Dan Rhoton might have lost that award he was nominated for, but the Camden-based nonprofit he runs nabbed a significant win: Hopeworks ‘N Camden received a two-year $420,000 donation pledge from West Berlin, N.J.-based Townsend Press.
The funding will help the organization, which offers youth training and development, to expand its current facility with 6,000 additional square feet of space. Rhoton, the org’s executive director, called it a “landmark investment” that will let the org double the youth it helps.
“[Townsend Press] has supported us for years,” Rhoton said. “This is a unique opportunity to make a dramatic and sustainable impact on the lives of Camden’s young people. As new businesses come to our city and we continue to expand economically, the city’s young people will have the opportunity to share in that growth.”
Rhoton points to increased interest from area companies in hiring grads from its IT and tech mentorship program. Cooper University Hospital, for one, is looking to hire a dozen grads in full-time roles, along with other organizations making smaller commitments.
— Hopeworks 'N Camden (@hopeworkscamden) October 30, 2017
“We’re at a point where companies are coming to us for hiring and we’re the bottleneck,” Rhoton said. “This growth is part of our strategic plan to meet demand.”
Between its training and internships, and the housing option that caught Wired’s attention, the organization is currently serving 72 youngsters in Camden. Year-round, it serves some 250, and the recent donation pledge, Rhoton said, will allow the organizations to double that number by next year.
“It’s not about saving one life but the lives of their kids and families,” the executive director said. “That’s young people that get to grow up with benefits, out of poverty, going to go to school. This gift will lets us have an impact in multiple generations.”
The pledge is a two-year commitment. Half the donation will be dispensed now and half next year.
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