Karly Summy - Summer Intern from Northwestern College in Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Friends of HFO, 

HI! My name is Karly Summy, I am going to be a sophomore at Northwestern College, but I am from Des Moines Iowa. I got connected with Hope for Opelousas through my school and actually got the chance to spend a week down in Opelousas this past March. I fell in love with the community and that is how I wound up back down her for the summer.

This summer I was in charge of planning all the math lessons for the elementary and junior high and keeping up on what the kids were learning, and the progress they were making.  I also got to work closely with the new 4th grade class in reading. I really connected with this class! It was super cool to hang out with them even outside of tutoring! I got to take some of them out to eat, played tons of games, and even went to one of the 4th grader’s baseball games and we got to make posters to help cheer him on!
My summer was absolutely amazing! This experience, and working with the kids taught me not only patience but how to be loving and stern at the same time. I learned many things that will help when I become a teacher and this summer helped me realize that I do want to become a teacher! I’m so thankful for HFO and the opportunities given to me, and I can’t wait to come back and serve with them again soon!!!

Jasmine and Her Trumpet

Guest post by Melanie Lee-LeBouef, City of Opelousas Tourism

Once upon a time there lived a lovely young girl named Jasmine.  Jasmine enjoyed spending time at Hope for Opelousas and  playing her trumpet. One day a music ensemble showed up at Jasmine’s school to perform for the students. Jasmine listened quietly as the musicians played the flute, oboe, French horn, clarinet and bassoon. 

Jasmine liked all of the instruments. Her favorite was the oboe. The next day, while jasmine was walking across the street to attend her after school tutoring she recognized the musicians who had played at her school. They were visiting her city to help make it a better place. Jasmine was excited to see them and told them she liked their instruments and she told them she played the trumpet. They asked her if she would play her trumpet for them. Jasmine remembered her trumpet was at her cousins house who lived down the street. She ran as fast as she could to his house to get her trumpet. She ran so fast when she came back to play her trumpet she couldn't because she was out of breath. And then..she tried again and there was silence...and the music ensemble smiled while they listened to the most beautiful sound coming from Jasmine’s trumpet...the sound of HOPE.   Love Changes Everything..

Why I Volunteer at HFO!

Compiled by Emanuel Woods, High School Director

"I absolutely love volunteering at HFO! Because of its family-based nature, that aspect always makes me feel welcome and a part of the family. I enjoy working with the directors and the kids, in which it gives me an opportunity to learn more about their personalities. Lastly, I admire what HFO stands for "Love changes everything." I am forever grateful to be a part of a change that is bigger than me. 

-LaQuinta Payne, UL Student



I want to serve, simple as that 😉 I can't do enough for Christ and this is the least I can do to love God - love Him through loving others. Also, my calling is to be a teacher and this is just an extension of that calling. It is an absolute joy working with young people and serving alongside other brothers and sisters in Christ.

- Jade Johnston, MACA Teacher


Meet Candice

By: Nasia Woods, Elementary Director

As the new year continues to unfold, I have the pleasure of watching our kids get closer to achieving the goals they've set out at the beginning of the school year. Each month the Elementary House intends to highlight a standout student or tutor in our program.

One student who has been shining consistently is Candice Greene. Candice is a brilliant 5th grader who currently attends South Street Elementary school. She's passionate about art and dance and desires to be a film director or teacher when she grows up. Last year, Candice finished the year with a 3.83 cumulative GPA, but immediately set her sights higher for the 2016-17 school year.

She has maintained a 4.0 GPA, is a 3X student of the week winner (an school-wide honor bestowed upon her for scholastic excellence and perfect behavior), a member of Beta club & was nominated for student of the year. Candice has won numerous awards at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church for her commitment to church activities. Candice loves math and learning about black history, reading, and going to tutoring. Her new goal is to maintain her 4.0 GPA and learn how to play the piano. Candice's biggest "Hope" for Opelousas is to stop the violence.

Candice is a model student and a perfect example of the many gems hiding in Opelousas. We are truly proud of all of her achievements and excited for any future endeavors she may pursue in the future!



Six Months!


    Six months! I’ve been working with HFO for six months. I get to work along side my best friends. I’ve been pretty blessed with my “first job’’.

   As soon as I walk into work I am greeted with a smile. Jaylen, Kyleigh and Keslynn are the kids I tutor.  These three actually attend the same school as me (MACA). They are amazing and they can always make a bad day into a good one. As we work in our classroom, I often find them teaching me, whether about schoolwork or life lessons. It’s so awesome that I get the unique experience to interact with them both at school and work.

   It’s astonishing to think I’ve worked here for half a year. HFO is amazing and encouraging. The leaders in this program amaze me each week. Their dedication to the kids, make me love my job so much more. These are the people I’ll remember in later years. The times I spend here will be the stories I will tell my children. I’ve been around these people for only half a year, but they’ve shared their whole heart with me.

-Keylee Boone

Meet our 2016/2017 Agents of Hope

Top: Sarah Adams, Tamia Green, Chris Sapp, Peyton Haynes

Middle: La'Shae Duplechain, Nakaya Boutte

Bottom: A’Kilah Ponder, Kenntriavine Rosette, Keylee Boone, Kelsey Smith


MACA, 12th Grade, would like to attend LSU and become a Radiology Tech

Why I decided to work at HFO? I would get to work with children and give back to the community

Greatest hope for our kids: To see them succeed in their endeavors

Cool/Random Fact: I'm really good at hulahooping


Opelousas High School, 12th Grade, would like to pursue architecture engineering at UL or Southern University 

My future: The career I'm pursuing in is architecture engineering. I'm pursuing this because I have always wanted to design and build my own house one day and if I could do my own, then I could do other people's and make this my career. They also make a good amount of money.

Why I decided to work at HFO?: Because I felt it would be a good job for me to bond with people of different ages that are younger than me. Also I felt I could help out with anything they needed help with.

Greatest hope for HFO: My greatest hope for the kids is for them to be the best that they can be and grow up to be whatever they put their mind to.


CAPS, 12th Grade, I would like to attend UL Lafayette to be a nurse practitioner  

What career I'm pursuing and why : I am going to be a nurse practitioner because I feel that there's not enough male nurses and we could be a big help to the nurse community

Why did I decide to work for HFO: I felt that I can change the life of a child taking the wrong path and I like being involved with activities that will better my community.

My greatest hope for our kids: Is help them to become very successful in life.

My favorite HFO memory : My favorite memory is the recent Halloween party that I and all the kids enjoyed


MACA, 12th grade, ULL or LSU studying for a degree in Kinesiology or Radiology

My future: I chose this path because I love science and the anatomy of the body and I am also very passionate about helping people in anyway possible and I feel either or these choices would allow my to further that interest.

Why HFO: I decided to for Hope for Opelousas because it was a way for me to help in the betterment of Opelousas by actually working without future generation instead of voicing an opinion, which many people do instead of assisting.

My greatest hope for the kids: Is that they find their own path and then continue to encourage and put forth effort to also help, encourage, and inspire others around them instead of moving forward.


MACA, 12th grade, Attend LSUE to become a Radiology tech

Why HFO: I think working for HFO will help me with my future. I will be able to have better communication and organization skills. Also, I love working with children.

Hope: I hope that one day all of our children would grow up to be successful in whatever they want to do.

Fact about me: I am an artist and also currentlylearning to play the piano.

Favorite HFO Memory: When we went in a tour of Opelousas general and got stuck in the elevator.


Class of 2016, Alumni of Opelousas High would like to attend LSUE in Criminal justice because I want to impact the community in a better way then it has impacted me.

Why HFO: I decided to work at HFO because it has been a big part in my life and it's something I never want to lose.

My greatest hope: Is that all of our kids will prosper in all things they do!

A cool fact is that Loren is my dad. Okay not really, but really. Lol

My favorite memory at HFO continues to happen every year when I meet our new fourth grade babies.


MACA, 12th Grade, would like to become a Pediatric Surgeon after studying at Xavier

Why you decided to work for HFO: I wanted to do my part in making the future brighter

Your greatest hope for our kids: To love themselves for who they are

Favorite memory: When we sat with Mr. Fish and Mr. Loren and they told us stories


MACA, 12th grade, plan on attending either LSU for anesthesiology or ULL to pursue psychology.

My future: I'm choosing to go into these fields because helping people has always been a passion of mine and I can accomplish this with these steps I'm taking toward my future.

Why HFO: I decided to work for Hope for Opelousas because I love working with kids and this program not only gave me the chance to but offered so much more. Hope for Opelousas really does live by the motto "Love changes everything" and to be a part of that love is the greatest feeling in the world.

My biggest hope for our kids: Is that they realize how amazing they are and realize those full potential and never let anyone hold them back from being anything they want. I want our kids to know that they always have our support and that they are capable of more than their circumstances. Most of all, I hope our kids will take all of the love and positivity we put into them and put it into others.

HFO: I enjoy working at Hope for Opelousas because when I was younger I didn't have that type of environment to push and motivate me and that's what makes this program so special. I was born in New Orleans and I have five sisters. I was forced to move at 6 years old due to Katrina, and I've been in Opelousas ever since and it has made all the difference.

Favorite Memory: My favorite memory at HFO is when T.G. (Tyra) and Jazzy J (Jasmine) has their first rap battle.