03 Aug H.O.P.E. – Helping Other People Evolve
H.O.P.E. strives to bring resources to the community with their passion to help others evolve.
When three vibrant and ambitious young women, a glimmer of hope, and the combining of their collective resources join forces, the end result are the ladies of Helping Other People Evolve (H.O.P.E) and Our Resources. The powerful trio of Brandy Moorehead, Lekita Brown and Sydni Howard began developing the Columbus, OH based force that is now H.O.P.E. in 2008 and the ladies are now bringing in a new division, Our Resources that was introduced into society in July of 2012. Prior to coming together the three ladies were working on separate projects and in support of one another. Sydni was working in business writing and researching grants, while Lekita and Brandy were working with the medical financial industry. They brought their resources together to create their mission of providing services and supporting the community on a positive level.
The ladies introduced Columbus to a refreshing and needed presence of African-American and female positivity and professionalism. Although H.O.P.E. started in 2008 with the 3 ladies, it actually started out as a homeless shelter throughout the state of Ohio. All of the ladies were involved with the shelter and Lekita’s family in particular was very active. It was during this time that the ladies realized that the shelter was not enough, people needed additional resources. In order to rehabilitate people into society they needed resume writing, career counseling and many other resources. H.O.P.E. started with mentoring and tutoring of adolescents, and then expanded to work with the overall community.
The newest division, Our Resources, is a medical eligibility solution. It is designed to help hospitals and medical providers with their accounts receivable, liability plans and long term patients whose insurance may have ran out. This is yet another stride in H.O.P.E.’s crusade to provide resources to the community.
When talking with the ladies I asked them what inspired them to create such a dynamic organization. The ladies described one of their inspirations as being an uncanny connection to each other and others. In sitting with the ladies I saw that connection. The cohesion of their personalities gives off a presence that provides for an enjoyable setting. The ladies attribute their successful partnership to their ability to ‘stay in their own lane’ as Lekita phrased it and allow each to work in the areas of which they are most skilled.
Passion, motivation, drive and heart are all describing characteristics to trailblazing organizations. They still have struggles just as all organizations, especially in the early growth stages. That biggest struggle being support! A clear divide within the African American community is the lack of support. As double minority business owners, they understand how important it is to support others and pride themselves on the support they provide to others. Simply desiring that support in return and despite the lack of peer support, they still persevere and continue to support.
The ladies told me of their experiences and that there are challenges and moments when it is just you. It is during those times that you have to focus on the ones who show up and not the ones who do not. It is that ability to turn the negative into a positive that has allowed the ladies to still be standing 4 years later. Another common struggle for entrepreneurs is having to finance projects out of their personal projects. H.O.P.E. is not exempt from this struggle but is definitely won the up side of the battle with aspirations of being able to solely focus on their entrepreneurial efforts by year end.
When talking to Brandy, Lekita and Sydni about what parting advice they would give to not only aspiring entrepreneurs but to the community the ladies flooded me with a wealth of experienced based advice. The summation of their advice is: be honest in your future endeavors, making sure not to lie and cheat to get to the finish line, have integrity, believe in your own vision and know that in doing that your circle will become smaller. Accept your circle is becoming smaller and that those that remain within that sphere are the ones that you want to grow with.
The humble, yet goal-oriented ladies just as that as they continue their journey and that they are able to remain successful business owners. Their main goal is to be self-sufficient and not only set standards but raise bars. H.O.P.E is using this vehicle of positivity and support to change the mindset of the youth so that they understand that they do not have to be a casualty of their circumstance.