Area nonprofit will graduate its first three youth from restorative program

Project Hope 4 Humanity’s first three baristas from young adult life training program will graduate March 1  

VANCOUVER — Vancouver-based nonprofit, Project Hope 4 Humanity, will graduate its first three young adults on March 1 who have completed the organization’s barista intern program.

Project Hope 4 Humanity barista Billie Walters and graduating intern Khyra Ludwig, are seen here at work behind the coffee cart at the Vancouver Community Library. Photo courtesy of Paige Uhlemeyer
Project Hope 4 Humanity barista Billie Walters and graduating intern Khyra Ludwig, are seen here at work behind the coffee cart at the Vancouver Community Library. Photo courtesy of Paige Uhlemeyer

Project Hope 4 Humanity works with young people ages 17-26 by connecting them with life skills training, job opportunities, communication skills, and habits that foster greater independence. 

Founded last year by Vancouver teacher, Paige Uhlemeyer, the program seeks to, “Employ, educate and empower 17-26 year olds who are at a transitional moment in their life without a means to increase their opportunities for success due to no fault of their own.” 

The first three graduates have participated in group learning and training as well as worked at the organizations two coffee carts as barista interns; learning from actual baristas. One coffee cart is located in downtown Vancouver inside the Vancouver Community Library, while the other is at Legacy High School on the same campus as Evergreen High School.    

The graduation ceremony will be at the Vancouver Community Library’s Columbia Room and will last from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will include breakfast, treats and coffee for those who attend.

The three graduates to be honored are Kyhra Ludwig, Scarlet Mason and Lakeesha Uphan. Each graduate has worked with Uhlemeyer, life skill mentors and trained baristas over the past year to accomplish this goal. 

“Sometimes adults want to think that they can’t have high standards for certain kids or youth,” Uhlemeyer said in a previous interview. “When I’ve always realized that if you set the bar high, they want to meet it.”

The organization is also seeking to engage the community through a program that extends the impact of the students’ internship. The Extended Internship Program offers another four months of paid internship at the mobile coffee cart inside the library. 

Graphic courtesy of Project Hope 4 Humanity
Graphic courtesy of Project Hope 4 Humanity

A Post-Progressive Internship is also being made available to students of the program, in which they continue their current training and study in the Project Hope 4 Humanity curriculum and with mentorship support. 

On the fundraising side of things, the Project is currently seeking to raise $2,000 to provide further support to the 2020 graduates even after they complete the program. Vancouver City Councilor, Linda Glover, currently serves as treasurer of the organization with Clark County Treasurer, Alishia Topper serving as secretary.

Uhlemeyer has also secured partnerships with local businesses to provide the resources used in training the graduates. Kafiex Coffee Roasters in downtown Vancouver provide the coffee and Sugar and Salt Bakery provides the treats for both coffee carts.

“I just consistently saw this need for, especially our high school youth, where they just needed support. They needed to know someone cared. They needed to feel like they were a part of something beyond just the classroom,” Uhlemeyer said in a previous interview. “And so we’re hoping to really build support for that age demographic. To make them feel successful and supported by our community.”

In addition to the  graduation on March 1, Project Hope 4 Humanity will host a Valentines-inspired event, “Spread the Love A-Latte,” from Feb. 10-14, in which lattes can be bought and will then delivered to local charity staff in the community.

On Feb. 21, the organization will hold “Be-YOU-tiful You” movie night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library. All ages are welcome and the film is free, with a raffle entry available for those who come in pajamas.

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a graduate of WSU Pullman’s Edward R. Murrow College where he studied journalism and media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and abroad in Argentina. He has won a regional Emmy and Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his film work. His passions range from sharing the love of Jesus, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife and son in Vancouver, WA. Proverbs 16:3

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