101 Women of Hope helping D.C.'s youth

(Photo: Lavan Anderson)

Over 100 young women from across the D.C. region will be taking off a day from work Friday{ }to help the city’s youth.

The 101 Day of Hope is a community service initiative started by a group of young professionals in the Washington region{ }about three years ago.

“One of the other organizers sent out a tweet saying it would be great if all of my friends came to my school to help and literally within two weeks we had 100 volunteers,” said Patrice Cameau, organizer.

As part of the day-long service project, volunteers donate time to several schools in the District.

“It's something that our generation wants to do,” Cameau said. “It's just finding the right opportunities to do it.”

“It's a great chance to meet young ladies who otherwise may not meet women who are doing positive things,” said Sharnikya Howard, volunteer.

Maaden Eshete has volunteered with the program since it’s start and says her connection with the youth is what keep her coming back.

“A lot of us see the value of mentorship because we had mentors ourselves,” Eshete said. “Whether it's reading a story, or doing something in the office or the classroom, they are very welcoming and happy to have us there so it's just a feel good moment to be able to come in and feel like you are making an impact on our future leaders in our local community.
Staff members and teachers at the participating schools say they hope their students walk away with the same spirit of service.

Kenneth Newsome, an administrator at Ron Brown Middle School in Northeast, said, “our students will probably get so much out of having that many people come to our school and share a day with us.

When the women descend upon his school Friday for a day of painting, planting and mentoring, Newsome says it “will give them an opportunity to say okay this is something that I need to do and partake in in my community.”

The program's organizer{ }hopes the initiative will impact students for a lifetime.

“We've seen and we've heard from school administrators that those one day interactions really do last thru the week, thru the rest of the school year,” she said.

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