Foun­da­tion of HOPE set to host au­thor

Sunday Star - - LOCAL -

EAS­TON — The Foun­da­tion of HOPE, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion in Tal­bot County es­tab­lished to help women and young girls through eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and em­pow­er­ment ini­tia­tives, will host na­tion­ally renowned au­thor C. Ni­cole Ma­son Satur­day, Dec. 9, at its an­nual fundraiser at the Mile­stone Con­fer­ence Cen­ter.

A $60 tax-de­ductible do­na­tion will in­clude lunch and an au­to­graphed copy of Ma­son’s best-sell­ing book, “Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Jour­ney from Noth­ing to Some­thing in Amer­ica.”

“Your zip code or the neigh­bor­hood you live in should not de­ter­mine how far you will go in life,” Ma­son said. “Grit and hard work are not enough. We must — as a so­ci­ety — do all that we can to en­sure the most vul­ner­a­ble among us have what they need to reach their full po­ten­tial and ac­cess op­por­tu­nity.”

Keasha Haythe launched the Foun­da­tion of HOPE, a 501(c)3 non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, in 2016 to help Tal­bot County girls reach their po­ten­tial. She started the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gram for sixth-grade girls at Eas­ton Mid­dle School that year to cover such top­ics as build­ing self-es­teem, bul­ly­ing, so­cial me­dia, work­force de­vel­op­ment, eco­nomic and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, en­trepreneur­ship and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy.

“Our mis­sion is to help young girls lead pro­duc­tive lives in their com­mu­ni­ties by pro­vid­ing cul­tural, so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment,” said Haythe, who is the pres­i­dent of Foun­da­tion of HOPE. “We be­lieve chil­dren are our fu­ture, and we must pre­pare them early to be great fu­ture lead­ers.”

Ma­son’s par­tic­i­pa­tion was made pos­si­ble with the sup­port of the Dock Street Foun­da­tion’s pres­i­dent, Richard Marks.

“If just be­ing born bright was all one needed to suc­ceed, then very few peo­ple would fail,” Marks said. “Against all odds and ob­sta­cles, Ni­cole Ma­son finds suc­cess and tells her story pow­er­fully and poignantly.

“To rise above fear, poverty and shame takes de­ter­mi­na­tion and hope. It would be very easy to ex­pect an end­ing quite dif­fer­ent than what we learn as we cheer her on through ev­ery set­back, most of which would stop oth­ers cold and does so all too of­ten.”

The event also will in­clude a silent auc­tion fea­tur­ing items do­nated by Tal­bot County busi­nesses, in­clud­ing Doc’s Down­town Grille, The Barn Steak­house & Sports Bar, Cap­tain’s Ketch Seafood, Pizazzzz!, Hig­gins and Spencer, Shearer the Jew­eler, Sil­ver Lin­ings, La De Da, Swank and St. Vin­cent De Paul So­ci­ety.

To reg­is­ter or learn about spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties, visit www.foun­da­tionofhope mary­land.org, or con­tact Haythe at Keasha@founda tionofhope­mary­land.org or 410-443-9936.

The cover of “Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Jour­ney from Noth­ing to Some­thing in Amer­ica,” by C. Ni­cole Ma­son, is shown.

C. NI­COLE MA­SON

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