Fourth Annual Career Day a Success!

Hope Partnership’s Fourth Annual Career Day was held this year on March 31st. Professionals from the government, business, science, entertainment and arts worlds all gathered at Hope to speak with the students about their careers and what it took for them to achieve so many of their goals and aspirations. Anton Moore, a speaker at the Democratic National Convention requested by Hillary Clinton and the founder/CEO of Unity in the Community, joined us as the keynote speaker to discuss resiliency and his path to success.

As Anton concluded, students broke off into smaller groups to hear professionals speak on their careers. The morning session included a policeman, a makeup artist, political staff members, business men and women, an engineer, an attorney and a molecular biologist. The students had the opportunity to ask individual questions on professions where they have an interest. Following a pizza lunch for the students and a networking lunch for the guests, the afternoon session began. This year, we requested more active roles from our afternoon guests. The students enjoyed boot camp training from a member of the Navy, yoga class, hip hop dance instruction and an interactive rap performance by a local Philly artist. We concluded the day with an energetic farewell from our guests.

Hope’s Young Professional’s Committee​ (YPC) manages the event and​ did an outstanding job recruiting diverse professionals to speak about their careers (or perform them!)  Thank you so much YPC!

Interested in participating next year​ and inspiring our students​? Contact Samantha Hall​, Director of Development,​ to learn more.

An Afternoon at Overbrook

“This is the first time that I’ve ever seen anyone play golf.” “You can even hear the birds singing out here.” These were some of the student comments as four students and four staff members from Hope Partnership drove into Overbrook Golf Club on Thursday, April 27th. We were there to attend the annual CC4C (Children as Catalysts for Change) Foundation fund-raising event to benefit St. Matthew’s School and Hope Partnership.

Over 125 people enjoyed a wonderful lunch, an inspiring talk by Linda Cliatt-Wayman, the former principal of Strawberry Mansion High School, who was featured on 60 Minutes last year and has been recognized for a dynamic TED talk. The guests also had a chance to learn more about Hope and to meet our students.

Ann McDevitt, one of our volunteer adult education teachers, is the catalyst for this event. Hope Partnership has been on her radar for the past five years and our students benefit from her generosity everyday as they use the Smart Boards in their classrooms. CC4C has funded all of the technology associated with these wonderful learning aids.

We dream that our students will return someday to play golf at Overbrook and to sponsor their own event for future Hope students.


Inquirer Reporters Offer Writers’ Workshops at Hope

Who could have imagined the results of a simple question to Pam Carunchio, our Director of Adult Education, from Karl Stark, the Business News Editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Karl wanted to know what he could do for Hope. Pam mentioned that we really wanted to help our adult students build their writing skills. Karl had a novel approach which far exceeded anything we could have imagined. He recruited his colleagues, past and present, at the Inquirer to conduct a series of Friday morning writing workshops at Hope.

Karl Stark, who is also a jazz critic, played pieces of music that he liked, and the students in turn shared music that they liked, and then wrote about what they hear and feel from favorite songs they chose. Jen Lin, who has just published
Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family, explored family history and invited students to explore their own family story through the “reading” of photographs. Michael Vitez challenged students to choose something they know how to do really well, and write a piece to explain to someone else how to do it. Helen Ubiñas talked about growing up in a public housing project in New York where the drug trade was rampant, and how that inspired her to ask questions and keep trying to find out why. Melissa Dribben shared a piece she had written on what it means to be a hero, and asked the students to share their own definitions of what a hero is and to write about a person they admired as a hero.

By sharing so personally their own challenges with writing, each writer broke down the mystique that writing is an easy process, dispelling some of our students’ assumptions that having trouble writing is a problem that only they have. Week after week, the students wrote stories and shared them in class. As they shared, we were inspired by their own stories of hope, self-discovery and compassion. We have asked the students to select at least one story so that we can share them with you on the website.

10-10-10 Project Partnership with Temple University

As part of the Entrepreneurial Marketing Classes at Temple’s Fox School of Business, students are assigned a project designated The 10-10-10 Project . The project requires the students to actively work with a charity of their choice during the course to assist them to raise money, build awareness and volunteer with the organization.

One 10-10-10 team, led by classmates Michael, Owen, Tristan, Alexis and Fares, selected Hope Partnership as their organization of choice this semester! This eager group hit the ground running, creating and establishing multiple events and outreach initiatives for our Education Center.

Take a look at this team’s work!

  • Hope received a large donation of iced tea from Wawa and snacks from Herr’s for our Graduate Support Program. All team members have also been volunteering in the Graduate Support program with our alumni on weekday afternoons.
  • honeygrow ran a promotion at their Temple location all day on March 29. 20% of each check mentioning the special was donated back to Hope. The Temple team hit the pavement handing out flyers and stood outside the store speaking with potential customers about supporting our organization through their next meal.
  • Fundraising event – On March 25, the team held a fundraiser at Maxi’s, a popular restaurant/bar on Temple’s campus. After promoting throughout their networks and charging $3 for wristbands at the door, they raised $277, which came straight to Hope!
  • 14 for 14 GoFundMe Campaign – A daily online giving campaign taking place March 27-April 10 highlighting various stories about Hope through social media. Their goal is to raise $1,400. Be sure to check out Hope’s Facebook page to read more about the GoFundMe campaign!
  • Tabling Event – The 10-10-10 team will be raising awareness about our school on Temple’s campus and urging their fellow classmates to support us through social media follows from 12-5pm on April 5th.
  • Because of this team, we are speaking with Coded by Kids to run an Enrichment session next school year, which would teach our students how to build basic websites.

In addition, they are working with a few other organizations including Philadelphia Eye Works on eye exams for our students and a video production team to create short videos on Hope to share with all of our supporters.

We are so grateful for this group of talented college students and all of the hard work they put into their project. We look forward to continuing this partnership with future Temple Entrepreneurial Marketing classes.

Well done 10-10-10 team!

Students Raise Money for New Scholastic Books

Hope Partnership is very excited to be partnering with Books in Homes, a non-profit addressing ‘booklessness’ in the homes of students. They provide a “hand-up” vs. a “hand-out” philosophy to empower the children they serve. Books in Homes will provide each Hope student a packet of Scholastic books to take home to practice their reading during the summer months and begin their personal library. Hope teachers are even more excited about the Books in Homes partnership because it allows them to provide their students with new books that are geared towards the cultural interest of our student population and targets each student’s reading level.

Books in Homes has asked Hope to raise $100 to engage the students so they are invested in the project and their new books. Fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Oblea, and Hope’s Student Council team were eager to make this project their own. They conducted a fundraiser around Valentine’s Day in which they raised $30, selling candygrams to the student body, faculty and staff. They also had a bake sale including brownies, cupcake, cookies and muffins on March 24 and raised an additional $47. To complete the fundraising campaign, they will hold a $1 Dress Down Day for the student body in April.

We are confident the Student Council will make their goal and are already planning a full day book giveaway event for the students in May. There will be a presentation on the origin of the books, and activities focusing around book reports, reading steps and even a fun ‘Academic Bowl’ trivia game.

Thank you to Books in Homes and our Student Council for making home libraries a reality for all of our students!

Students Participate in World Affairs Model UN

Once again, Hope Middle School students are participating in the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s Student Diplomat Jr. Model UN Program at Temple University.  This year’s research/activities focus on gaining knowledge on two topics:  Climate Change as well as Protecting and Preserving Cultural Heritage.  

Seventh graders began their work by exploring their own cultures at an introductory Cultural Diplomacy workshop. They shared information about themselves by answering such questions as: What music do you listen to? What foods do you eat at home? What is considered polite or rude in your family? What do you wear on special occasions?  

Throughout the program, students work together in small groups; each group assigned to one country delegation and one research committee. Once this stage is completed, individual students draft and submit a resolution proposing possible solutions to a major issue in their assigned countries. Hope Partnership students are fortunate to be researching Haiti and Sri Lanka.

Hats off to our young diplomats!

“When We All Leave for the Opera Tomorrow Afternoon”

On February 7th, when Dr.DuPree uttered these words at Hope’s morning assembly, Sister Rose followed up with, “in forty-seven years of standing in front of students, I’ve never heard those words before.”

Hope’s Middle School students had the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal of the opera, Tancredi, on February 8th. The Academy of Music hosted hundreds of students, whose music teachers had participated in a special three and a half hour preparation module offered by the Philadelphia Opera Company.

In preparing to write this story, we asked our fifth graders for their impressions. Andreal said, “I know that the opera was about love and sadness at the same time.” Monae was fascinated by the costumes and how the performers were moving around the stage. Sincere thought that the female lead, Amenaide, was amazing.  Incidentally, the critics agreed with Sincere. Raven was struck by the “inspiring music.” Meyanna was fixated on the crystal chandelier at the Academy and said that, “Everything was beautiful. They even have couches in the restrooms.”  We’re so happy that our students had their first taste of opera and for some, their first experience of the oldest Opera House in the United States.

Graduate Support Program Trip to Sky Zone!

The Graduate Support program hosted its third annual trip to Sky Zone for the alumni students this month. The Hope graduation years ranged from 2002 – 2016, spanning many different ages for bonding and mentoring. A group of 20 alumni, along with Miss Holiday and a few other chaperones, ventured to South Jersey to enjoy the indoor trampoline park.

Those of you familiar with Sky Zone can understand the excitement this trip brings to the older students. In addition to enjoying the many trampolines and foam pits, Miss Holiday was able to secure the full court in the park for one hour for the students to enjoy privately. They played many games including basketball and the fun game of dodgeball, which quickly became their favorite activity to play as a group. Once their energy subsided, the group returned to Hope Partnership and had a family dinner, enjoying pizza, wings and soft drinks.

Graduate Support holds this event for the alumni for many reasons. It is a chance for the students to catch up with each other and reunite outside of Hope. Most importantly it is a small reward for completing their second marking period of high school, and to prepare them for the next half of their year. What better way to regroup and refresh then to have some fun with old friends!

The next event coming up for the alumni is the “Are you ready to work: Informational Session” for our 14-16 year olds. This includes assistance with resumes and cover letters, making sure all necessary documents are in order from the city, and generally preparing the students for their work-ready jobs.

Dr. DuPree and Ms. Holiday Attend NativityMiguel Conference

While the snow fell in Philadelphia earlier this month, Dr. Sharon DuPree and Brittany Holiday, our principal and graduate support director, had the opportunity to travel to Tucson, Arizona, for an annual professional development retreat. The NativityMiguel Coalition hosted the two-day National Conference 2016-17 for Principals and Graduate Support. The conference worked with attendees on trauma informed learning and creating trauma sensitive classrooms. It also focused on educating and serving first generation college students, including resources for successfully connecting students with postsecondary pursuits. The meetings were held at the NativityMiguel middle school, Imago Dei, which partners with the refugee center in the area working with students and their families on tutoring and English Language Learners (ELL).

Dr. DuPree and Ms. Holiday participated in a panel while at the conference on the topic ‘Best Practices on Graduate Support Directors and Principals Working Together.’  They spoke to their audience on the importance of communication and collaboration between the programs.  At Hope, Ms. Holiday begins to work with the students in fifth grade as a way to get to know them and familiarize herself with their strengths and interests. Dr. DuPree continues to develop relationships with the high school students and older alumni. She works as an additional mentor and support system for the Graduate Support program. Speaking with other schools gave them a chance to share their successes with their peers, and allowed them to learn how other NativityMiguel programs operate together.

In addition to touring the Imago Dei School, they also had a chance to explore the Desert Museum.  Dr. DuPree is currently planning a class for the fifth grade on what they learned about the ecosystem during their visit.  As you can see from the photo, they also took some time to marvel at the mesmerizing Saguaro Cacti!

Ms. Holiday summarized the conference with a simple, yet powerful thought: “The National Conference is a great opportunity because it provides a space to collaborate and share best practices with my peers from a network that spans across the country. It is a humble reminder that Hope is part of a larger family of schools doing the important work of breaking the cycle of poverty through education.”