Hopeworks ‘N Camden – Community Relationship Manager
Year Founded: 2000
JVC partner for: 2 years
Population Served: Youth aged 14-23 who have experienced significant trauma and chronic stress, many of whom speak Spanish.
Organization Description: Hopeworks offers a day-training program for students not enrolled in school and a summer and afterschool program to high school students in web design, GIS, literacy and formation. The pastoral teams of three Camden churches (Lutheran and Catholic) founded Hopeworks collaboratively, and until 2015 a founding Jesuit priest was the director. Over 1,200 youth have visited Hopeworks and trainees have gone on to get jobs, attend college, and earn GEDs. Hopeworks trainees have developed websites for more than 400 paying clients and the GIS business has served more than 60 clients, producing parcel maps, digitizing land use information, and creating online mapping functionality with Google Maps.
JV’s Role: The JV is primarily responsible for working with alumni of the training program and serves as a resource and mentor to the youth when they are seeking next steps. The JV also tracks alums’ employment and education outcomes and makes sure they are invited to and play meaningful roles in important events at Hopeworks. Additionally, the JV helps organize the community through facilitating a community council to maintain the garden and other community initiatives.