An idea that started with only a few people and resources has sparked a fire in the hearts of a new generation of young leaders that cannot be extinguished. We call it HOPE — helping others pursue education.
When my team and I decided to raise money to give a deserving HBCU student a scholarship, we thought that we would help change the life of a hard-working student. We had no idea that it would be us who would change as a result of our scholarship endeavors.
Everyone who heard the story of HOPE and our cause felt empowered. If a group of young HBCU alumni could put their heads together, hold car washes, happy hours, game nights, and several other successful fundraisers to raise $1,000 then anything was possible.
First, we told our friends about our vision to make education more affordable. Then they told their friends about our desire. After awhile, we began to hear the footsteps of HOPE marching up and down our Twitter timeline. Increasingly, those in and out of the HBCU community wanted to work with our organization, and the donations came flowing in.
With a pocket full of pennies, a team of not many, and a half dozen events later, we accomplished what we set out to do by being diligent in our efforts, staying focused on our goals and understanding the potential of our success. That has meant working for this scholarship initiative everyday for a year to give at least one student hope; to allow at least one person to continue their college education.
Everything did not go as planned. We made mistakes. There were several bumps in the road, but we made it. We refused to fail.
It is with great honor and sincerity that I will announce our first scholarship recipient in my next post.
This first chapter of our story is a collection of joys, setbacks, deadlines and bigger ideas, which cause us to work harder as we progress. But we have HOPE, so we accept the challenge.
HOPE is more than just a word of encouragement; it’s an ideology that we have adopted to improve the people and the places around us through education. The movement has just begun, and the story of H.O.P.E. does not end here. This is only the beginning.
Give H.O.P.E. Live H.O.P.E.
Jeffrey D. Chance
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship