Transformation is where inspiration and collaboration combine to create reality. Change is profoundly challenging, but not impossible. Transformation is the creation and change of a new form, function or structure, to create something that never existed. Following the road map developed by the HOPE Commission Steering Committee, we embarked on a broad and ambitious journey to identify and address the underlying causes of violence. Guided by the original nine recommendations, which were intended to address the full range of challenges perceived to affect the city. As we move away from incremental approaches and begin to invest in self-efficacy and pathways to opportunity for economic and socially underserved communities, we are hopeful transformation lies in the devotion to rectifying the large-scale fragmentation in our city.
2020 Graduation Overview
The Wilmington HOPE Commission (WHC) would like to thank all of the graduates, supporters, partners and attendees that joined the hybrid (virtual/limited in-person) graduation July 23, 2020 graduation. This was our 5th Annual Commencement Ceremony but our first since the COVID-19 pandemic created a new normal requiring social distancing. Despite the new normal, it was a wonderful evening in which we recognized the 21 graduates that completed our FY20 evidenced based reentry program. In case you missed it, here are the highlights:
- The graduation was streamed live on the Wilmington HOPE Commission Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HopeCommission! If you are not a WHC Facebook friend, please become one.
- Sinque Miller, a past graduate and Peer Mentor at WHC, spoke to the graduates about the WHC program and his journey. He ended his inspiring message with his revision of story that he entitled “Peer in the hole”.
- Senator Darius Brown, District 2, provided a congratulatory message via video to our graduates. And, he provided each graduate with a certificate from the Delaware General Assembly recognizing their graduation from WHC.
- One of the graduates, Steven Bennett, spoke eloquently via a video about what the Wilmington HOPE Commission meant to him and the role it played in his reentry journey.
- The best part of our graduations are the graduates. Our graduates were recognized with certificates and gift bags with “swag” provided by the Department of Health and Social Services, Christiana Care Health System and the Wilmington HOPE Commission. A special thanks to Ray Fitzgerald of DHSS and Sharon Kurfuerst of Christiana Care for the donated items. Haneef Salaam, In-Reach Coordinator, served as the MC for the graduates to receive their certificates and say a few words about their individual journeys to graduation. Judge Charles Butler provided the certificates to the graduates and at the end offered the graduates an opportunity to become a voice for those who are reentering and how to do it successfully.
- It was a great event and we thank all of our supporters as well as our graduates and staff for being a part of this event!
2019 Graduation Overview
The HOPE Commission would like to thank all of the graduates, supporters, partners and attendees that attended the July 11, 2019 graduation. It was a wonderful evening in which we recognized the 26 graduates that completed our FY19 evidenced based reentry program. In case you missed it, here are the highlights:
- University of Delaware, Professor of Cello, Larry Stomberg started the evening with his melodic classical music that ended with the a song specifically written for the HOPE Commission.
- New Castle County Executive, Matt Meyer and Attorney General, Kathleen Jennings, provided encouraging opening remarks to the graduates. Both have been wonderful supporters of the Wilmington HOPE Commission and the reentry work that we do.
- Members of the HOPE Commission Board of Directors (Gwen Angalet and Henry Smith) presented Mayor Purzycki with an artistic rendering of the Mayor on the Riverfront in awarding him Board Emeritus status. The artist is Albert Rogers who is one of the HOPE Commission’s current members!
- Delaware Center for Horticulture, Christiana Health Care System, and Masley Enterprises, Inc were recognized with the HOPE Commission Workforce Community Partner Awards. These organizations have been wonderful partners in employing members of our program.
- After a video entitled “Taking the Journey”, one of our FY18 graduates, Darnell Collins, provided the audience with one of his spoken word poems that resulted from his participation in the “Express Yourself” program that was a partnership between HOPE Commission and the Twin Poet Laureates (e.g. Al Mills and Representative Nnamdi Namdichukwu).
- Our keynote speaker was Mr. James Elliott who is the International President of Phi Theta Kappa. He is the first individual with a criminal record to hold this position. He told his inspirational story and spoke passionately to the graduates about Inspiration, Collaboration, and Transformation which are the principles of the HOPE Commission and received a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.
- The best part of our graduations are the graduates. Our graduates were recognized with certificates and a gift, by Haneef Salaam, In-Reach Coordinator and Jill Walters, Clinical Director. Each graduate is given the opportunity to speak and Keith Turner stole the show with his honesty and humor about his “journey” to completion before enjoying a wonderful repass.By all accounts it was a wonderful evening! We again thank all of you for your continued support of the successful work of the Wilmington HOPE Commission!
2019 Graduation & Graduation Photos
The 4th Annual Commencement Ceremony When: Thursday, July 11, 2019 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM Where: The Achievement Center (38 Vandever Ave., Wilmington, Delaware 19802 ) Admission: Free Heavy d’oeuvres will be served.
Congratulations to our 2019 Graduates.
Markeith Baynard Hasaan Boyer Marlon Cabble
David Crisden Demetrius Demby Jamear Dixon
Francis Emory Curtis Evans Donelle Harris
Larry Harris Brian Hill Oscar Johnson
Milton Lewis Tevin Luff Abel Mojica
Ivory Nickerson Derrick Pulliam Richard Ray
Marece Scott Pierre Starkey Ricardo Torres
Keith Turner Robert Urquhart Thomas Watson
Geoboris White Dwayne Woodhouse
Congratulations to our 2018 Graduates.
Today in the United States over two million men and women are in prison. Ninety percent of them will come out. Upon their release from prison, they are likely to return to the same neighborhoods where they lived before incarceration, to the same economic circumstances and carrying the life-altering burden of a criminal record
OUR LATEST NEWS
Recent graduates of the Wilmington HOPE Commission’s Enhanced Workforce Development Program. The next class starts March 3, 2020. Contact Haneef Salaam at 302-407-3397 ext 108.
Wilmington HOPE Commission
38 Vandever Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19802