After years of working hard to forge an authentic presence in Alabama, the state of my mother’s birth, I am deeply honored and happy to announce that we are now very much on the ground in Alabama.
Our work there began with Regions Bank, Protective Life Insurance Company, Wells Fargo and Alabama Power, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and thankfully, others.
Today I focus on a new and important commitment, made possible through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and its leader Jim Byard, Jr, with the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The Appalachian Regional Commission has committed $300,000 over the next three years to ‘seed’ our HOPE Business In A Box Academies, first and foremost in Birmingham, Alabama. From there we plan to expand into other cities, and into the rural areas of Alabama.
HOPE Business In A Box Academies, a key part of our growing Project 5117 portfolio, seeds young entrepreneurs through public schools, 4th grade through 12th grade.
“With funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is pleased to partner with Operation Hope to bring Hope Business in a Box Academies to Alabama. Operation Hope will teach financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills, as well as provide positive business role models to over 1,200 Jefferson County youth, as they grow into productive adults engaged in their community,” says Jim Byard, Jr., Director, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
Our first HOPE Business In A Box Academies will be seeded with our friends at the Woodlawn Foundation, in the Woodlawn community of Birmingham, Alabama. And now the work begins.
John Hope Bryant