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...

Stories of HOPE – Hannah Major

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Hannah Major has a diverse background when it comes to her work and education.  Her first business was a neighborhood cleaning service that she began when she was in middle school.  Since then, she has worked as a laboratory assistant for National Jewish Medical, a banquets manager for the Knoebel Center, a front desk agent for Marriot, a restaurant manager for the Four Seasons...

Stories of HOPE – Shahidah Williams

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Shahidah Williams is rising quickly in the financial services industry.  She holds a BA in Japanese and International Trade and a BBA in Finance from Eastern Michigan University. Shahidah also has an Executive Certificate in Personal and Small Business Financial Planning from Georgetown University, as well as several FINRA licenses in investments and insurance, an IRS-tax...

Stories of HOPE – Dianne Shorte

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Dianne Shorte is a wife, mother of three sons, marriage mentor, and legal secretary at the firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP.  Dianne is also completing her first book manuscript, Ladies Operating Very Effectively (L.O.V.E.) – The Power in a Woman. This book will highlight her life challenges, successes and the seemingly ordinary, yet extraordinary, young girls...

Stories of HOPE – Louis Nunez

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Born in California, raised in Chicago, and finally settled in Denver, Louis Nunez understands what it means to make the most out of every day.  His family made sure of it. “Even though we were poor,” Louis explains, “it really felt like we were rich.”   His parents placed a high value on education, making sure to fill their house with used books and tattered issues of...

Stories of HOPE – Nathan Press

By Sean Sallee, Deputy Director of HOPE Corps For many of us, we waited all year to enjoy summer break the way most 16 year olds do by going away on vacation and going to the beach.  The end of senior year signified the last few months of truly being a youth. For a few people, however, free time can be used more valuably.  Nathan Press believed his summers would be better spent understanding, collaborating with,...

Stories of HOPE – Aditya Tandon

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Aditya Tandon was born in India in May 1982 into a family of doctors.  His father is an ENT (ear-nose-throat) surgeon, who still practices at the age of 71.  His mother is a recent retiree after a four decade career as a senior professor and Head of Department.  She served in the Preventive and Social medicine department in Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi.  His...

Stories of HOPE – Jane Tran

By James Chen, Los Angeles Program Manager Jane Tran is currently the branch manager for the Wells Fargo Bank branch location in San Gabriel, CA.  If it were not for a pivotal moments and turning points in 2008 and 2012, I would not have the honor and privilege of coordinating and collaborating with Jane today to help empower the youth and young adult in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It takes a unique and special...

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