The HOPE Program Celebrates 30th Anniversary and Commencement

The HOPE Program Celebrates 30th Anniversary and Commencement

June 25, 2015

Marking the organization’s 30th Anniversary, The HOPE Program, a nonprofit that provides training and career advancement for New Yorkers living in poverty, held its commencement exercises on June 23.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin were in attendance, with Steven Banks, commissioner of the New York City Human Resources serving as the keynote speaker.

“The HOPE Program provides knowledge and experience through skills training to empower individuals to obtain employment and build sustainable careers leading to financial independence,” said Banks in his commencement address.

Among a variety of recipients of awards distributed at the ceremony, graduate Roger Duran was given an award for one year of job retention.

“HOPE taught me how to use the skills I learned on the street positively. I learned how to sell my strengths instead of selling drugs,” said Duran, who at one time was facing up to five years in prison, according to a press release.

The HOPE Program ranks in the top 20 percent of organizations in the country when it comes to participants’ job retention. It recently received the Macquarie Group Foundation’s inaugural David Clarke Fellowship in the United States and the Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder Award, among others.

Thomas Seubert