HOPE Scholars is a program designed to promote and improve recruitment and subsequent retention and successful graduation rates for African American and Hispanic male students, both at HCC and at four-year institutions. Since its inception seven years ago, HOPE Scholars has graduated 262 students with a 100% transfer rate. Up to thirty (30) HCC faculty participate as mentors. Benefits to students include individual tutoring, faculty mentoring, success seminars, university tours, attendance at the nationally renowned HCC Black, Brown & College Bound Summit, and other community engagement activities. Donations help fund all these ways HOPE gives young men a leg up.
The success of this program is undeniable. Jorge Polanco was a high school dropout. He was 24 before he decided to make a change in his life and enrolled in HCC and the HOPE Scholars program. He states, “Colleges like HCC infuse our community leadership with the sort of diversity that can speak for those voices that are sometimes left unheard. It also becomes the true opportunity to rise above a generational circumstance and become a beacon of hope.” Today, Jorge is a successful management consultant and travels internationally for his company.