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!

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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