I heard of Operation HOPE years before joining the team. In high school my mom gave me the book, Banking on Our Future, after hearing John HOPE Bryant speak at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles.
But, it wasn’t until I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer in 2010 that I actually fell in love. Just a year before, I penned my personal mission to eradicate financial illiteracy amongst women, youth and people of color. And after hearing Chairman Bryant speak about Silver Rights for myself, I actually wrote in my journal that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I had been groomed to play a major part in the organization for such a time as this.
Almost immediately, I began to actively volunteer with the Banking on Our Future portfolio and exactly a year later, I joined the Atlanta team as the market’s Financial Management Consultant.
While I continue to be inspired by my HOPE family nationwide, being invited by Troy Caldwell, the head of our Small Business Portfolio, to attend last week’s Entrepreneurial Training session, made me fall in love with HOPE yet again. There is something magical about the enthusiasm, the energy and the excitement of thirty budding entrepreneurs.
As I stood before the talented and amazing group, a reality set in for me. The reality that this group could change the landscape of the business world in Atlanta, in the country, in the world made me take a new form of respect for my affiliation with Operation HOPE.
The ability to offer financial education and restore financial dignity in our communities is a concept we must continue to take pride in and fall in love with often. We are the change we want to see. And, that is an awesome thing.