HOPE Graduate, Abraham Padin, Wins Mayor's Dads Matter Award


“This day is a gift,” said Errol Greene, father of two.

He, and 400 other guests, came to Gracie Mansion Thursday to celebrate the 4th Annual NYC DADS Matter Awards, which honors ten men who have overcome obstacles and become outstanding fathers. Greene was an honoree in2011, the first year of the award. The Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative launched in 2010 with four goals: to remove barriers that fathers may face in interacting with City agencies; to make all City agencies as “father friendly” as possible; to assist in the creation of memorable moments between fathers and their children; and to support fathers as they increase their capacity to be good dads.

“I am so happy for the fathers who are going to be honored today.  It’s going to make them feel great,” Greene said. “Coming to the Mayor’s house, be honored for being a dad and get a meal? Can’t beat that.”

This year’s event, hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, honored ten dads from across the city: Mohammed Akram, Barrington Barrett, Terrence Brummel, Robert Graham, Mynor Escobar, Jason Greene, Marco Martinez, Bruce Parker, Abraham Padin and Andre Harrison.

Mayor de Blasio spoke about the difficulties these men have risen above to be where they are now. Mr. Harrison, from Staten Island, has had to raise his three sons as a single father. He has made it his purpose, having written a book on the subject, and starting an organization that supports dads.  Mr. Escobar became a father when he was just 16-years-old. He has climbed up from being a dishwasher to a chef, and has overseen his children’s education and overall development.  All of the fathers honored have made incredible strides forward to make for better lives for their kids, which everyone under the tent could appreciate.

“The most profound thing I have ever done is to raise our children,” said Mayor De Blasio. “It has been a sacred calling.” The Mayor and First Lady both spoke about their own fathers as well as their experiences as parents. They emphasized the advantages of relying on each other through difficulties they faced as parents, as well as the joy of sharing important experiences together. Mayor de Blasio faced challenges of having an absent father while the First Lady praised her father for being there for her even if he was not outwardly affectionate.

The audience laughed knowingly when Mayor de Blasio joked that he and the First Lady were “recovering middle school parents.” He announced that he plans on guaranteeing free after school programs for middle school students in the next two years.

The crowd was treated to hot dogs, hamburgers and other picnic fare. Terrence Brummel, one of the 2014 honorees, seemed to be smiling the entire evening.  “This is great,” Mr. Brummel said.  “We’re mentoring other men to be better dads. That is what this is all about.”

HOPE selected as 2013 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder


The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named The HOPE Program (HOPE) a 2013 Neighborhood Builders® award recipient. The Neighborhood Builders initiative is a strategic investment that couples leadership training with a $200,000 unrestricted grant for high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing community development, critical needs or workforce development and education. Through the award, nonprofit leaders gain valuable skills and the freedom to apply funding where it is needed most.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, HOPE helps New Yorkers prepare to find, keep and grow their careers. The organization blends vocational, educational and social services with a lifetime commitment to success. HOPE provides training in literacy, math, computer skills, workplace communications, stress management, customer service and other essential skills for job development.

HOPE will be dedicating funds from the grant to the evaluation and potential growth of a pilot program, Retail and Beyond, which will extend the reach of their job preparedness courses into the booming retail industry. The program will leverage the success of their first sector-specific program in the food industry, GROCERYworks, and industry trends of stability and growth in the retail sector. The grant will also allow HOPE to grow its team of employment specialists who assist program members in finding and retaining employment.

“HOPE has some of the highest job placement and retention rates in the industry,” said Jeff Barker, New York City president, Bank of America. “This award will allow them to have an even greater impact, which will benefit communities throughout the city.”

“As Bank of America is a known leader in corporate philanthropy and strategic investments, we are honored to be a partner and a Neighborhood Builder. At HOPE, we pride ourselves on our legacy of data to drive personal transformations. Bank of America’s significant resources and training opportunities will build on this history and move HOPE forward as an organization, enabling us to have an even deeper and longer-lasting impact on New Yorkers living in poverty,” said HOPE’s Executive Director, Jennifer Mitchell.

According to the Bridgespan Group, Neighborhood Builders is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development, 2.5 times the next largest program in spending and the third largest in number of leaders served. Through the program, now in its tenth year, Bank of America has invested $160 million in 800 nonprofit organizations and provided training to 1,600 nonprofit leaders. Neighborhood Builders furthers the company’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income communities.

HOPE Wins 2013 New York Association of Employment and Training Professionals Award


The New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals Honors Two Exceptional Workforce Professionals, One Results-Driven Training Program, and Launches their Youth Success Website Focused on Youth Employment in NYS.

Today, the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) honored three exceptional leaders in the field of workforce development. The awards luncheon was held in conjunction with NYATEP’s annual fall conference, at the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs November 18-20, 2013, for workforce development professionals from across the Northeast.

This year’s conference includes workshops on exceptional programs and ideas that address the urgent need for quality education and job training, and providing responsive services to New York’s employers.

"We are delighted to honor today three incredibly deserving workforce leaders for their dedication to all New Yorkers," said Laura Quigley, NYATEP Board President, and Director of the Workforce Development Board of Sullivan County. "Each honoree has shown their commitment to the field countless times, and in a time of dwindling resources these innovators deserve to be lauded by their peers for their continued accomplishments."

Ms. Tara Colton, Associate Vice President for Policy and Planning at FEGS was awarded the Statewide Workforce Leadership Award; Mr. David Mathis, Oneida County Workforce Development was awarded the Workforce Leadership Award and The Hope Program, received the Workforce Program Award. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Jeff Lawrence, Executive Vice President at the Center for Economic Growth.

"I am deeply honored to receive the NYATEP 2013 Statewide Leadership Award for developing the Know Before You Enroll campaign, which sounded the alarm about predatory training providers taking advantage of New Yorkers who are nothing more than genuinely eager to improve their skills," said Tara Colton, "Too many New Yorkers have spent time, money, energy, and most importantly hope on useless degrees that plunged them into debt and did little to improve their job prospects. I am proud that our campaign’s core messages – to do your research, trust your gut, and know your rights – helped many New Yorkers avoid the same fate.

2013 Workforce Program Award Honoree
The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers living in poverty to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment and advancement, in Brooklyn, NY. HOPE enrolls 250 new students each year and serves hundreds of additional graduates in its job retention and career advancement services. HOPE works primarily with individuals facing significant barriers to employment yet, still have achieved the following results: 72% job placement among graduates (76% full-time & 60% jobs-with-benefits rate); 89% 90-day retention; and 74% one-year job retention.