HOPE Program Gives Hope – James’ Story

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – Christopher Reeve

The HOPE Program’s Technical Skills for Lower Income New Yorkers program provides job training and lifelong career support to those who face significant barriers to employment. One jobseeker, James, came to HOPE after experiencing incarceration and homelessness, and feared that his felony conviction would prevent him from entering the workforce. He said that the most valuable tool he gained while enrolled in the program was his set of basic computer skills.

When James came to HOPE, he had never so much as turned on a computer before. But thanks to HOPE’s digital literacy curriculum, he now knows how to use email, create a resume, share files, and so much more: all of which are crucial skills for the job seeking process. Not only did James win the award for “most improved” in his digital literacy class, but he also got a maintenance job the day after he completed his training at HOPE, thanks to the skills he gained!

“We are beyond appreciative of our long-standing partnership with the National Grid Foundation, which has evolved alongside our changing digital literacy programming. In addition to grants which allow us to train up to 300 New Yorkers annually in skills that open access to the workforce, the Foundation made an innovative grant to help us develop our first LinkedIn curriculum. And Ed and Marcy made James’ day by hearing his story and congratulating our newly-hired graduate,” said Irene Branche, Chief Development and Evaluation Officer.

When asked about how he has changed since arriving at HOPE, James said, “I’m no longer worried about my past. Instead, I’m focusing on opportunities for the future: to be a law-abiding citizen and to succeed. HOPE gave me confidence and skills that I wouldn’t trade for anything- skills that are taking me places I never thought I’d go.”

Left to Right: Jamaal Eggleston, HOPE Work Readiness Instructor; Mary Reed, Foundation Board Member; James, HOPE graduate; Ed White, Foundation Executive Director; and Irene Branche, HOPE Chief Development and Evaluation Officer.

To learn more about how Brooklyn’s The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers to build brighter futures, visit http://www.thehopeprogram.org.  

About National Grid Foundation:

National Grid Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to improving the quality of life, economic strength and environmental stewardship in National Grid’s service territory. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for solutions to today’s educational and environmental challenges. By awarding grants to non-profits, the Foundation inspires and serves as a catalyst to a shared future, ultimately impacting and improving lives of the underserved in our neighborhoods.

In December 1998, KeySpan Energy formed KeySpan Foundation to enhance community giving efforts. Now known as National Grid Foundation, the organization has provided more than $25 million in grants to approximately 1,000 organizations in local communities.

To find out more about the National Grid Foundation visit: www.nationalgridfoundation.com

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