Today I was jazzed to spend time with a group of future business builders, future industrialists, future entrepreneurs and future leaders for modern South Africa, in Johanessburg.

Sure, South Africa has problems and many challenges, but her true hope lies within these young people. And on this day, today, they showed me the best that they had and I was impressed.  Truth be told, young people in the states could learn a thing or two about being hopeful for one’s future in the face of adversity, and no matter what one’s circumstances, doing something about it.

This is the inspiring story of so many that I met today.  Many, who looked me in the eyes and with all sincerity made clear their commitment to rise to their own level of human potential. For South Africa, and for our world over.

This and other classes and schools throughout the country are part of Operation HOPE, South Africa, and the teaching of our award-winning Banking on Our Future financial literacy and financial dignity program.  I was particularly impressed to hear that this particular class is also being supported with resources and programming from Citi and Junior Achievement, working with each of them to start their own micro-businesses.  That’s what I am talking about.


Kudos to my team on the ground in South Africa.

One person can make a difference. Become that one person.


ohn 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), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama.  Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.  Mr. Bryant is a thought leader represented by the Bright Sight Group for public speaking. Mr. Bryant serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE), a specialty finance company that is managed by an affiliate of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative asset manager with approximately $59 billion in committed capital under management as of December 31, 2012. 

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