Hope 2 Hire’s plans for 2021

To know where you’re going, it is often helpful to think about where you’ve been. In the last 10 months, we’ve been working to develop virtual programming for our Hope 2 Hire students. It started with the development of online curriculum and culminated in November with the purchase of laptops. With IT teams finalizing our connection, we’re mere weeks away from launching digital instruction in Shelby County Division of Corrections. 

What does this mean for Hope 2 Hire in 2021? It charts a tangible path for the next few months of navigating COVID-19. It also sets a tone for years to come. 

We will instruct virtually until it’s safe to return to SCDC campuses. 

We wish we could put an end date on the pandemic. It would make life a lot easier for everyone. But we can’t know for sure when it will be safe to return to the SCDC campus. Thanks to careful planning and collaboration, we are now equipped to offer virtual instruction in SCDC. Students can expect to continue their education, complete certifications, and communicate with instructors using these new materials. 

Virtual instruction is especially valuable for our students. Each person is on their own release timeline, and leaving prison with completed certifications makes finding a job more likely. Through virtual instruction, we are offering our students access to the programming they need to get ahead upon release.

We will continue to connect with and encourage our students. 

Encouragement is just as much a part of Hope 2 Hire as technical education. Our team of staff and volunteers support our students mentally and emotionally, serving as mentors and friends. Distancing ourselves from our students in prison was challenging, and we knew that they were hurting as well. In the interim, our team wrote letters of encouragement to our students, hoping to lift their spirits. Now with virtual connection, we can maintain those mentor/mentee relationships more fully. 

We will continue to innovate.

Our ability to offer virtual instruction is a product of our innovation. Hope 2 Hire is a product of innovation. This partnership was created to find new solutions to ongoing challenges. Our work in 2021 will be no different. We will seek collaborative and game-changing ways to support our students. 

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