Everyone we know wants to be happy, but what does being happy really mean? It means something different to almost everyone. For many, being happy is being able to go to school and study the field of their choice, raising a family and giving them the best life possible, being able to make enough money to travel and see the world, following your dreams, making your family proud, but most importantly, making yourself proud. Many people wish for the things that they know will make them happy but are stalled in advancing their dreams due to some of life’s unfortunate circumstances. For example, HOPE Village, the neighborhood surrounding our 32-acre campus, has a population where 50% of residents live at or below the poverty line; and fewer than 10% have an associate’s degree or higher. As part of our HOPE Village Initiative, our goal is to that by the year 2031, 100% of those residents will be educationally well-prepared, economically self-sufficient and living in a safe and supportive environment.
Here at Focus: HOPE, we make sure that no matter where you are in life, educationally, economically or socially, you are being provided opportunities that will better your future and lead you on a path towards happiness and independence.
Our Earn & Learn program, which is one out of our many Workforce Development & Education programs, is designed to help individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 in the Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park areas, obtain work skills, set and achieve education goals, and gain work experience. Students who complete the program can expect to obtain skills and education that prepares them for careers in information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics/distribution or construction based on their personal interests. Students are not required to have a GED or High School diploma to enroll. The fields that Earn & Learn focus on were chosen based on the Metro Detroit economy, numbers of jobs in those fields, and the fact that they offer a salary that provides a good life with opportunity for advancement.
Just a few weeks ago, we had 13 individuals from the Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park area graduate from our Earn & Learn program. These individuals are now on a path to ensuring that their future is bright by reaching their full potential and being empowered to pursue their dreams.
Since graduating, they all have plans to, or have already begun, furthering their education.
Gemarro McDaniel started his Certified Driver’s License training at U.S. Truck Driving School on November 9, 2016.
“The skills that this class taught me, I will use for the rest of my life.” said Germarro McDaniel.
Antuan Mitchell is starting our Fast Track program this coming January, 2017. The coursework in Fast Track stresses academics, time management, teamwork, workplace ethics, and conflict resolution. Students have the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized certification from the International Business Training Association in Customer Service.
Robski Neal began Construction Readiness Training at Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation on November 14, 2016.
Martin Nelson will begin training at our Machinist Training Institute this coming January, 2017.
“I leaned things here that I never expected to learn from Focus: HOPE,” said Martin Nelson. “The things we have learned from the staff are priceless.”
Paul Peddy has already begun our Tech Hire program. Tech Hire is a partnership between the City of Detroit, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Grand Circus, Southwest Solutions and Focus: HOPE. The training includes soft skills, academics, computer and career exploration. It is 300 hours of IT-career specific training over a 10-week period.
“Once I am finished with Tech Hire, I am going into the ITC program at Focus: HOPE that will start this coming January,” said Paul Peddy. “I had a vision for what I wanted to do after high school, but the staff here helped me further that vision and build out a plan to put it into action, thank you.”
Siara Sellers began Construction Readiness Training at Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation on November 14, 2016.
“I was the only woman in this class,” said Siara Sellers. “Thank you to the staff and students for making it so comfortable for me and allowing me to pursue my dreams.”
Shaquille Williams began his Certified Driver’s License training at U.S. Truck Driving School on November 9, 2016.
Markese Greer also began his Certified Driver’s License training at U.S. Truck Driving School on November 9, 2016.
“Thank you to the staff for all of the wisdom you shared with us,” said Markese Greer. “Everyone, including my class mates, pushed me to reach my full potential and the staff even helped me fix my credit score.”
Bilal Bell-Muhammad is beginning the Grand Circus Experience IT Program through the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation this January, 2017.
Raynard Phillips is also beginning the Grand Circus Experience IT Program through the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation this January, 2017.
“What I have learned through Earn & Learn, gave me confidence that I never had before,” said Raynard Phillips. “If this class is a view into our future, I know we are all going to be successful.”
Gregory Holden started his Certified Driver’s License training at U.S. Truck Driving School on November 9, 2016.
Mystical Williams is training at our Machinist Training Institute this coming January, 2017.
Malik Lyles began the Diesel Mechanic Repair Program at Detroit Department of Transportation on November 14, 2016.
We are so proud of our Earn & Learn graduates and can’t wait to watch them succeed and pursue their dreams. If you wish to find out more information about any of our Workforce Development & Education programs, please go to www.focushope.edu or contact 313.494.4300.