Upon seeing that the youth in their community were being grossly underserved and undereducated, two sisters, Claudia and Angelica Rodríguez decided they needed to take action and do something about it.
The sisters sought out alternative education and found Hope Online, an online learning academy co-op which provides certified curriculum, resources and support to its learning centers.
“We got in contact with them and started a long journey to get here today,” explained Claudia, while detailing the arduous road to opening up the Hope locations in their community. “Sometimes you really have to fight for what you want and wait for the right timing; and then when the time is right things will work out.”
Their five year journey took the sisters on a path of dealing with various regulations, compliance and logistics with the city; getting safe and secure locations; working out details with the local school districts - all of which have limited time frames to comply with.
“When you have a vision and purpose of working with a community, you are set on that community - that’s your purpose that’s the reason that you able to do it, and be persistent about it,” commented Angelica, explaining their motivation to keep going in spite of continuous road blocks.
The ambitious sisters were finally able to open two locations in 2010 and added another in 2011 because of the success of the first two schools. They are currently directing Hope Online locations in Aurora, Northglenn and Mountain View. Because Hope Online is a free public charter school, all of the locations are open to any student.
“The demographics are similar, but the needs of the students at each location are very different. You have to analyze your community and see what works for them,” stated Claudia. “For one of our locations, the students had been so consistently hurt from always being the ‘loser’ that when we had a competition at the school, it caused a lot of conflict. We realized very quickly we had to create a community at this school, and at the end of the year they were like a little family - they would not let anybody bring anybody else down. That’s one way we had to build that support system for them.
“When they got to our learning centers we told them here everyone has an opportunity and we’re all
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