A teacher of the community

February 28, 2017
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In 2006, Ms. Lisa Walden was offered an opportunity to work as a mentor at a HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op Learning Center. She had fallen in love with inspiring the younger generation while coaching at Gateway High School and working in video production.

“The mission of HOPE and making a difference for underserved kids was why I started,” said Lisa. “I’ve seen HOPE evolve through the years, and I am excited to be a part of an education model that is working for kids who were out of options.”

Ms. Walden was part of HOPE’s initial group of community mentors in 2008 who began the alternative certification process to earn their teaching license.

“I’m thankful for all that HOPE has given to me. I believe in the model and what it provides to the community,” said Lisa. “The relationships and bond I’ve formed with both the staff and my students is why I love my job.”

There are countless stories Ms. Walden recalls of students finding success through HOPE.

“I’ve worked with some really tough kids. But there is a great sense of pride when you watch a kid you’ve worked with cross the stage and earn his/her diploma. The consistency, stability and flexibility we provide is everything,” said Lisa.

This school year, Ms. Walden made the transition from classroom mentor to HOPE teacher. She also moved to a new HOPE Learning Center, the fourth Learning Center she has been a part of since she began with HOPE.

“It was hard to say goodbye to the students I have worked with for several years. But this new role has been a good one for me,” said Lisa. “I’ve been able to grow professionally as I’ve experienced the many aspects of HOPE through the years.”

HOPE is committed to the community and providing a pathway to teaching and education leadership for HOPE Learning Center mentors and directors like Ms. Walden. The alternative teaching certification and like programs are provided at no/limited cost to HOPE Learning Center staff.

To learn more about pursuing a teaching career with HOPE, visit our Careers page.