HOPE BUILDERS BLOG

Celeste’s Path to Hope

Before coming to Hope Builders, Celeste struggled with her self-confidence and longed to find her path in life. At 4, she was removed from her mother’s custody and placed into foster care. Eventually, Celeste’s paternal grandparents adopted her and raised her in Anaheim. She excelled in school, but struggled to maintain healthy relationships. In High…

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Kyle’s Turning Point

Kyle has always been a hard worker, but some of his past decisions have limited his opportunities. He started working in a local muffler shop when he was 11 years old. It was here that Kyle realized his love for construction. He excelled in math in high school and was on track to a successful…

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Ernie: A Decade-Long Transformation

It took Ernie nearly a decade to apply to Hope Builders. Growing up in Santa Ana, he was exposed to gang activity and began to glorify that lifestyle as a young boy. At 13, around the time that his father was released from prison, he started to run with the wrong crowd. At 16, Ernie was…

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A Q&A with Christina and Cesar

Christina and Cesar are married and have two children. Cesar completed Hope Builders’ Construction training program in 2007, and he now works in a construction warehouse. Christina is currently in the Business Applications program. Today, they are both positive role models to their daughter and son. Christina and Cesar both grew up in Santa Ana surrounded…

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REACHING OUT TO ANAHEIM

Nationally, more than 6.7 million youth, between the ages of 16 and 24, are both unemployed and out of school. These youth suffer high rates of chronic poverty, exposure to violence, and diminished health and wellbeing, contributing to a future lifetime taxpayer burden of $1.56 trillion. In Orange County, where we enjoy a thriving economy, more than 55,000 youth, ages…

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ENDURING TRANSFORMATION: MIGUEL

Miguel grew up in a pretty bad neighborhood in Santa Ana, where he witnessed drive-by shootings and other gang violence, drug sales and extreme poverty. Despite this, his parents worked hard to protect Miguel and his siblings from the influences of the street. Miguel did well in school; he attended regularly and was on track…

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ENDURING TRANSFORMATION: MICHELLE

Michelle Arcos is 23 years old. She and her three siblings grew up in Santa Ana. Their parents were very careful and whenever the neighborhood started getting rough, they would move to a new apartment. At 16, she started working to help support her family. When she graduated from high school, she knew that she…

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ENDURING TRANSFORMATION: DOLLY

Dolly’s childhood was not easy. Four of her five older brothers were gang members, who spent most of their lives cycling in and out of jail. Drugs and street violence were normal and all that she ever knew. “Growing up, I had no hope,” explains Dolly. She recalls one Fourth of July weekend, when things…

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ENDURING TRANSFORMATION: DANIEL

Daniel is a good example of someone who took a circuitous route to landing on his feet. After high school, he married his pregnant girlfriend and tried to piece together a life for his wife and newborn son. He worked two minimum-wage jobs to try to make ends meet. He couldn’t afford a car, so…

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