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March 03 2015

Operation HOPE Announces Nationwide Program To Attack High-School Dropout Crisis

The HOPE B- Business Compact Aims To Connect “Education To Aspiration” For Young People

Program will offer Fortune 1000 internships to young people from low-wealth urban, rural and underserved communities

Los Angeles – March 3, 2015 – Operation HOPE announced the launch of a nationwide program designed to tackle America’s high-school dropout crisis through creating a positive relationship between young people and the free enterprise system. The HOPE B-Minus Business Compact will offer internships at Fortune 1000 companies to young people from low-wealth urban, rural and underserved communities.

“On balance, the A+ students will be fine. Someone will discover and mine their talents. The challenge is the young people with C’s, D’s and F’s and getting them to a B-. Inspiring and encouraging them to ‘want’ to graduate”, stated Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “For an average of $500 per youth, Operation HOPE believes that American business leaders can uplift America and grow our future prosperity and GDP as well.”

Operation HOPE seeks to inspire, recruit and organize 500 leading CEOs who will become founding partner-members of the HOPE B- Business Compact (HOPE B-BC). Founder partner-members agree to make available 6-week or better business internships to young people from low-wealth urban, rural and underserved communities who achieve a B- or better grade from high school. 

For any young person who graduates high school with a B- grade or better, Operation HOPE and its partners would guarantee them a local business internship, consisting of the following:

·         A 6-week business internship.

·         $500 youth stipend, covering transportation, food and the cost of one business suit.

The announcement was made in conjunction with Operation HOPE’s Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Freedman’s Bank at the National Archives in Washington D.C.  Established by President Abraham Lincoln, the Bank was a landmark institution designed to teach former slaves about money. This commemoration also launched the beginning of a year-long, nationwide tour driven by Operation HOPE to complete the Bank’s unfinished mission of delivering economic empowerment by teaching individuals and families how to use their money.

About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been providing financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.2 million individuals worldwide. Through its work, HOPE turns check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers. For additional information about Operation HOPE, go to www.operationhope.org.