Hard-Working Youth Pursuing Excellence

Bishop Steve Coleman & Lady Cheryl W. Coleman


H.Y.P.E. (Hard-working Youth Pursuing Excellence) is a community-based program that began in 1991. Historically, the program was born out of the need to respond to a group of African-American students who were dissatisfied with how they were being treated in the local high schools. Further investigation revealed that these issues didnít relate directly to academic abilities or behavioral problems. However, what became evident was that studentsí experiences were a result of being immersed in a predominately white environment without adequate support systems.

Consequently, Williams Temple chose to endorse the self-help philosophy as a means of responding directly to the needs of these young people. Thus the mission of H.Y.P.E. to prepare young people of African descent, to attain the skills necessary to offset the psychological and emotional affects of students who are 8-18 years old, however anyone can attend these sessions. This social commitment is demonstrated through promoting activities that help to build a healthy sense of racial and ethnic identity, along with facilitating development in the areas of leadership, career goals, academic astuteness, political savyness and social consciousness.

Program activities that are implemented to facilitate such growth include: social skill-building activities, heritage quizzes, goal setting, budget and investing, cultural and athletic field trips, community projects, rap sessions, videos, and literacy circles that feature writers who are of African descent.


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