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Hope CommUnity Center receives Bank of America 2021 Neighborhood Builder Award


Since 2004 Bank of America has invested more than $285 million, partnered with more than 1,400 nonprofits, and helped more than 2,800 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through its Neighborhood Builders and Neighborhood Champions programs. Sister Ann and Hope CommUnity Center are among the 142 awardees in 50 communities that have received this honor.

“Hope CommUnity Center is deeply honored to receive this incredible recognition from Bank of America. Hope is about to celebrate 50 years in Central Florida. This award allows us not only to celebrate the legacy of hope but to also look forward to the next 50 years with renewed energy and promise,” said Laura Pichardo-Cruz, Executive Director of Hope CommUnity Center. “With this generous award, we hope to create a more robust Service -Learning program that allows students from all over the country to live and work with immigrant families in central Florida."

The Service-Learning program is one of the Hope's oldest, most loved, and mission-centered programs. Transformative for both the students and families that participate, it promotes 'mutual learning' and 'cross-cultural bridge-building', and is a central pillar of their advocacy work.

Programs such as these help address challenges faced by the region’s homeless and immigrant communities, and is what Hope does everyday. Becuase of this multi-year grant, they will be able to scale, helping even more people than before.

As a Neighborhood Builder, Hope will receive $200,000 in flexible funding, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader of the organization, access to a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to attain capital to expand their impact.

“At Bank of America, we are inspired by nonprofits that empower our community members to overcome obstacles and thrive against all odds,” said Steven Alch, president, Bank of America Central Florida. “...Hope CommUnity Center, Inc. provide[s] families and individuals with the tools and resources necessary to lift themselves out of poverty and begin a path toward long-term success and opportunity. Programs like Neighborhood Builders help these organizations grow sustainably and strategically for greater positive impact in the Orlando community.”

From its founding by Sisters Cathy Gorman, Gail Grimes, and Ann Kendrick and through the hard work of its staff and leadership, Hope CommUnity Center has truly become a place of empowerment for Central Florida’s immigrant and economically disadvantaged populations. This award will help sustain Hope in its mission to cultivate self-determined communities through personal, social, and communal transformation.

Hope CommUnity Center is a service learning community dedicated to the empowerment of Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor communities through education, advocacy, and spiritual growth.


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