Hope Builders empowers disconnected young people, who are in danger of not reaching their full potential, with the job training and life skills needed to move out of poverty and achieve enduring personal and professional success. According to the Aspen Institute, there are more than 43,000 impoverished youth, ages 16 – 24, living in Central Orange County. High unemployment among this target population, coupled with low high school graduation rates, high rates of criminal recidivism and an incarceration system stretched beyond its capacity, will continue to exacerbate this situation for the foreseeable future. Major gaps in education and experience prevent impoverished youth from moving on to community college or to employment with a self-sustaining wage. Hope Builders believes that it has a unique opportunity to impact the ability of our community’s “opportunity youth” to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
Hope Builders demonstrates an unwavering acceptance of others for whom and where they are on their life trajectories and is committed to empowering youth to realize their strengths and positively impact their futures. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange founded the organization in 1995 in response to increasing gang violence, high youth unemployment, low high school graduation rates and rising teen pregnancy rates in Central Orange County. Every year, Hope Builders serves more than 550 youth, who are caught in this cycle of poverty and strives to help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
We are a community.
We provide a loving foundation to start over.
We embrace second chances.
We ignite hope
We demonstrate unwavering acceptance of others for who they are.
We empower others to realize their own strengths.
We inspire change.
We embrace inquiry, challenging the status quo.
We flex and bend and adapt as needed.
We believe opportunities make a difference.
We are Hope Builders.