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.
- One of the reasons this organization was started was to fulfill a need. H.O.P.E. was never created for personal fame or recognition, but to ensure that students are not denied access to an education simply because of a lack of funds. It is humbling when others pilfer our story or adopt our language to inspire others. One of my most memorable moments was having our organization being discussed in a chapter of Marybeth Gasman’s book “Opportunities and Challenges at HBCUs“.
- In our first year, we spent every week working on the 501c3 application. It was a tireless 7-to-8 month journey to complete our application for submission. We greatly appreciate our friends for their support throughout this journey. In our first submission, we received official nonprofit status. This was a major accomplishment for us.
- A few months after starting H.O.P.E., we hosted our first event or what some may call a launch party. We hustled on U Street to find a free venue. We invited close friends and had 3 performers (musician, poet and comedian) at our inaugural event; a feat we still have not matched lol. With no money, few connections and no real organization creation experience, we turned an idea into reality.
- Our first scholarship recipient. Nicole Echols could not be a better candidate to award our first $1000 scholarship to. Nicole was a Baltimore-based student who went to a local university. Feeling unfulfilled academically at her current university, Nicole decided to transfer to Howard. With debt accumulating, all her credits not transferring over, and meager support from her family and friends, she made that transition. Although our scholarship would not cover all of her financial burden, Nicole’s story embodied why we created this organization. Our scholarship reignited her desire to succeed through graduation and to apply/receive further financial assistance. This moment reinforced the reason why this organization was created.
- One of our biggest accomplishments is our blog. Readers are still dissecting and commenting on posts that were written years ago. We have had some amazing blogs and some big time features. My most memorable post would have to be the blog by Grammy award winning rapper, Rhymefest. I can remember how we made that happen and that’s when I knew we were doing something special and people were reading.
H.O.P.E. is making memories by helping others pursue education daily. These are only a snippet of the milestones we have accomplished. Help us celebrate five years in existence by joining us September 20th for our Anniversary Celebration.
Live HOPE. Give HOPE
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship