Fort Worth’s HOPE Farm dedicated a new vocational center Sept. 29, launching a program to bring economic and career opportunities to fatherless boys and their families.
Named for longtime supporter and Dallas businessman Tom Slone, a proponent of vocational training, the Slone Vocational Center will bring together private partners and professional volunteers to provide hands-on certificate training and internship opportunities to HOPE Farm’s student participants.
Mr. Slone passed away in 2018.
And while HOPE Farm celebrates its young men who go on to college to pursue their dreams, the reality is that college – and its price tag – can be a nightmare for many students, the news release said.
“We believe in setting our boys up for success, and for a lot of our students, driving them toward college and insurmountable student debt is a tragic disservice,” said Sacher Dawson, HOPE Farm Executive Director.
“With vocational training, our boys will graduate high school with real hands-on work experience, a trade certificate, and connections to community business leaders. A career-ready, Christ-centered, empowered young man is a great gift to himself, his family, and his community,” Dawson said.
HOPE Farm is working with Tarrant County College and the City of Fort Worth to create a sustainable curriculum of vocational training in the areas of welding, plumbing, HVAC and light mechanic.
The Center will dovetail with HOPE Farm’s four pillars approach: Read (academic development), Feed (physical development), Parent (spiritual development), and Empower (social development), the news release said.
HOPE Farm has served fatherless boys ages 5-18 and their mothers or caretakers in the southside of Fort Worth since 1997, working to eradicate the cycle and effects of fatherlessness by cultivating at-risk boys into tomorrow’s leaders.
“Fort Worth is a roll-your-sleeves-up, get-to-work kind of town,” Dawson said. “I’m thrilled that HOPE Farm is creating a vocational program to help ensure the next generation of our workforce is ready for incredible opportunity. HOPE Farm is changing the tide of our community, one young man at a time.”
The dedication was the first step in development of the Slone Vocational Center, and the organization plans to open its doors to the first students in August 2022.
For those interested in supporting an expedited schedule through donations or in-kind gifts, please contact Victor Neil, HOPE Farm Vice President of Marketing and Development. Through Dec. 31, 2020, an anonymous donor will match all gifts for the Slone Vocational Center up to $70,000.
“Tom always believed in the empowerment and tangibility of vocational training,” said Fran Slone, Slone’s widow. “We’ve long supported HOPE Farm’s work and watched the boys transform into incredible young men. It’s a blessing to be able to help propel forward this next chapter of the organization and the families they support.”
HOPE Farm Inc. is a Fort Worth-based 501(c)(3) dedicated to eradicating the cycle and effects of fatherlessness by cultivating at-risk boys into tomorrow’s leaders.
HOPE Farm’s programs enrich the spirit, mind, and body via leadership development, academics, physical education, Bible study, and music, as well as a mothers’ resource initiative, the organization said.
HOPE Farm serves boys ages 5-18 and their mothers or caretakers from two Fort Worth campuses: its headquarters in the southside of Fort Worth, where it has been located since 1997, and its new Como campus, which opened in 2019.
A new South Dallas location opened in spring of 2020.