Difference Makers | Hearts to Nourish Hope
Martial Arts and Fine Arts don’t usually go together, but they were the passions of two sisters that helped start the community oriented nonprofit, Hearts to Nourish Hope. Patrice and Debbie grew up in a large Italian family where everyone is family. They were the household where everyone hung out and found their home away from home. Debbie went to school for horse therapy and Patrice found herself submerged in the fine arts at NYU. What started as a place for kids to learn martial arts expanded into a place for 16-24 years to be nurtured, loved, trained, accepted, and seen.
As Patrice shares the history and story of Hearts to Nourish Hope, a glimpse of her rubber bracelet pokes thru. In white letters you read, “See them thru, not thru them”. It is the motto and heart behind what Patrice and her team do for the youth at Hearts. She has almost 30 years of experience with at-risk youth and she still shares with the same fervor and love for these 16-24 year olds. She longs for them to know their purpose as she tells us the ways in which they are doing that for these youth that she works with every day.
As an artist she uses her creativity to help youth see their potential and purpose. She hopes to open an arts center for the youth to help cultivate untapped potential and create opportunities for them to discover and use their gifts and passions. They currently have a recording studio that has opened doors for these students to flourish. The goal is to give them a hope and future which involves GED classes, high school graduation, certifications, and different pathways, but it also involves providing assistance and support in more ways than one.
Hearts to Nourish Hope and Impact46 partnered together this past summer to provide paid internships for graduating seniors. Patrice smiles as she retells of the success stories from one of the students experience from working at a Vets office to becoming a Vet tech. As a partner of ARC, Patrice and her team work to employ 16-24 years olds as they focus on workforce development for out of school youth. This summer we are working to expand the Summer of Impact to two new high schools in our area where we will prayerfully employ 10 out of school youth.
Patrice is a difference maker in that she genuinely cares and fights for every one of her students. She not only sees needs but she alleviates problems by creating opportunities for youth and students to thrive. The work that her and Hearts to Nourish Hope are doing is making a pathway for otherwise left behind youth who never saw a future and hope. She intercedes and then proceeds to mediate in order for these youth and students to thrive. Their pathways aren’t traditional and it requires a difference maker to help these students see that is okay.