and Hopeworks young people are the best solution to making sure our technology and infrastructure is prepared for the future!