DC HOPE Center Enjoys Soaring Attendance and Program Growth


Summer 2012 has been an exceptional period of time for the DC HOPE Center. With new employees, growing participation rates, and budding excitement for workshops and programming, the DC HOPE Community is growing in numbers and enthusiasm.

New staff members Cedric Lewis, Celeste Liu and Kevin Parker are quickly becoming a part of the DC family – they’ve already participated in some exciting community events and cultivated new relationships with local stakeholders.

With the DC HOPE Center now open on Saturdays, attendance has increased dramatically. Eight-five new clients got a taste of financial education during June, along with 178 renewals. That’s 267 individuals making a positive step towards a better future!

Workshop attendance within each portfolio is up slightly, with Credit leading the way with 36 attendees and Small Business in second place with 25 attendees. Home Ownership came in last place with 4 attendees for the month, but we expect this number to grow, with a new prospective partner (W.C. Smith) showing lots of interest in our Case Management Program.

So while numbers have been on the rise, changes to the curriculum and the HOPE Center promise even greater developments in the future. Nine students participated in the new and invigorating ‘The Art of Sales’ workshop–a two hour class that takes small business education to the next level. Soon laptop stations will be introduced to the Cyber Cafe, which will allow up to 20 computers at a time to be used in the Cyber Café.

The small business 12 week entrepreneurship program is one of the most dramatic and impactful programs the DC HOPE Center has to offer. Session II of this year’s program began on May 2, 2012 with 26 participant enrollments.  Participants are moving quickly towards graduation, with a spike in Technical Assistance appointments (20) and E-Trade Match Savings Accounts (4) for the month.  With high expectations for students, only the most dedicated will stick to the program and consistently follow its recommendations. Of the 26 students, only about 20 will make enough rigorous changes to gain recognition during the August 11th graduation.

While historically, the DC HOPE Center’s workshop schedule has been slower during summer, this June has proven itself to be a time of growth and energy. We are grateful that partners and programs have continued to request our workshops and make them a success. The DC HOPE Center is excited for future months’ possibilities, and we look forward to welcoming you all to the DC HOPE Center.

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