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January 01 2006

Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant, Addresses Berea College; Inspires students to Change the World through Social Entrepreneurship

Los Angeles, CA – November 15, 2006 – Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant took HOPE’s message of self-reliance and empowerment to Berea Kentucky delivering an evening convocation to the student body at Berea College on November 14. 


“I am inspired by the spirit of this great institution,” said John Hope Bryant. “Berea College is preserving the spirit of rural Appalachia through craftsmanship and tradition as a way for individuals to take control of their financial future.  While poverty may exist in Appalachia, Operation HOPE believes that you can change the world through financial literacy and self-sufficiency.  We believe ‘Silver Rights’ are the first right to financial literacy and access to capital for the underserved.  If you don’t know better, you can’t do better.” 


Mr. Bryant’s message of empowerment and self-reliance connected with the mission of the Entrepreneurship for the Public Good program at Berea College. Students responded by sending Mr. Bryant their own messages of hope and sharing insight on their lives and struggles, affirming the impact his words had already made on their lives.

“I was about to dump my future for short-term security. You reminded me of where I came from and where I wanted to go. You inspired me to suck it up, move on, make more of my life, and overcome my past. Because of you I have hope for the future, and a strong-willed desire to struggle through this storm and achieve my rainbow. Thank you so much for all that you have done,” said Berea student.


Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Berea draws from a student body primarily from the Appalachian counties of nine states. Students who demonstrate academic ability and financial need receive a full scholarship.


The ultimate program goal of the Entrepreneurship Program is to engage Berea students in entrepreneurship and leadership activities, in order to enable them to become an agent of change in their own communities.


Mr. Bryant’s message of dignity and self-empowerment through “Silver Rights” inspired some 500 attending students to achieve their goals and live their dreams.


About Berea College 

Berea College was founded by ardent abolitionists and radical reformers and continues today as an educational institution still firmly rooted in its historic purpose "to promote the cause of Christ." Adherence to the College\'s scriptural foundation, "God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth," shapes the College\'s culture and programs so that students and staff alike can work toward both personal goals and a vision of a world shaped by Christian values, such as the power of love over hate, human dignity and equality, and peace with justice. This environment frees persons to be active learners, workers, and servers as members of the academic community and as citizens of the world. The Berea experience nurtures intellectual, physical, aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual potentials and with those the power to make meaningful commitments and translate them into action. The school also continues to provide an educational opportunity primarily for students from Appalachia, black and white, who have great promise and limited economic resources.