Currently Browsing: Stories of HOPE

Stories of HOPE – Douglas Dillon

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Douglas Dillon lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife, mother, and two sons aged 14 and 11. He is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he received a B.A. in Economics. He has been a banker for some 28 years in a number of places, including Chicago, Kansas City and Washington DC. Currently, Douglas is the Chief Lending...

Stories of HOPE – Cassandra Ilich

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow  Cassandra Ilich is the AVP of Community Reinvestment and Fair Lending at Colorado Federal Savings Bank. She develops and runs the bank’s financial services, investments and loans to the low- and moderate- income families and individuals of the Denver community.   Cassandra moved to Colorado four and a half years ago from Northern California for her work at the bank. In...

Stories of HOPE – Dexter Hopen

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Dexter Hopen grew up in the suburbs of central New Jersey, near to the Jersey Shore, to a family of artistic tendencies. “My dad is a computer animator, my mom is an architect, and my two younger sisters are pursuing similarly creative fields,” he explains, “I broke the family mold a bit by having more of an interest in math and science, and I ultimately decided to pursue a...

Stories of HOPE – Ellen Segal

By Sean Sallee, HOPE Corps Deputy Director, and Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow We have many HOPE Corps rock stars that remain continuously dedicated to educating this nation’s youth. They commit workdays, evenings and weekends to joining us in our mission to eradicate poverty, but every once and a while, we have a volunteer who goes so far above and beyond that they must be mentioned. Ellen Segal went to...

Stories of HOPE – Conor Ryan

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Conor Ryan grew up in Worcester, Pennsylvania, in a suburb about twenty miles from the city of Philadelphia. After graduating from high school, Conor attended Penn State University. In addition to his studies, Conor was also a member of the Penn State Crew, the club rowing team. After graduating in 2012, he was hired by an Investment Company in the Philadelphia area, where he has...

Stories of HOPE – Gilbert Maddock

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Gilbert Maddock was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, where he currently resides. He began learning about financial responsibility at the age of eight, when he worked a paper route. “It wasn’t because I loved working,” he explains, “It was because my parents had their own issues with their finances and what they had learned about money growing up.”...

Stories of HOPE – Eric Smith

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Eric Smith was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Growing up, Eric has always been passionate about travel, sports, and food. After graduating from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he came to a realization. “I realized I could enjoy the best of both travel and recreational activities by moving to Vail, Colorado,” he states.  Eric spent the last four years working...

Stories of HOPE – Sammy Ndiyo

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow  Sammy Ndiyo is more than just a volunteer. He is a recent Morgan State University graduate. He works currently as an accountant for MedStar Health. He was born in the United States, but his parents are both from Nigeria. He has both a brother and a sister. Sammy is also hearing impaired and has been wearing hearing aids since he was three years old. Sammy became involved with...

Stories of HOPE – Cesar Rascon

By Maurice Ayeboua, HBIAB/Casey Family Program Fellow Cesar Rascon was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 with his immediate family. He attended high school without knowledge of the English language and was thrown in an ESL class that did not have a strong program and didn’t care much about students learning the language. He then realized that he had to find his own way to...

Stories of HOPE – Cindy Butts

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Cindy Butts was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  After completing her degree at Loyola University Chicago, Cindy left for California.  She stayed in San Diego, California for thirteen years.  During this time, she married and had two children.  She then moved on to Colorado, where she has been since 1988.  While in Colorado, Cindy has worked as a freelance writer,...

Stories of HOPE – John Wilson

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow John Wilson is an only child, born and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia.  He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and graduated in 2009.  While he was at Morehouse, John was a mentor and tutor at an elementary school for two and a half years.  It was during this time that he found his passion for helping out youth.  “I enjoyed my experience helping the children to...

Stories of HOPE – Maria Ruskiewicz

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Maria Ruskiewicz has plenty of stories to tell. Maria was born the middle child in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Her family relocated soon after to Appleton, Wisconsin for her mother’s job.  Her parents then divorced and her father moved away to Upper Michigan.  The divorce was bitter, so Maria and her siblings took to their own paths.  They liked to camp, garden, canoe, and sew...

Stories of HOPE – Avonette Blanding

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Avonette Blanding is a native Baltimorean.  She currently lives in Baltimore City with her spouse and two daughters, aged six and eleven.  She has spent her life in Baltimore, working her way up in the financial industry.  After graduating from Western Senior High School, Avonette attended Towson University on an academic scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in...

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