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The Esperanza Effect Newsletter: January 2019

Brenda Cesar Earns Employment Thanks to Esperanza’s CareerLink

Esperanza’s CareerLink North staff have a tradition—whenever a job earner achieves their goal, they return to CareerLink to ring a celebratory bell. Local Philadelphian Brenda Cesar returned to ring the bell, not once, but twice. Brenda was able to find two jobs after just one month of seeking employment with CareerLink’s help. Brenda knew she had the skills to succeed. CareerLink simply provided her the direction and resources she needed. By making a gift today, you can ensure people like Brenda thrive at CareerLink for years to come.

About one month ago, Brenda Cesar met with Mattie Cohen, a CareerLink Facilitator for the EARN program located at Esperanza’s campus. Mattie sat down and worked with Brenda on goal setting activities to help her reach her career goals. As Brenda stated, “I was hungry, I was tired, and I was frustrated.” She was simply looking for a way to support her family.

Brenda applied to several jobs in the Philadelphia area. She discovered, however, that employers shied away from hiring her due to a mark on her criminal record. Brenda and Mattie talked to their partners at the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS). CLS and CareerLink collaborated to have Brenda’s record expunged, which improved her chances of employment.

Mattie Cohen gives all the credit to Brenda for her success. According to Mattie, Brenda, “came in and had a lot of drive. She just needed direction and the resources to succeed.”

Brenda now works as a certified nursing assistant. She was able to obtain two jobs in her field, thanks to her hard work and the dedication of CareerLink staff like Mattie.

Congratulations to CareerLink—and most importantly Brenda—for another successful bell ringing! Esperanza’s CareerLink North will need your support in the future as we serve more CareerLink clients. We hope you make a gift today to support people like Brenda at CareerLink!


Esperanza Chess Queens to Host “Galentine’s Day” Open House on Their Way to #Nationals2019

Esperanza Academy Charter School has some exciting news for you! Our #ChessQueens are hosting a #GalentinesDay chess celebration—and we’re inviting you, our donors, to join us!

On Wednesday, February 20th at 3:30 PM we’re hosting a small open house with our Esperanza Chess Queens at Esperanza Academy. We’re celebrating “Galentine’s Day,” a day to celebrate women, by playing chess with our talented young chess queens. The team worked their way to a national competition in Chicago last year and needs your support to make this year’s journey and prove themselves once again amongst their peers from far and wide.

The open house is designed to allow these young ladies to shine—and meet and greet other women in our community. Perhaps they’ll also teach you some stellar chess moves!

If you’d like to support the girls, you can make a contribution here. A contribution of $250 covers transportation to Nationals and just $60 covers entry for one girl. We hope to have you at our Galentine’s Day celebration!


Maria Iannarelli, Housing Counseling Executive Director, is the PHFA Humanitarian of the Year.

On November 13, Esperanza’s Housing Counseling Executive Director, Maria Iannarelli was honored with the 2018 Humanitarian Award, granted by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA).

This distinction is given to an agency or individual that shows a strong commitment to participating in activities that emphasize social responsibility in response to domestic and/or global disasters.

Iannarelli leads the program at Esperanza that has helped many Puerto Rican families relocate to Philadelphia after Hurricane Maria.

“When families have stable housing, it gives them the chance to be successful in other areas of their life,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “By educating consumers to make smarter housing decisions, the counselors in our statewide network create successful homeowners and renters. Today’s event gave us a chance to say thank you to these counselors for the work they do that too often goes unheralded.”

Back in 2010, Iannarelli was the first person from the Greater Philadelphia Area to receive a Housing Counseling Specialist Award from PHFA.


New Year, New Reasons to Give the Gift of Hope in 2019!

It’s a new year, and there are some great reasons to make a gift to Esperanza in 2019. Your support will contribute to beautifying and strengthening Hunting Park and will leave a lasting impact on the wider Philadelphia community.

We’ve been in the change-making business for more than 30 years. As an Esperanza supporter, you are integral to our journey as we head into 2019.

There are many ways you can continue to support us such as attending a performance at our Teatro Esperanza Arts Center (click here for the schedule), by telling others about Esperanza College’s new Associate of Applied Science in Digital Transmedia Design, Productions and Technology, or by celebrating Esperanza Immigration Legal Service’s (EILS) 10th Anniversary with us by making a gift.

Wherever you choose to inspire hope, we are grateful for your belief in making opportunity happen in Latino Philadelphia. Thank YOU and we look forward to all that 2019 will bring!

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