25th Tuesday, 2011  |   News  |  no comments

Chelsey & Dornika, two young ladies ages 20 & 19 have been friends from very young, they enjoyed doing a lot together like shopping and Chelsey likes to read and Dornika likes to write.  Both young ladies had a challenge they were jobless and both did not complete high school, they both felt there was little that they could offer and Chelsey had found out about an organization call The Hope Center which was working with youth in the area and helping to rebuild the lives of Hurricane Katrina affected citizens.  Chelsey and Dornika were evacuated for Hurricane Katrina one living in Baton Rouge, LA and the other in Norcross, GA.  They both kept in touch during their time of separation through MySpace.  When both returned to the Greater New Orleans Area ages 16 & 17, their home was damage but their families made it through the recovery process to repair their homes.

Chelsey and Dornika both knew that they had to do more and get their GED and both started to pursue their GED preparation course work.  Chelsey learned about the Hope Center during working with the summer employment program for youth.  Chelsey found out that at the Hope Center she could work on earning a GED, gain certifications in construction while she served as an AmeriCorps member serving the community through a program call YouthBuild, funded by the Corporation for National Community Service.  This was the perfect opportunity, Chelsey, “We help seniors rebuild their homes, so many don’t have family to help them and we can utilize the construction skills we have learned…my proudest moment is to see the smile on the community member’s faces  when they see their home that was damaged now repaired.  We have a lot of help in rebuilding our community, since Hurricane Katrina, people from all over the country have come to help, we are thankful, but we feel that it is up to us, it is our community our home and we want the world to know that we, Chelsey & Dornika (girlfriends) that as we are rebuilding our own lives we are helping to rebuild the lives of others and our community through service.”

“New Orleans still needs a lot of rebuilding and it is up to us, girlfriends, to make the difference.  We thank The Hope Center’s YouthRebuild LA Program, YouthBuild USA, and AmeriCorps for giving us an opportunity to serve, learn, and rebuild New Orleans.  We would like to get more girlfriends to join us in serving, in any capacity, we know that we are in the minority, in wanting to do construction but it helps us to see the difference physically and emotionally, it makes you feel good to help others.  We invite girlfriends to join us and help in their community and let us hear from you, contact us, by becoming friends and writing a post to the Hope Center on Facebook and we will respond.

Chelsey & Dornika are service members of YouthBuild at The Hope Center, Inc. in Greater New Orleans.  The organization is an outreach ministry of The Hope of Glory Church, and was founded by the Rev. W. Ron Walker, and the Executive Director is Cheryl Magee.  To learn more about the continuing service opportunities you can contact Ms. Magee at:

(504)363-4034 or 1-866-952-HOPE (4673)

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