Cassandra- My Road to Hope

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Cassandra Westpfahl

Elementary Director

Four years ago, I was a Sophomore at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. The opportunity to go on a Spring Service Project was brought to my attention early in the year. I filled out an application marking Hope for Opelousas as my number one choice. I was ecstatic when I was informed I would be able to go. I thought I would get a few days of experience in a classroom and potentially help paint a house in the community. I was not, by any means, expecting to have an experience that would change my life forever. One short term mission trip turned into two SSP trips and two Summer internships. I fell in love with the mission of Hope for Opelousas, and fueled my desire to make a change in this world using the simple truth that, “Love Changes Everything.”

I often get asked, “What was it that made you want to work for Hope for Opelousas?” The answer is easy to me. The children. The students at HFO know how to fill your heart with joy. They encourage, support, and love one another as if they were all one big family. As I further my journey here at HFO, I continue to learn and grow alongside the amazing community that makes Hope for Opelousas a true treasure. I am confident that God has outstanding plans for HFO and I am excited that I have the opportunity to be apart of that process. 

Tevin Duhon- My Road to Hope

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Tevin Duhon

High School Director

I began working my sophomore year of high school, not knowing what to expect or what I was getting into. For the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I needed my education. So, I started working part time at the Kart Ranch, in Youngsville Louisiana. Stayed there all through high school. I began college still not sure what I wanted to do in life, but GOD was slowing showing me a light in the tunnel. A few years later I was promoted and I begin to train a lot of young men and women on working attractions we offered. That is when I realized I may be called to work with youth. I didn’t realize it until I was sitting with one of my bosses and we made a general comment of, “these kids are so young and have never worked and they don’t know how to work.” I began to realize that most of the kids that I trained stayed and ended up moving up in the company and became leaders on the staff. A lesson that I passed on to them was that if you work hard for what you want no one can take it away from you. I also felt I created some very close relationships with those kids and they all looked up to me as a big brother.  

So, move on a couple years later. I’ve graduate college, found me a beautiful woman, and we find some land on the outskirts of Opelousas and move into our home. A month later we find a small community church called Christ Church where we fell in love with the members and their families. We are introduced to Emanuel and Nasia Woods who worked at Hope For Opelousas. We begin going to bible study/Community group sessions and I was introduced to Loren. One night at a community group session he said they were looking for a New High School Director because Emanuel  was about to move, so again the light in the tunnel went on and my wife nudged me and said, “you need to go talk to him”. So I did. I applied and went through the process. When Loren offered me the position it took a week to contemplate my options, but after many restless nights and conversations with my wife I decided to accept the position. It was a difficult process to leave a business that had taken care of me for so long, but I knew this was what God was calling me to. 

As my journey has just began with this organization, I know that this will not be an easy task to take on, but I know GOD is on my side and he will help me push through the Hills and Valleys. I pray I am able to make a difference in these kids’ lives and help them prepare for the future. The world needs our children to grow and with organizations like ours we can give the world HOPE!

New Adventures On the Horizon For the Woods

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In 2014 Hope for Opelousas was continuing to grow and we knew we were in need of a high school director. After visiting with Emanuel Woods over the phone several times it seemed clear he was the man God was bringing to join us on our journey. Emanuel’s personal story was one we envisioned for our students and his belief in the power of a positive mentor making an impact by love in the life of a child made for a perfect fit. After visiting with Emanuel we found out that it was a package deal, his soon to be wife Nasia (certainly she is the better half) was excited about becoming an intern at HFO and soon became our Elementary Director.

Over the last 4 years this beautiful couple have poured their lives into our people.  They have brought a creative energy and love that has truly made a lasting impact in the lives of our students and families. Nasia has come into her own as a director bringing excellence to our Elementary Program and going above and beyond with her commitment to our kids. From starting a basketball program, creating beautiful designs for t-shirts, to building loving relationships with our kids and modeling the love of a committed married couple, HFO is better today because of the impact of the Woods!

In December the Woods were presented with an amazing growth opportunity that would allow them to move closer to home and realize a dream of creating their own organization. In August the Woods will be moving to serve with Common Ground Montgomery, an organization with a mission and vision similar to HFO. During their first year Emanuel will be mentored by their founder Bryan Kelly and by year two the Woods will start their own organization serving youth and families in Birmingham AL. The Woods family is very excited to mix their passion for athletics and their heart for the community with this opportunity.

Please join us in saying Thank You to the Woods Family for their service! They will always be part of the HFO Family! Also, please join us in praying for their future work, their success is our success.

HFO is Hiring: High School Director

Position: Full-time

Reports to: Administrative Director

‘Hope for Opelousas’ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization seeking to employee a full-time staff person to support our community development program. This person will create a high school program plan and corresponding annual calendar to address the educational, spiritual, and emotional needs of high school students. The High School Director will be responsible for coordinating hands-on compassionate high school youth programs for approximately 40 hours per week with non-traditional hours. 

Job Overview/Responsibilities

9th through 12th Grade Education and Programming

  • Create and maintain a welcoming and organized learning environment and routine/schedule-this includes homework help, enrichment activities, grade monitoring, Bible Study, and mentoring 
  • Manage student roster and update accordingly
  • Maintain data tracking for students
  • Arrange meetings with students, parents, and teachers on an as-needed basis
  • Perform grade checks and evaluations with students and provide timely feedback
  • Create and implement study skills workshops and summer enrichment programs
  • Maintain effective program through discipline of students
  • Plan and Implement enrichment activities for students
  • Develop goals and next steps for each student preparing them for post grad success
  • Create opportunities for personal development through bible study and character building
  •  Invest in youth’s lives by attending special events

Parents

  • Maintain regular communication with parents offering goal setting and accountability

  • Track interactions with parents

Additional Responsibilities

  • Maintain relationships with past students tracking their next steps
  • Collaborate with other staff on resources, guest speakers, tools, curriculum, and enrichment opportunities for all students at HFO 

  • Supervise and guide summer interns 
  • Recruit, train, and manage support staff and volunteers
  • Participate in HFO events for fundraising and community events when needed

Qualifications

  • Prefer Associates/Bachelor’s degree in education or related discipline, OR relevant work experience and interest 
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate and interact effectively with high school age kids from a high-risk community 
  • Ability to tutor high school level Math and English courses. 
  • Knowledge of required curriculum and assessment tools
  • Physically able to participate in sports and activities with high school aged kids 
  • Initiative and personal flexibility, as well as an ability to work with others as a team
  • An ability to work diplomatically between races, Christian denominations, and socio-economic groups
  • The capability to balance multiple tasks and work effectively with staff and volunteers
  • Commitment to the well being and success of young people
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office and other computer skills 
  • Valid driver’s license 

 

If interested submit resume to:

Loren Carriere | loren@hopeforopelousas.org  |  337-207-0268   

Hope for Opelousas |  330 E Madison | Opelousas, LA  70570                                                                                                     Hopeforopelousas.org

 

 

HFO is Hiring: Elementary Director

Position: Full-time

Reports to: Administrative Director

‘Hope for Opelousas’ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization seeking to employ a full-time staff person to support our community development program. This person will create an elementary program plan and corresponding annual calendar to address the educational, spiritual, and emotional needs of elementary students. The Elementary Director will be responsible for coordinating hands-on compassionate elementary youth programs for approximately 40 hours per week with non-traditional hours. 

Job Overview/Responsibilities

1st through 5th Grade Education and Programming

  • Create and maintain a welcoming and organized learning environment and routine/schedule-this includes homework help, enrichment activities, assessments, progress monitoring, Bible Study, and mentoring 
  • Use research-based assessments to identify students’ needs, weaknesses, and strengths in math and reading
  • Progress Monitor students in reading and math on a regular basis and provide timely feedback of those evaluations to students, parents, and teachers-seeking needed accommodations if necessary  
  • Manage student roster and update accordingly
  • Maintain student data throughout the school year
  • Develop learning plans for each student based on data and report card grades that will be conducive to group tutoring
  • Develop incentive-based outings or rewards
  • Arrange meetings with students, parents, and teachers on a regular basis 
  • Develop study skills through workshops and summer enrichment programs
  •  Invest in youth’s lives by attending special events

Parents

  • Maintain regular communication with parents offering goal setting and accountability
  • Track interactions with parents

Agents of Hope (AOH)/ High School Interns

  • Maintain training, communication, and scheduling for volunteers and AOH 
  • Plan and teach career/college prep and character building for AOH 
  • Collaborate with other staff on resources, guest speakers, tools, curriculum, and enrichment opportunities for AOH

Additional Responsibilities

  • Supervise and guide Summer Interns
  • Hire, train, and manage all elementary support staff, Agents of Hope, and volunteers
  • Participate in HFO events for fundraising and community events when needed

Qualifications

  • Prefer Bachelor’s degree in education or related discipline, Prefer classroom teaching experience OR relevant work experience and interest 
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate and interact effectively with elementary age kids from a high-risk community 
  • Knowledge of required curriculum and assessment tools
  • Physically able to participate in sports and physical activities with elementary aged kids 
  • Initiative and personal flexibility, as well as an ability to work with others as a team
  • An ability to work diplomatically between races, Christian denominations, and socio-economic groups
  • The capability to balance multiple tasks and work effectively with staff and volunteers
  • Commitment to the well-being and success of young people
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office and other computer skills 
  • Valid driver’s license 

If interested submit resume to:

Loren Carriere | loren@hopeforopelousas.org | 337-207-0268   

Hope for Opelousas |  330 E Madison  |  Opelousas, LA  70570                                                                               

Hopeforopelousas.org

 

 

Cleco awards Hope for Opelousas $60,000

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PINEVILLE, La., Dec. 20, 2017 – Today, Cleco awarded Hope for Opelousas a $60,000 grant to continue its mission of serving students in first through 12th grades through tutoring programs, enrichment opportunities, employment, mentoring and community service projects. 

“Hope for Opelousas is entering its ninth year of service in the city of Opelousas, and Cleco has been a supporter since the very beginning,” said Bill Fontenot, interim CEO of Cleco Power.  “We understand that an investment in our children is an investment in not only their future but also in our future workforce.”

“As Hope for Opelousas plans for the future, we look at not only the sustainability of our programs, but enriching the services we provide,” said Loren Carriere, Hope for Opelousas executive director.  “With Cleco funds, we are excited to grow our programming by 25 students in 2018. With this growth we will now serve 100 students and their families with our wrap around programming.”

Cleco has a long history of philanthropic involvement across its 24-parish service territory.  In 2017, Cleco contributed nearly $1 million to non-profit organizations across the state. 

“We are proud to support the life changing work these agencies are doing to benefit our customers and communities,” said Fontenot.

Cleco is a regional energy company that conducts substantially all of its business operation through its primary subsidiary, Cleco Power. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 3,310 MWs and serves approximately 288,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi.  For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com or follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ClecoPower.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Cahill

318-484-7411

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