Drive Hope’s cornerstone Hope Chats Career Program strives to open minds, spark imagination, and creative expression for under-served youth in order to set their sites on a career they love. Sometimes just figuring out the options that are available to them is a daunting task. This in turn will help create productive and positive young people in society who will ultimately pay it forward in the future. With the program, teens are shown a pathway and life lessons such as accountability, building self-confidence, discipline, persistence, the basics of public speaking, and given a sense of pride that affects their lives, families, and communities. Hope Chats are like TED Talks for under served youth. Every month, Drive Hope will invite 50 teens who have interest in certain areas to listen and interact with inspiring professionals from various fields of interest. Drive Hope will record on video and produce short segments from each speaker (broken down into subtopics) and post them online as educational tools that will continue to inspire and reach thousands of youth around the world. The questions that will be posed and answered to open the minds of youth attending are:
Where did the professional come from? Knowing the initial spark and someone’s background will always be relatable to a teenager, because they were teens too once.
Why do professionals do what they do? Hearing personal stories from successful people makes a connection with youth who might find similar experiences to relate to.
How did the professional person achieve his/her success? When someone explains their journey from start to finish, suddenly the steps it takes seem more achievable and not so foreign to a young person. Also, it will show that success doesn’t happen over night.
What rewards do professionals enjoy in their careers? This allows a teenager to grasp onto something that motivates them and to possibly spark a passion in them. These are the carrots.
Hope Chats Career Program is focused on the following fields: writing, web design, graphic arts, photography, culinary arts, building (engineering), automotive design, music and film production, animation, acting, and entrepreneurship to name a few.
Outreach – Drive Hope works with organizations in each city to find under served youth who want to expand their horizons and invites them to attend scheduled discussions with inspiring speakers representing different fields of interest. The teens must sign up in advance.
Hope Chats – Drive Hope invites 30-40 kids to attend 90 minute discussions with one or more inspiring speakers in several creative fields of interest.
Follow up – After the Hope Chats/Sessions are finished and posted online, there will be opportunity for follow up interaction and questions with the experts in all fields represented. Drive Hope’s goal is to create a network of mentors who will be available on a case by case basis for active teens who are inspired to pursue their dream career. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Drive Hope is actively recruiting local organizers in Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Miami and St. Louis to establish roots in communities most affected by poverty and lack of resources.
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