GraduatesWho We Serve
Some of Our Graduates Share Their Stories
Cynthia Bush, 2021 HIM Graduate
Last year was a difficult year for Cynthia due to the coronavirus outbreak. Cynthia has an outgoing personality and considers herself to be a people person, so when COVID began, she felt broken and miserable. She missed seeing family and friends. While going to get groceries at Piggly Wiggly one day, she noticed an area outside of the store where Hope Inspired Ministries was giving away free hamburgers and hot dogs. She decided to go over and get her blessing, never really recognizing that this blessing was bigger than a burger. While waiting on her burger, Mrs. Farrah asked her if she would like to come and take classes at Hope Inspired Ministries. Since beginning the class, we have seen Cynthia grow leaps and bounds. She was always willing to help people and never took the time to focus on herself. With help from the staff encouraging her that it’s okay to say no sometimes, she finally understood what boundaries were and how important it is to guard her heart above all else. Now, she is happy and whole and is interning at Grace Klein Community where she thrives in helping others. We are so proud of her and know that God has a plan for her life.
Annette Robertson, 2021 HIM Graduate
In December, Annette ended a relationship with an abusive man that she had known off and on for four years (whom she tried to help). As a result, she was left alone on the side of I-65, while he took her van and headed north outside of Alabaster. This led her to live in a shelter in Columbiana. Within a few months’ time, she went from having a job, a vehicle, and a place to call home, to being all alone in a strange city. This was her wakeup call. Something had to change.
After a few months, Annette came to Birmingham. God led her here with an open heart and mind. She hopes that she can inspire and bring hope to someone out there feeling hopeless, alone, and lost, just like Hope Inspired Ministries did for her. Since starting the class, she has blossomed into a beautiful woman of God and went from quiet and shy to now confident and talkative. We are proud to announce that she has been hired at Springhill Suites near the Summit as a housekeeper and did an internship with Grace Klein Community along side some of her classmates. We are so proud of her!
Helen Vasquez, 2021 HIM Graduate
After enrolling in the H.I.M. program, Mrs. Farrah asked Hellen, “Are you sure this won’t be too much on you after working a graveyard shift?” Hellen told her that she had to do this, not only for herself, but for her kids.
Before attending this class, Hellen asked God, “What is it that you want me to learn that I’m not doing right?” She says that Hope Inspired Ministries helped reveal her purpose. After completing the classes, we decided to put her on an internship at Grace Klein Community along with a few of her other classmates to put the skills she has learned into practice. Hellen has shown us that no matter the obstacles you go through in life, you can overcome by serving others through your pain. Recently, Hellen’s mom fell ill, so she and her brother flew out to Texas for a week to make sure her mom was okay. In that time, she always stayed in touch and was excited to get back to her internship. Her goals are to graduate from the program and fly back out to Texas one more time to check on her mom. She has also been hired at Amada Senior Care and will continue working! We are so proud of her strength through this process and how she carries herself with grace and poise!
Rodrick Moore, 2021 HIM Graduate
Reshaundra Dixon, 2021 HIM Graduate
Jackie Saunders, 2021 HIM Graduate
In early 2021, Jackie was homeless due to her health. While she was in the hospital, she contracted COVID-19. Since then, she’s been in a lot of pain and has not fully recovered. She could not work, and the homelessness led her to Pathways, a shelter in the Birmingham community. There, the intake worker, Bailey, told her about Hope Inspired Ministries. She gave her a pamphlet to read, and that’s when she decided to enroll in the nine week class.
When she started class, it was more than what she thought. She has learned a lot about interviewing and the ten things that require zero talent that all employers are looking for in employees. Some of those things are: a positive attitude, showing effort, being on time, and having passion for what you do.
Tasha Scott, a guest speaker, talked to us about setting goals and making new habits. She said, “To get different results, I need to make new actions.” For Jackie, that meant going back to school and finishing her bachelor’s degree in human resources, and eventually studying to become an R. N. Jackie is ready to get back to her church, get back into the full swing of things, find a job in healthcare, and get her life back on track. She thanks Jesus for allowing her to go through this process at Hope Inspired Ministries.
Carlos Lomax, 2018 HIM Graduate
Carlos Lomax, known as “Pops” by his fellow classmates, came to Hope Inspired Ministries just about as broken as one can get, but with the heart and leadership skills to do something better with his life. Carlos completed his class work, began the journey of healing past traumas, and is now employed at Jim Massey’s Cleaners. Carlos is well on his way to self-sufficiency for the first time in his life.
Lauren Byrd, 2018 HIM Graduate
After time with The Foundry Ministries, Lauren Byrd came to Hope Inspired Ministries as her next step to a successful, self-sufficient life. In her initial interview with us, she stated she wanted to work in the community to help people get off the streets. What she did not realize at the time was that she had committed to more than just a job-training program. She began a journey of healing. Lauren was condemning herself because of past decisions, but wore a mask of pride to hide her pain. In her time at Hope Inspired Ministries, she learned about forgiveness and experienced spiritual and emotional freedom for the first time. She is now ready to go out and make a difference! She has been hired at Urban Cookhouse and has also applied for AmeriCorps in order to have a greater impact on her community. We are so proud of how far she has come and are thankful to be part of her journey!
Fatima Shabazz, 2018 HIM Graduate
Fatima Shabazz battled depression for years, and was not able to break through the darkness. She heard about Hope Inspired Ministries through her volunteer service hours at Family Guidance. She decided to volunteer at the Birmingham campus of Hope Inspired Ministries two weeks before class began. Little did she know it was exactly where she needed to be! She saw the love and support she had been seeking and decided to join the program. Fatima has grown into a beautifully strong woman, and we are so honored to have her as part of our family! She has been hired at Piggly Wiggly next door to the HIM campus and comes in before her shift and during her time off to pour back into the current students. Fatima has also been selected to serve on an advisory board designed to help better programs which aid single mothers.
Amy Murphy, 2018 HIM Graduate
Amy Murphy came to Hope Inspired Ministries with her heart and mind open for the teachings and guidance offered by our instructors. Before enrolling in the program, Amy let life issues and her traumatic past dominate her daily decisions. She was living one crisis to the next, and her anxiety about her future was holding her back. However, throughout her time in the classroom, Amy learned to slow down, think things through, find peace and strength within herself and her faith to deal with life’s struggles. Amy successfully completed her internship with Holiday Inn and her supervisor reported that she did so well, they couldn’t let her go, and offered her a permanent position on the team.
Brandon Hood, 2018 HIM Graduate
Brandon came to us after hearing about a friend going through the program in Birmingham. He had recently walked away from a job and was struggling with several personal issues. Brandon decided to give Hope Inspired Ministries a try and soon fell in love with program. While in the program, he demonstrated integrity, honesty, respect and love to everyone. We are so very pleased to announce that Brandon has been hired at Hyundai in Montgomery.
Abby Hyman, 2018 HIM Graduate
The words “trust the process” are frequently spoken to our students at our Birmingham campus, and Abby Hyman is the epitome of a student who is trusting in the process! After years of addiction to heroine and living a life of complete hopelessness, Abby decided to finally surrender. She attended church and joined the Celebrate Recovery program where she began her journey to Hope Inspired Ministries. Every day, she took the bus from McCalla to East Lake, which was just one way she showed us her desire to succeed. Abby began working at Piggly Wiggly part-time while attending class, and during the last week of class she was offered a full-time position which included a pay raise and benefits! She is also employed at a women’s boutique where she enjoys helping other women feel beautiful and confident. She has successfully completed her Drug Court obligations, and is currently working to regain custody of her son.
Deketa Brown, 2018 HIM Graduate
Deketa Brown is truly a remarkable woman! She had been working at a hair salon as a cosmetologist, but due to her background with a felony conviction, she lacked the confidence to interview for another position. She needed to learn how to be more professional and use what is referred to as the “One-Two Punch”in an interview, which is to be brief, honest, and direct, followed with something positive. When she understood that concept, we began to see a significant change in her confidence. The realization that everyone has a past helped Deketa understand the need to communicate in a professional way, and she simply needed direction in how to do so effectively. Deketa is trusting the process, and we are so proud of her perseverance and determination to succeed!
Angelicia Willis, 2017 HIM Graduate and Current HIM Staff Member
Before coming to Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) I had been incarcerated for twenty-five years. Looking back, rebellion, bad choices, and a toxic relationship led me down that road. Two weeks upon my release, I contacted Hope Inspired Ministries and started the program. Before enrolling at HIM, just the idea of seeking employment seemed foreign and overwhelming to me. I’d never held a job a day in my life, except in Tutwiler. After completing this program, I had a new level of confidence…it was a wonderful and liberating feeling for me. Upon completing my internship at HIM, I was hired full-time as a receptionist. I am training to be a case manager and an instructor in the classroom. I thoroughly enjoy my job as it allows me to pay it forward and help others. Through Hope Inspired Ministries I found more than just a job, I found a career.
Viktor Lawry, 2017 HIM Graduate
I lost my parents when I was 6 years old and was adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage when I was 17. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what to do with my life. I heard a lady talking about Hope Inspired Ministries. I knew it was what I wanted to do. The eight weeks in school was very hard. I would leave the house around 6:30 and ride my bike for 30 minutes to the closest bus stop, and then I would take a bus downtown to school. Even though it was not easy, I was willing to do the hard work I needed to change my life. Hope Inspired Ministries got me an internship at Stivers Ford, and I was hired full time. I love my new career.
Michael Long, 2014 HIM Graduate
Coming to Hope Inspired Ministries changed me in so many ways. It taught me excellent job training skills, how to deal with people, and what to do or not to do on a job interview. I took it very serious because I’d never held a job before and I had always looked for the easy way out. Each day I learned something new.I completed the course in 2014 and through Hope Inspired Ministries was hired at Wishbone Cafe where I had performed my internship. I hope to one day be able to take college courses and open my own business.