After losing his mother to pancreatic cancer and his former college teammate to a tragic car accident, Calvin Dennis brought Hope Connect Inc. to life. Dennis, a product of Florida High School and a graduate of the University of West Georgia, received a graduate certificate in nonprofit management and community development.
Hope Connect Inc. is a non-profit organization developed to serve local communities through philanthropy and service initiatives. They strive on the belief that “Every heart has a story, and every story deserves a chance to be heard.” The organization relies on support from institutions, corporations, and individual donations to provide career development as well as workforce opportunities.
“We have students that join, who have all the intangibles on paper but lack real-world experience and business acumen,” Dennis said. “We aim to develop and provide them with opportunities to grow and be a contributing member of the community.”
The College Connect program is the college chapters of Hope Connect. It partners with businesses, organizations, and sponsors to fulfill workforce needs with student interns and volunteers. The program provides students with philanthropy projects, community service-based opportunities, experience, and Internships.
Dennis’ goal is to influence the next generation of leaders and bridge gaps in communities by making it “cool” to give back to their community.
Hope Connect was brought to Tallahassee with the Do it 4 Cam 5k, which raised funds for local prep standout Cam Brown. The 5k had about 200 runner participants and drew out 700+ attendees. Brown later attended three events after, but then passed away due to Osteosarcoma (bone cancer).
There is no limit to the generosity given by Hope Connect seeing as though they have hosted various events to repay their community.
Events such as their ‘Haircuts 4 Homeless’ Project, in which they provided free haircuts for the homeless. As well as, a toy drive for the children of refugee centers, and their most recent project, a clothing drive.
The clothing drive, in which they partnered with Priceless One Management CEO, Kylie Russell and Berk Communications publicist, Taylor Webster, gave them the chance to distribute clothes and other necessities to multiple women shelters in Miami, Fl.
Florida A&M University student, Aisha Nelson, serves as president of the FAMU Chapter of Hope Connect.
“Hope Connect has helped me the most by giving me a deeper understanding of the term community service,” Nelson said.
FAMU student D’Miya Smith serves as the vice president of the organization.
When Smith was asked what Hope Connect has done to shape her into a better person, she said that it gives her opportunities to give back to the Tallahassee community.
Hope Connect is seeking students who are willing to work hard and apply their skills from the classroom to real-world experiences and opportunities.
For more information on how to join and get involved, students can visit www.HopeConnect.org or follow on Instagram @hopeconnectfamu @hopeconnectusa.