Location: New York, NY
“Giving back to the community is my family legacy,” says Jennifer Mitchell, executive director of The HOPE Program. The nonprofit serves New York’s men and women with the highest barriers to employment. Through holistic services and a data-driven approach, HOPE helps formerly incarcerated individuals and people with a history of poverty, mental disorders and substance abuse learn important skills, prepare for diverse positions and gain internship experience.
Fun Fact: Mitchell’s birth certificate reads, “With love in our hearts and peace as our goal, we will build a new world together.”
The HOPE Program’s work creates a positive ripple effect in the communities it serves, says Mitchell. After being recommended to the program by the Eastern District of New York, one past student received support from the HOPE team and went on to excel. After some time working elsewhere, he returned to The HOPE Program to serve as facilities coordinator. The nonprofit has many success stories like these: Its most recent group of students achieved 77-percent job placement and 92-percent 90-day job retention.
In 2012, The HOPE Program launched A Taste of HOPE. The event was designed to leverage the organization’s strong partnerships in the food industry. “While fundraising wasn’t a primary goal in the first year, we raised $40,000, introduced many new supporters to our work, and received positive feedback from HOPE’s community,” says Mitchell.