Hope Inspired Ministries graduates 4th Class of ‘23
Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Six motivated individuals were honored on Aug. 17 for their graduation from the Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) fourth Class of 2023. Graduates included Carolyn Austin, Timothy Brown, Phyllis Funderburgh, Aaron Thompson, Inez Woods, and Chiquita Wright.
Executive Director John Bowman said each of the six graduates gave a speech during the ceremony, one of which was particularly compelling.
“The one speech that stole my heart was Timothy’s when he said, ‘Without Jesus I could not have done this,’” Bowman said. “I had to tell him after he finished that – me too! I would not make it in this life without Jesus! God created these six graduates for greatness!”
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Founded in 2012, HIM staff work to serve unemployed individuals by preparing and equipping them to obtain, maintain, and excel at employment. Students of the program are taught soft skills like honesty and good work ethic, employment skills, financial literacy, and character building. In addition, HIM provides documentation assistance, spirituality and life coaching, internships, and a lifetime support system for its students.
Each student of the program is provided with documentation assistance (Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Social Security card, etc.), 360 hours of workforce skill training, industry recognized Ready to Work training, ACT WorkKeys training, presentation of their Ready to Work Certificate (upon graduation), presentation of their Alabama Certified Work Certificate (upon graduation), ongoing support from the HIM family, court advocacy for participants with legal troubles, a free warm lunch every day of class, connection to a mentor with weekly mentor meetings, assistance enrolling for SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) benefits, daily morning devotion time, placement in an internship which often leads to employment, and job placement assistance
Senior Career Coach Mary Williams, said that the program is instrumental in helping individuals overcome obstacles in their lives and sets them up for success.
It is a great program to help remove any barriers the students may have,” Williams said. “This program helps them change their lives. Many of them find God and they gain the skills they need to go out into the workforce and be successful.”
In addition to their partnerships with the Department of Youth Services in Mt. Meigs and The Foundry in Bessemer, HIM has three satellite campus locations in Birmingham, Hayneville, and Montgomery; each of which holds a graduation ceremony every nine weeks.