The Global Leader for Financial Dignity

HOPE Social Media

Home/In the News/Press Releases/Press Release

August 21 2013

Denver Public Schools and Operation HOPE Launch Partnership to Inspire and Empower Youth Economic Energy

 Trevor Hall with his Business Role Model Scott Aksamit
DENVER, CO. – August 22, 2013 –
 Denver Public Schools (DPS) and global financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE today announced a partnership to bring the Denver 2020 HOPE Business In A Box (HBIAB) initiative, a 10-week empowerment and entrepreneurship program that gives students an opportunity to turn their business ideas into reality, to high school and middle school students throughout Denver. 

“To prepare kids for college and a career, we must provide students with opportunities to put their knowledge to the test. The HOPE Business in a Box program does just that,” said Assistant Superintendent for Post-Secondary Readiness Antwan Wilson. “This program will challenge our students to innovate and create—and the lessons they learn this year will help them tackle the challenges they will encounter throughout the course of their lives.”  

The HBIAB program, which was piloted at Montbello High School during the 2012-13 school year, begins with each student participating the Gallup HOPE Index (GHI) measurement, and HOPE’s award-winning Banking on Our Future financial literacy curriculum, followed by an primer course in entrepreneurship. Students then develop their own small business concepts and pitch them to a panel of local business community volunteers and an audience of their student peers. The pitch winners are paired with a business role model who works directly with them to develop their business plan and budget. Once complete the student and their role model presents the plan for an opportunity to earn up to $500 in start-up funding to launch their business. 

Participating schools in the 2013 launch include CEC Middle College, George Washington High School, Montbello High School, Summit Academy, and West Career Academy. Additional schools will have the opportunity to join the program throughout the year. 

Last year, HOPE launched a successful pilot of HBIAB at Montbello High School. “I always wanted to be my own boss and start my own business, but I didn’t know how,” said Trevor Hall, a Montbello HS graduate who participated in the program last year. “HOPE Business in a Box helped me make that happen. Now I’ve launched my own bike repair business and I’m giving back to my community.” 

“We are honored and excited to work in partnership with Denver Public Schools to bring Denver 2020 HOPE Business In A Box into classrooms throughout the city. This initiative is designed to inspire and empower youth to take control of their future and become the nation’s next generation of job creators and business builders through collaboration with DPS, the private and public sectors and local community organizations. Ultimately, the program promotes HOPE’s America 2020 campaign goal to quadruple the percentage of students who have an active business role model from 5% to 20%,” says Mary Ehrsam, Global Youth Empowerment Group President.  

The goal of Operation HOPE’s Denver 2020, inclusive of the GHI and the HBIAB intervention, is to connect education to opportunity by inspiring our youth to create more business opportunities. So that the next generation of job creators and business builders, America's youth, will be better equipped to ignite communities and sustain long-term economic energy.  

 About Operation HOPE

Operation HOPE is a global leader in financial dignity, the venture capitalist of ideas that empower youth and adults with self-determination, and the private banker for the working poor, HOPE has served over 2 million individuals, including 724,000 youth, since 1992 in 273 cities in 14 markets in the U.S. and globally in South Africa and the Middle East.  HOPE launched its youth financial dignity program, Banking on Our Future, in Denver in 2007 and has educated over 23,000 youth in 85 schools using 1,100 HOPE Corps volunteers.