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 Jeffery 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...

Stories of HOPE – Armin Rashti

By Jordan Hagedon, HOPE Corps Fellow Armin Rashti was born in Iran and moved with his family to the United States when he was four years old.  He lived in both Philadelphia and Delaware until his parents realized how tired they were of the weather and moved the family to California when Armin was a teenager.  He attended West Covina High school, where he graduated in three years.  He then went to Cal Poly Pomona...

Stories of HOPE – Celeste O’Brien

Celeste O’Brien describes herself as an entrepreneur by heart and passion. She has been a massage therapist for eleven years now and works at Symmetry360 Massage, which she owns along with her business partner, Kina. Symmetry360 Massage began with just Kina and a lone massage room in a Pilates studio. “We had a dream to create a company that was supportive and nurturing to massage therapists,” Celeste explains, “helping to learn and grown within their careers. We also felt, and still feel strongly, that massage helps to reconnect people to the most important thing there is: our bodies.” With these goals in mind, their business has been open for six years and now has three locations and forty employees. They hope to continue expanding and impacting the world in a positive way.

Stories of HOPE – Nicolette Szonday

In 1986, Nicolette Szonday left Hungary with her family as political refugees. Because of how her mother and grandparents were saved, protected and fed by American soldiers during World War II, Nicolette’s family chose to move to America out of the many countries willing to take them in. Starting over was tough, but Nicolette used her Small Business Accounting Certificate and BA to stay on track. She has worked in the financial field for the past fifteen years, working for Bank of America and now for JP Morgan Chase as a Sr. Specialist experienced in handling domestic and international clients with their retail and credit card accounts. Nicolette is also currently in training to become a lender with Chase Credit Card Services in Wilmington, DE.

Stories of HOPE – Marcus Chery

Marcus Chery is from Houston, Texas, and is the youngest of three with an older brother and sister. He is currently in school studying Social Work. After his schooling is completed, Marcus hopes to become a licensed Social Worker.

Stories of HOPE – Francis Lau

Francis Lau comes from a country where the literacy rate is low and the people relatively poor. “I was lucky enough to have higher education with help from various sources to complete my Bachelor and Master degrees in America,” he states, “I definitely can see the difference being educated.” With this background, and after having spent over thirty years in the banking industry, with a current position as Vice President and Area Manager for First Bank, Francis feels a desire to invest in the community. “I learned, I gained and benefited a lot from the community and it is time to give back,” he says. Coupled with his passion, First Bank is a great match for Francis. “First Bank is very conscientious in encouraging and supporting its employees helping out in the community and with my self intents,” he explains.

Stories of HOPE – Scott Pickett

Scott Pickett has a long history in the business and finance world. He studied finance and real estate at the Wharton School of Business and played for the University of Pennsylvania football team. After graduation, he worked for Thomas Properties Group and for a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Company. After many hours of hard work and long hours, Scott currently serves as the Vice President of Transactions for Post Investment Group, which is a real estate investment company that oversees approximately 11, 000 units nationwide.

Stories of HOPE: Robin Haynes

A Baltimore, Maryland native, Robin Haynes understands the growing needs for basic financial literacy to be taught in a way that can be understood by everyone. As a result of her Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting from Morgan State University, and having worked in the financial industry for over a decade, Robin has a passion for helping others succeed financially not only by teaching the basics of finance, but also by making sure that there is a thorough understanding of financial concepts and how they are applied to daily life. With this passion in mind, Robin’s first published project, entitled “The Fundamentals of Finances – Applied to Everyday Living,” was designed to help readers navigate the complicated, and sometimes frightening, world of finances. Currently, she is preparing to obtain her Certified Financial Planning Certificate.

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