And so, the conferences, events, media opportunities and such are all relevant and important to moving forward both our work and the "eco system" around our growing silver rights movement, but frankly the appearances on say Oprah (as exciting and amazing that was and remains in my life), pales in comparison to what really gets me going; and that is my personal engagement with our growing list of very real Operation HOPE success stories.
Increasingly, I am running into living, breathing and inspiring examples of the power of our work; both around the country, and around the world.
Sometimes I find myself in a store late at night, and someone will approach me gently and with respect for my space, asking "are you the man who founded Operation HOPE?" What comes next is most always a treat.
Whether a story of their child who has an increased inner self-esteem and confidence around how our world really works, after going through our Banking on Our Future program. Or an adult we helped to save their home, through our Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline. Or maybe it is someone we helped to put in business, or to grow an entrepreneurial idea into reality. All make me smile.
Recently while speaking at the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Forum series in the Bronx, I discovered that two of our small business and entrepreneurship success stories were in the audience, and one was actually making a "pitch" to 100 Urban Entrepreneurs for a $10,000 prize, awarded that day to a deserving entrepreneur. They were Mr. Derrick Guest, owner of Griot's RollFilm Productions, and Ms. Ina Norris, owner of In-A-Woman Productions, both of which out of the HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center, Harlem office.
As I acknowledged these two in the audience, I was overwhelmed to find a half dozen more HOPE Corps volunteers and other HOPE associates leaders in the audience.
This made my day, and continues to be at bottom, "what I am about."
Compliments to the HOPE Leaders in our HOPE Center, Harlem office.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama.