These students are coming to Casa Hope on July 18 to begin the Institute, and we still need to raise $1,000 a day before they arrive.
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We are officially in the swing of the Institute and so excited to share updates from Mexico with you!
Here are a few highlights from a successful first week:
Get even more news from Casa Hope by watching the recording of our Community Call last week. Karmina, our Director of Hands Offering Hope Mexico, shared so many exciting updates about what has been happening!
Thank you for investing in these programs and believing in young leaders in Mexico. We are grateful for your partnership and support — and so honored to be able to share what your generosity makes possible.
We have a brand new Casa Hope Kitchen!
From the beginning, our kitchen has been full of joy — constant singing and laughter — even when it looked more like a closet than a cooking space. It delivered incredible meals, even when our team was cooking from hot plates under the stairs.
And every morning, as the team called out, “Chicos, vamos a comer!” (students, let’s eat!) the kitchen became our gathering place. Like in many crowded, bustling homes, the kitchen has always been the heart — providing nourishment, community, and a touchstone three times a day.
When we started renovating Casa Hope, we already knew just how much the kitchen mattered.
But then our dreams started to grow. In addition to a clean, functional, joy-filled cooking space, what if the kitchen could also be a place of possibility, education, and development for our students?
We had a vision of a professional culinary institute and hospitality program that would equip students with the hands-on skills they needed to pursue their dream careers.
And then we got to work to make it happen.
The incredible design team at RDstudio, Inc. and a team of restaurant experts graciously donated their expertise to the project, drawing up plans for a professional-grade kitchen and leading us through the construction and design process.
We tore down walls, created more space, painted, and tiled.
We ordered best-in-class appliances, surfaces, and sinks.
We focused on commercial-level health and safety so the space can be used to serve the whole community — and be a jumping-off point for future professional endeavors.
And now it’s here. Ready to be filled with food and learning and incredible young people.
We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project and made this vision a reality. This kitchen represents so much opportunity for our students, and in so many ways, it is still our beating heart.
In a few short weeks, members of our kitchen team will be in here singing, cooking for this year’s Fellows, and going through a pilot version of the culinary program set to officially launch in early 2021. This is only the beginning – and we cannot wait for all that comes next.
The Institute begins in just a few short weeks — and as we speak, our team in Mexico is hard at work getting everything ready!
While we initially planned for a fully remote summer, current health guidelines in Mexico will allow our 14 Michael Lotito Fellows to live at Casa Hope this summer and participate in person!
And to make this great news even more incredible, an amazing friend has funded the Fellows’ on-campus expenses in full. We are overwhelmed with the generosity of this community and so grateful for the ways that each of you continue to support students in Mexico.
First-year students will participate in the program from each of their own communities, led by teams of Institute graduates. With virtual courses supplied by our network of experts around the world and in-person mentoring relationships with young leaders who have already gone through the program, this year’s Institute is going to be something extremely special.
We can’t wait to welcome 25 incredible young leaders into the program this summer — and we want you to meet them!
Meet some more of these amazing students:
Make sure you are following along on Facebook and Instagram over the next few weeks to meet all of our students!
Institute 2020 begins on July 27 — and we’re counting down to a big, bold summer.
We are so excited to begin our countdown to Institute 2020!
On July 27, we will kick off the summer program with 25 first-year students from Chiquila, San Angel, Solferino, and Kantunilkin and 14 Michael Lotito Fellows! And while things certainly look different this year due to the pandemic, we are so excited for the opportunities that have emerged.
Michael Lotito Fellows
For five years, we have been equipping students to live boldly and with purpose — creating opportunities for them to step into positions of leadership in both the organization and their communities. We never could have expected a pandemic, but we have been preparing for Institute graduates to be at the helm since the beginning.
Now, this summer, 80% of our Institute graduates are involved in our summer programs as leaders or volunteers.
Because of your support of past years of the Institute, this summer is being led by remarkable young people. You invested in them, and now they are investing in their peers and neighbors. Thank you for being a part of our story.
On Thursday, we hosted our June Community Call with our U.S. leadership team, our Mexico leadership team, and so many of you.
If you missed the conversation, here are a few highlights:
We also had the opportunity to hear from Karmina, the new Director of Hands Offering Hope Mexico, as well as our leadership team in the United States. We shared several big announcements, including the news that current health guidelines in Mexico will allow our Michael Lotito Fellows to live at Casa Hope this summer and participate in the program iin person — and that a generous donor has funded the Fellows’ on-campus expenses in full.
This is just one example of the incredible support we have seen for these students — and we are so grateful to each of you for being a part of this community.
I encourage you to watch the recording of the call in full. It is inspiring to hear what your support is making possible — and we cannot wait for what is ahead.
We can’t wait to count down to the Institute — and watch students and alums lead with boldness, creativity, and strength.