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First HOPE Inside office in DeKalb County set to open

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By John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.

Starting today, Operation HOPE will officially open its first HOPE Inside office in DeKalb County. I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening ceremony last week for HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb County at the AEI StartUp Factory in Stonecrest.

This was all made possible with the help of our partners at RBC Bank, Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson of DeKalb County Super District 7, and my friend and entrepreneur, Lecester “Bill” Allen. Bill owns the AEI StartUp Factory.

This HOPE Inside location will offer free financial coaching to all county residents through its Credit and Money Management Program. The goal is to provide financial education and increase credit scores.

Following the ribbon-cutting, we went inside for a conversation on why bringing a HOPE Inside to the people of DeKalb County is so important to building financial empowerment. During the discussion, Bill talked about his journey as a businessman and gave advice to those in the audience.

“Sometimes when you see people that have achieved certain things, you assume that they’re so much bigger than you,” he said. “You first start with a dream, you first start with a belief in yourself, and then you go from there.”

I mentioned that African-Americans have the lowest homeownership rate in the country. I also brought up the fact that many of us are focused on the wrong things. We need to think about the bigger picture. That’s why Operation HOPE exists. We aim to get you down the right path financially.

This Silver Rights movement to provide financial literacy is catching on. With more than 130 HOPE Inside locations nationwide, Operation HOPE is well on its way to becoming the Starbucks of financial inclusion.

HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb County is located at the AEI StartUp Factory, at 7310 Stonecrest Concourse in Stonecrest, GA. If you’re not in this area, visit one of Operation HOPE’s financial wellbeing coaches at a location closest to you.

Commissioner Cochran-Johnson summed up the meaning of this new HOPE Inside opening when she said, “we’re about to be busy transforming lives in DeKalb.”

I definitely agree.

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