Stories of HOPE: Steve Cardenas-Najera

By Susie Casillas, Social Media Fellow Steve is currently in his fourth year at San Jose State University studying Business Management at the Lucas College of Business and is an active member of the Latino Business Student Association (LBSA) on campus. The LBSA is an organization that aims to help generate the leaders of today and professionals of tomorrow. After graduations Steve plans to continue working for...

Stories of HOPE – Emily Gause

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Emily Gause owes much of her success to the influence of her family. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Emily grew up inspired by her grandparents who still live in Ann Arbor to this day. “My dad’s parents were always my greatest inspiration,” she explains, “They stayed married, they were huge advocates for continued education, and placed a great deal of importance on...

Stories of HOPE – Lili Strachan

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Lili Strachan grew up in Florida understanding more about financial matters than the average kid. As the eldest child of two to immigrant parents from Colombia who barely spoke English, Lili had to know more than others her age. “I knew how much my parents earned, how much rent we paid, and what the phone bill looked like because if there was ever a problem, I was the one that...

Stories of HOPE – Brandy Huff

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Brandy Camille Huff seems destined for greatness. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, but decided to move to Atlanta, GA when her mother and younger sister relocated there in 2005.. Five years later, she met the love of her life at a chance meeting that neither of them planned to attend. They now have a three-year old daughter named Laila and together seek to impact the...

New Partnership with the Oakland Library in Fruitvale

By Wonda Kidd Recently I stopped into the Fruitvale Public Library to share with them the mission of Operation HOPE. I asked to see the Branch Manger and shared briefly with her how we could possibly be of service to many of the people that frequent the public library. I shared all the workshops that we provide, but specifically focused on Financial Literacy. She appeared interested and I scheduled an appointment...

Stories of HOPE – Robin Gold

By Robin Gold, Vice President and Sonoma Branch Manager, HOPE Corps Volunteer  “I began my career in banking 30 years ago and have enjoyed living and working in Sonoma County. I joined Union Bank in 2011 and serve as the manager of our Sonoma Office. I was interested in coming to the bank because of its long-standing commitment to the communities that is serves through volunteer service and charitable grants....

Stories of HOPE – Sandra Rolens

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Sandra Rolens is committed to financial literacy and empowerment in more ways than one. To begin with, she has been a banker for 29 years. She has been with ANB Bank for 19 years and has held her current position as Project Manager for the last 5 years. As Project Manager, Sandra is in charge of integrating and implementing new products and services that ANB offers, as well as...

Stories of HOPE – Angie Toney

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Angie Toney knows a thing or two about finances. She was an internal auditor in the corporate world and is currently transitioning into entrepreneurship in the DC area. Her new business is Angel Financial Services LLC, an accounting/bookkeeping/tax practice. “While I am growing my practice,” she states, “I serve clients through speaking engagements and training events as a...

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...

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