At just thirteen, Arlene Fuller Wube was one of the youngest StreetLeaders to come through UrbanPromise.
“But she grew and grew and grew,” recalls Executive Director Jodina Hicks. “Whatever we threw at her, whatever challenge we offered, she excelled.”
Arlene started out answering the phone but before long was doing payroll for UrbanPromise – going above and beyond what most after-school programs ask of high school students.
“It was no surprise,” says Jodina. “She loved organizing things and getting involved. As a StreetLeader, she was organizing our annual calendar and had a seat at the table for planning projects. She was special.”
Arlene just remembers that UrbanPromise gave her a safe haven when she needed one, a place to grow and develop the skills and confidence for a life that would later lead to the hallowed hallways of Howard University and the bustle of Washington DC.
“In the morning I had breakfast at UrbanPromise, and after school I stayed until it was practically time to go to bed,” she says, laughing. But all that time spent in the office, in StreetLeader meetings, SAT prep classes, field trips—all of it—allowed her to glimpse a life of possibilities.
We need to invest in our kids and get them through college – that’s the best way to build the future.
These days, Arlene runs a special events company with her husband and is raising her son, Mikael, in Washington, DC. One day, a letter came in the mail from UrbanPromise, and it had a return envelope.
Arlene says “that envelope was a promise for the future—I can give something back!” The thirty dollars a month she pledged to UrbanPromise morphed over time into a scholarship program, Ambassadors of Hope, built on the premise that if UrbanPromise teens are given the resources to make college a reality, they in turn, will give back to Urban Promise.
“Seventeen-year-olds don’t have the resources to take it to the next level. When the scholarship or financial aid falls short, they don’t have anything or anyone to fall back on. Ambassadors of Hope can provide that support,” she says. UrbanPromise can make sure they make it to college; Ambassadors of Hope can help them through college.
Since 2010, Ambassadors of Hope has raised more than $140,500 in scholarship money.
Ambassadors of Hope takes Arlene’s own experience full circle. She hopes to inspire others to get involved.
“We need to invest in our kids and get them through college – that’s the best way to build the future.”