New Hope Enterprises provides a path to a better life

By Titus Falodun Staff Writer | 3/10/2014, 3:36 p.m.
Like many collegians set to receive their diploma this May, Spelman College biology and pre-Medicine scholar Abisola Akins found the ...
Angèle Hawkins (pictured), New Hope Enterprises CEO and founder, celebrates with STRIVE graduates. (Photo by Vincent Christie).

“When you’re just already barely existing, it just takes one thing to happen and… DOMINOES,” she said. “You lose you’re housing. You lose food stamps and you’re on the streets.”

Hawkins and her staff work with an otherworldly relentless energy in pushing of many who have not yet realized their full potential due to unforeseen circumstance or lack of preparation/focus.

New Hope Enterprises serves as a place of refuge for those seeking to rise out of their circumstances. Upon entry, they will find structure and guidance from trainers who are former participants of the program.

“New Hope is a unique experience,” STRIVE trainer Walter Evans said. “It deals with perseverance, faith, forgiveness, and service.”

Evans, a former crack addict of 15 years, now stands firmly as a disciplinarian and friend to others who are dealing with their own challenges. What the other STRIVE trainers (as well as New Hope Enterprises’ entire staff) and he provide is a real example of overcoming whatever obstacle they face in their lives, which is empowering.

“I have learned knowledge and education do not make up for esteem,” Evans said. “You can be brilliant, but if you have esteem issues, you will not be the best you can possibly be.”

Spelman’s own Abisola Akins can testify to those sentiments.

“I have a little more confidence, a little more pep in my step now,” she said. “And I really feel ready for the world. And that’s what Strive helped me accomplish.”

For more information on New Hope Enterprises, visit newhopeenterprises.org/ or call 404-671-3565. For additional information on workforce partnerships and other Atlanta BeltLine employment initiatives, visit BeltLine.org/employment or contact Rob Brawner, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Program Director at rob@atlbeltlinepartnership.org or 404-446-4405.