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October 26 2017

Atlanta Public Schools and Operation HOPE partner to launch Motorsports Career Training Program

ATLANTA – Oct. 26, 2017 –  Atlanta Public Schools and Operation HOPE announced today a partnership with Bryant Group Motorsports Academy (BGMA) to launch High-Velocity Education. Conceived by John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO, Operation HOPE, and Henry Ford III, marketing manager, Ford Performance, High-Velocity Education is a twelve-week program that includes science, technology, engineering, math, life skills, and financial literacy, while reinforcing strong character values like positive self-esteem, team collaboration, and ethical leadership. A launch event was held today at Ralph J. Bunche Middle School in southwest Atlanta. Bryant, Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, APS Superintendent; Mario Watkins, Bunche Middle School Principal; and Dr. Brene’ Bradley, APS STEM Coordinator, led the introduction of the program to the student body and other stakeholders.

“Bryant Group Motorsports Academy will open the doors of inclusion to motorsports by connecting with youth from urban, inner-city, and rural communities, who would otherwise not have access to the world of motorsports,” Bryant said. “We are grateful for the leadership and partnership of Atlanta Public Schools to collaborate on this initiative that will bring significant opportunities and new options to so many young people here in Atlanta.”

The curriculum introduces students to careers in automotive and motorsports. Students participate in classroom training, expert sharing, and experiential track sessions with several donated Ford Performance vehicles, including BGMA's rare 2017 Shelby GT 350R. The program launched with two sixth-grade engineering classes of 60 students at Bunche Middle School.

“Atlanta Public Schools is excited to partner with John Hope Bryant and everyone with Bryant Group Motorsports to provide our Bunche Middle School students with exposure to science, math, chemistry, mechanics and business through the lens of motorsports. This new and unique STEM curriculum enables our schools to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the nation’s workforce and teach students the kind of essential job skills they will need.”

Students will have an opportunity to learn from and interact with representatives from each part of automotive sports world including drivers, engineers, mechanics, designers, and team leaders. During the program, students will “get in the driver seat” and work through high-level, executive functions that would have broad, real-world impact, like how to market and promote the drivers, their cars, and the teams for competition.

To learn more about Bryant Group Motorsports Academy, visit bgmaeducation.org

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About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into ?nancially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve ?nancial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Stay in touch with Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope.