Perspective fromthe founder, John Hope Bryant

While I cannot speak for everyone in Washington, D.C., there is ONE MAN inside of President Obama's White House who I personally know out works all others; my friend Michael Blake. Michael works and helps provide leadership in the White House Office of Public Engagement and is in my opinion one of the President's prized assets.  When Michael and his office reached out to Operation HOPE with a vision of and around "real community engagement" of and for White House Interns and staff "east of the river" in Washington, D.C., I could not have been more pleased.  The result of our collaboration, and his leadership, is what you can now read about below.  Bravo Michael Blake. Bravo friend… 

let's go.

John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama

President Obama’s Call to Action for volunteer activity, innovation and entrepreneurship recognized during Black History Month at HOPE Center event

Washington, DC – February 22, 2011 – Demonstrating youth volunteer activity in line with President Obama’s State of the Union call for innovation and entrepreneurship, Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE), the global financial literacy and economic empowerment nonprofit, hosted an event at the Washington, DC – Anacostia HOPE Center for area students on February 5, 2011. The program involved volunteers comprised of White House staff, White House interns and students from the Howard School of Business, who brought the message of empowerment, entrepreneurship and innovation to students from Anacostia High School, Oxen Hill High School, Preparatory School of DC and the City of David Tabernacle Youth on Fire Church group. 

Present was senior White House official, Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of White House Office of Presidential Personnel Jonathan McBride; as well as the Deputy Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Michael Blake; and White House Deputy Director of International Outreach, Office of Public Engagement Karen Richardson. In total, 10 offices of the White House were represented. 

“Encouraging our young people to explore innovation, education, and entrepreneurship is a key part of President   Obama’s vision for 'Winning the Future,'” said Blake. “Exposing students in underserved neighborhoods to mentors and teaching them ways to manage their finances is a powerful pathway for them to advance and achieve their goals.” 

Notable attendees included FDIC Community Affairs Specialist Phyllis Pratt, several HOPE Mid-Atlantic  Board Members including Corporate Vice President of Market Development and Industry Relations of First American Corporation Lionel Savage;  Director of Community Investment at E*TRADE Bank Kelvin James; as well as Mid-Atlantic Board Chair and Chief Compliance Officer at E*TRADE Bank Celie Neihaus. HOPE senior management involved in the day’s events included HOPE Center Vice President, Vicki Davis; Banking on Our Future Eastern Regional Director Jackie Starr; and HOPE Senior Vice President and Chief of Government Affairs and Public Policy Jena Roscoe.

"Operation HOPE was honored by the presence of White House Volunteers to encourage local youth innovation and entrepreneurship," said Roscoe."As an official U.S. FDIC Money Smart Partner with the federal government, this event is a great opportunity to share the FDIC Money Smart for Young Adults information and piggy banks for the youth and bookbags for the college volunteers in the interest of promoting the spirit of financial literacy and entrepreneurship."  

Students at the event were introduced to the newly anointed HOPE Corps volunteers and introduced to HOPE’s award-winning financial literacy program Banking on Our Future. Presentations were made from representatives from the local business community focused on entrepreneurship as well as an interactive activity that focused on HOPE’s digital innovation and empowerment program iHOPE. The digital program is a unique iPhone-based course that certifies young people as Apple application technicians.

The Mistress of Ceremonies for the event was radio host, Angie Ange from WKYS-FM 93.9. “Set your goals and achieve them one at a time until you reach your ultimate goal. Use college as a platform to perfect and test your skills.” Also known as “Your Royal Hypeness”, Angie Ange is a Howard University Alum, graduating magna cum laude in 2006.

The White House interns that took part in the day’s activities are part of the White House Internship Program which provides an opportunity for youth to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities. 

Since 2005 and through funding by E*TRADE Financial, HOPE opened the Washington, DC- Anacostia HOPE Center to promote the Silver Rights Movement to local residents, helping them to achieve their dreams through financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. Located in historic Anacostia, an area known to be the first suburb in Washington, DC and home to the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the area has been continuously defined as one of the poorest neighborhood in the national capital area.

About Operation HOPE, Inc. 

Founded in 1992, social empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE’s mission is to expand economic opportunity in underserved communities through financial literacy education. HOPE promotes "silver rights" – making free enterprise and capitalism relevant and effective for the under-resourced. Serving more than 1.2 million people, raising more than $500 million and restructuring nearly $400 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for a total of approximately $900 million in economic activity, HOPE seeks dignity and empowerment for all. Follow Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.orgwww.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.


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