This week I was deeply, deeply honored to join the assembled inaugural class of the Operation HOPE Entrepreneurship Program at the HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center at Harlem, for their graduation ceremonies! Commendations to HOPE Center portfolio leader Lance Triggs, and HOPE Center at Harlem leader Donna Burton here.

Graduating with perfect attendance for all classes were Antonia Badon, Andre Clayton, Gregory Dennis, Donald Jones, Antonio Martinez, Patricia McKenzie, Carol Scott, Lisa Sharp, Ingrid Soto, Jack Thomas and Dr. Lynnette P. Williams.

The complete Class of 2010 include:

Ernest Akins

Antonia Badon

Andre Clayton

Gregory Dennis

Ernest Diaz

Harold Espinosa

Falayn Ferrell

Shelton Hinton

Joyce Hodges

Tina Johnson

Donald Jones

Tiony Lopez

Antonio Martinez

Aisha McCord

Patricia McKenzie

Ina Norris

Christian Perez

A. Qadir Perez

Carla Redix

Carol Scott

Lisa Sharp

Ingrid Soto

Jack Thomas

Catherine V. Williams

Lynnette P. Williams, M.D.

A special thank you to Mary Hagerty, global chief of financial literacy, who gave opening remarks, Jack Baylor, CEO and founder of "Make My Cake," who gave the main address, Donna Burton and Joan Baylor who made certificate presentations to graduates, Christina Barrett and Luz-Maria Lambert, who made awards presentations to graduates, and congrats to special awardees Antonia Badon, Antonio Martinez and Ernest Diaz.

Of course, final thanks goes out to the Operation HOPE board of directors, the NE board chair Michael P. Smith, president of the New York Bankers Association, and HOPE Signature Partners for the HOPE Center at Harlem, E TRADE Bank, JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.


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