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July 14 2015

Stories of HOPE - Roberta Attanasio

By Krystian Palmero, HOPE Corps Fellow

Ms. Roberta Attanasio’s background is undoubtedly impressive. Born and raised in Italy, she moved to San Antonio, Texas to complete here postdoctoral research and fell in love with the United States. Though she is a scientist with research expertise in immunology, the environment, and sustainability, she's also a professor of immunology at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Atlanta, Georgia. The combination of her experience as an educator and her passion for teaching youth makes her a wonderful mentor for our HOPE Business in a Box Academy participants. Roberta has also volunteers with Operation HOPE’s Banking on Our Future program.

Roberta first came into contact with Operation HOPE at the 2015 HOPE Global Forum in Atlanta, and she was hooked from there. At the Forum, Roberta felt the communal nature and drive of the HOPE family and decided to get involved as a volunteer. Her passion for volunteerism through education stems from her desire to speak with and meet as many diverse individuals as possible. Through Operation HOPE, she is able to meet many different youths with whom she normally would not have contact. As a HOPE Business in a Box Academy mentor, Roberta not only discusses finances and entrepreneurism with the students, but also gains a personal insight to the students’ lives, hearing their likes and dislikes, struggles, hopes, and successes. This style of mentor-mentee interaction between two entrepreneurial mindsets continuously fuels Roberta’s inspiration.

Roberta’s greatest memories with volunteering with Operation HOPE came from seeing the excitement of the students when pitching their business ideas. Roberta describes the students as “being scared and fearless at the same time.” While they are nervous during their business pitches, Roberta enjoys becoming immersed in each of the student’s ideas and feels grateful for the HOPE Business in a Box Academy.

Roberta provides an immense amount of value and knowledge to the Atlanta community and each of the students she encounters through HOPE Business in a Box Academy and beyond. For that, Operation HOPE is thankful for Roberta’s involvement and dedication!