Work in the Community » Supporters


Hope Comes to Watts


Program Overview: 



Initiated over 6 years ago by Board Member Darell Schregardus, “Hope Comes to Watts’ represents a partnership with the Watts Learning Center and Hope College, located in Holland, Michigan.  For over 6 years, over 50 aspiring educators from Hope College have participated in a uniquely rewarding 3-week experience at the Watts Learning Center in Los Angeles, California. Students are paired with mentor teachers at the Watts Learning Center Charter Schools to support the provision of meaningful and productive daily classroom learning experiences, and provide support as well as participation and engagement in a variety of school-related programs and projects.  Each weekday morning, Hope students travel to one of the two campuses (elementary school or middle school) of the Watts Learning Center where they are assigned to work with one or more experienced teachers or other support personnel in the school. They work one-on-one with the students in the school, prepare materials for the classroom, and have additional opportunities to teach throughout the 3-week experience. After school hours are spent participating in after-school programs at the school and professional development opportunities offered on each campus.



In the process of working with Watts Learning Center children and families, Hope College students are exposed to a wide range of cultural learning experiences and opportunities in the Watts Community and greater Los Angeles area. The program provides the Hope student with a chance to work intensively with children, youth, and teachers at the Watts Learning Center Charter Schools, explore teaching and its day-to-day opportunities and challenges and pursuit of social justice to improve the quality of life in the community.


Ashley Person, a Hope College graduate, is now in her third year of teaching at the Watts Learning Center Elementary School! 



Hope College Faculty Leaders: 

Nancy Cook (,

John Yelding (, 

Sue Brondyk (