HOPE’s 6th Annual Speed Networking Mixer: Bigger & Better


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It’s been argued that social media has ruined millennials ability to meet and hold face-to-face conversations, but we also know professional success is not solely what you know, it’s who you know. HOPE’s Speed Networking Mixer is a solution to these two issues.


We have made the process of connecting with professionals easy by creating a template of meeting and greeting in a low-intimidation environment. In our format, guests will have the choice to network organically or through seated 5 minute conversations.
11068099_890128457697018_5965580901479196722_nThose who chose the seated or speed networking option will have conversations exploring potential business opportunities between you and the person across the table.  Once the allotted time is up, you get to meet someone new.

Our mission is to award need-based scholarships to minority students. All of the proceeds from this event will go towards a future scholarship award. It’s a win-win.

We’re calling every entrepreneur, nonprofit worker, government employee and working-professional in the DC area to come out, have fun and support a great cause by joining us this Thursday, March 23rd at Shaw’s Tavern.

Live HOPE. Give HOPE.


4th Annual 140 Twitter Challenge: Daquanna Bates


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The H.O.P.E. Scholarship Initiative is excited to announce Daquanna Bates as the winner of H.O.P.E.’s 4th Annual 140 Twitter Challenge. The 140 Twitter Challenge is a scholarship competition designed to meet students where they are — on social media. This scholarship contest is easy; students respond to a question provided by HOPE on Twitter (@hopescholarship) in 140 characters or less and the best response is awarded a $140 book scholarship.

For this challenge we posed the question, “Where do you find hope in a challenging world?” Bates’ winning response was, “I find hope in education empowerment. I want to make sure no one perpetuates the mythology of ignorance upon my people.”

Daquanna Bates is a sophomore, economics major at Howard University. Continue to be a  HopeDealer Ms. Bates, a person with the intent to make the world a better place.

Meet The H.O.P.E. Scholarship’s Newest Scholar


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A HOPE Scholar realizes that failure is not an option, because failure cannot exist in a vacuum of ambition, confidence, perseverance and determination. The H.O.P.E. Scholarship is proud to announce our 2015 fall scholarship winner. 

My name is Josee’ Muldrew, and I am a junior psychology major attending the esteemed Spelman College. Hard work, determination, and a passion for service have propelled my life thus far.

At the age of 10, I lost my mom to breast cancer and it has been one of the hardest things I have had to overcome. I believe my determination comes from seeing how strong my mother was during her battle with cancer. Observing her hard work and dedication, despite her pain, instilled a fire within me that until this day has not burned out. I know what it means to hold fast to my dreams and work diligently to make them a reality.

During my time at Spelman I have had the privilege of extensively studying theories in neuroscience and psychoactive drug usage. As I learned about agonistic drugs, such as cocaine and opiates, I finally gained some insight on the psychological dependence addicts experience. In the future, I plan to become a psychiatrist with a specialty in addiction to decrease the desire for the euphoria addicts often seek. My passion for alleviating the problem of mental illness is deeply rooted in my experience of being immersed in a community where many people suffer from substance abuse.

It is my plan to eventually expand my expertise and establish a private practice open to the city of Flint, Michigan. This mental health center will provide treatment, as well as, therapeutic sessions where community members can engage in various art forms. I believe the intersection between neuroscience and the arts is vital and can truly serve as an outlet to those in need. I am so blessed to have received the H.O.P.E. Scholarship, and I will continue to live out their motto of “helping others pursue an education.” I look forward to contributing my knowledge to an ever-expanding dialogue in psychology where I can demonstrate the intersection between translating science and transforming lives.

Live H.O.P.E. Give H.O.P.E.

TOP 5 SERIES: My Story of HOPE in Five Photos

By Michael Desautels
Staff Photographer

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This is where it all started for me. Michelle, one of the co-founders of H.O.P.E., was looking for a photographer. I met the H.O.P.E. team for the first time at the public library in January 2014 and took this picture of the executive board at the time [Jeff, LaToya, Brandy, Michelle and Teneasha, who isn’t pictured]. I love this image because the group was so willing to open up to me and let me photograph them after just meeting me for the first time. They look fabulous in their bright colors!


I love the light in this image. Jeff is speaking at our 2015 Mixer and is backlit to make him the focal point. I also love the expressions on Jeff and the people around him. They seem to be having a good time while Jeff explains why he and Michelle started H.O.P.E., a nonprofit that raises money for students attending HBCUs.


This picture was taken at the 2014 work out boot camp in Georgetown. Of all the photographs I’ve taken of H.O.P.E. events over the past year and a half, this is my favorite. The young woman’s eyes are focused upward and she is both intense and joyful. 


This is what it is all about. We traveled to Dillard University in New Orleans, LA in March, 2015 to spread the word of H.O.P.E. and to give a scholarship to Ashley Greene who attends this fine HBCU. Isaiah, Michelle and Jeff surround the new scholarship recipient who is clearly happy with her giant check.


This photo was taken at our August, 2015 car wash. I love this picture because the volunteer’s smile lights up the photo. Perhaps she is so happy because she knows that she is making a difference in the life of a college student. She is indeed a #hopedealer.


Top 5 SERIES: How The H.O.P.E. Scholarship is Making an Impact

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As we rev up to celebrate our fifth anniversary, The H.O.P.E. Scholarship highlights five areas where we are making inroads.

Mobilizing Millennial Philanthropists: Philanthropy is a word that is often used to describe multi-millionaire donors who give to charitable causes, but The H.O.P.E. Scholarship Initiative is an organization rooted in the belief that anyone willing to share their time, money or their talent with masses for a worthy cause can make a significant philanthropic impact. We believe that anyone can make a difference. You don’t have to be a genius or a millionaire to make a positive contribution to society. Hard work, determination and a passion for service can turn any dream into a reality. 


Empowering Students: Every year, The H.O.P.E.  Scholarship takes its message of helping others on the road. This year, we hosted our 3rd Annual Hope Tour at Dillard University. While there, we equipped students with necessary life skills via our dynamic “Life After Graduation” panel discussion, driven by the perspectives of young college alums. H.O.P.E also awarded a $250 book scholarship to a deserving student and made a $250 donation to the institution. Past HOPE Tour destinations include: Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., Bowie State University in Bowie, Md. and Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas.  


HBCU Advocacy: Not only does The H.O.P.E. Scholarship as an organization support HBCUs financially, we’ve also created infrastructure so that you can too! Click here and donate to the HBCU of your choice. HBCU pride doesn’t pay HBCU bills. Give!


Highlighting #HopeDealers: The H.O.P.E. Scholarship makes it a point to highlight people who are doing amazing things in their communities. Last year, Dr. Crystal deGregory, executive director of HBCUstory, was named HOPE Dealer of the Year.

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Scholarships: HOPE better have that money or, at least, that’s what college students say. Since its inception, The H.O.P.E. Scholarship has awarded 12 scholarships to students attending historically black institutions and other elite universities.

Join The H.O.P.E. Scholarship for 5th anniversary celebration. For more information visit: http://hopesbacktoschooljam.eventbrite.com.

TOP 5 SERIES: A Handful of Moments in H.O.P.E.


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H.O.P.E. began as an idea and a prayer; in five years we have created memories. It’s hard to choose a few, but below are some of my favorite moments.

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Mix. Mingle. Network.


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For the average person networking is not fun. Sometimes, networking can feel like work, which is the last thing most people want to do on a Sunday afternoon. But there is a way to network and have a good time, it’s called Speed Networking.

How perfect is it, to only be committed to a conversation for 5 minutes or less?

During our event, you’ll have conversations exploring potential business opportunities between you and the person across the table (from you) and when time is up, you get to meet someone new.

This format allows you to meet the majority of the room while having fun in the process.


Raise your hand if you:

1. Want to advance the cause of non-profit, business, social club or brand
2. Want to meet more young professionals in the Washington, DC area
3. Want to hang out on a Sunday afternoon while supporting a cause

If’ you raised your hand you should RSVP today. If you have not raised your hand yet, check out our past mixers and meet our sponsors by visiting our Facebook page.

We hope to see you this Sunday, March 8th.

Live HOPE. Give HOPE.

So Much Samsonite


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Similar to your everyday commute, flying to get to work has become the new normal for me. Some days I run into the airport with open arms and others I have to remember, I asked for this; I’m 30,000 feet up in the air, somewhere in-between home and are we there yet.

For my first trip of the year, I decided to create a photo blog to shed light on having a job that requires significant travel. Currently, I serve as the Director of Recruitment and Admissions at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. I search the country for new students each term but, primarily for the fall semester.


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140 Twitter Challenge: Nitosha Dawson


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Every year The H.O.P.E. Scholarship Initiative hosts the 140 Twitter Challenge and in the past we have awarded one scholarship annually; this year we were fortunate to award a second book scholarship through a partnership with Community One.  Community One is a non-profit organization that exposes at-risk youth to interesting careers.


The 140 Twitter Challenge is a scholarship competition designed to meet students where they are — on social media. HOPE releases a question on Twitter, students respond in 140 characters or less and the best response is awarded a $140 scholarship. Nitosha Dawson was selected as the winner of our second 140 Twitter Challenge book scholarship.

Challenge Question: “How can you use your desired career path to make a difference in the world?”

The winning response: “I plan to use my degree and love for poetry to start a nonprofit after school program dedicated to literacy for minority kids.”

Nitosha Dawson is a junior at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, majoring in social work. Dawson is involved in Voices Poetry Group, Dream Defenders, and Student Social Work Association. In the near future, Nitosha plans to study abroad before graduating Suma Cum Laude.

A HopeDealer is any person with the intent to make the world a better place and that is what you are, Nitosha.

For more information, visit our website.

Give HOPE. Live HOPE.

140 Twitter Challenge: Amber Gibson


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AmberThe H.O.P.E. Scholarship Initiative is pleased to announce Amber Gibson as the winner of H.O.P.E.’s 3rd Annual 140 Twitter Challenge.

The 140 Twitter Challenge is a scholarship competition designed to meet students where they are — on social media. Students respond to a question provided by HOPE on Twitter (@hopescholarship) in 140 characters or less and the best response is awarded a $140 book scholarship.

For this challenge we posed the question, “Across the country, students are leading marches, sit-ins and protests. What role should students play in social justice movements?” Amber’s winning response was “We must figure out how we can use our individual disciplines to help further our communities and use our degree to empower.”

Amber is a graduate student at Howard University, majoring in school psychology. Amber’s extra-curricular activities include mentoring, volunteering and community development.

Currently, Amber is pursuing a PhD with the hopes of working with incarcerated youth and closing the achievement gap between students of color and their peers. She also aspires to help develop academic support in juvenile detention centers.

Amber’s skill-set and ambition are much needed in today’s society; you are a “HopeDealer”.

Visit our website for more information.

Give HOPE. Live HOPE.