Christmas Came Early for Open Hand of Fredericksburg

During the grand opening of Chick-Fil-A Lee's Hill in Fredericksburg, VA, Open Hand of Fredericksburg was recognized alongside The Brisben Center as a Community Hero. IT is such an encouragement and blessing to be seen for all the hard work our Board, staff, and volunteers do to serve local teens and young adults. To celebrate, we wanted to share the history of our organization.

Pastor Bob Becker founded Open Hand in 2002 as a ministry of New City Fellowship, a cross-cultural church. Incorporated in 2004, Open Hand of Fredericksburg is an outgrowth of a vision for a cross-cultural community-development ministry begun by New City Fellowship Church of Fredericksburg.  

A Summer Youth Intern Program (now called GRAD) began to hire youth from low-income families to work in a summer internship with local companies and local non-profits and placed the youth with job coach/mentors who taught them job-specific skills and work ethics. The GRAD program features intensive continuing education classes in job readiness, character formation, life skills, career counseling and financial literacy, to add to the student’s abilities to prepare for college or other postsecondary education and sustainable employment in the future.

In the fall of 2009, Open Hand began providing job readiness and life skills training, as a paid consultant to the James Monroe High School’s STARS GED program.  The STARS program meets twice a week during the school year.  It incorporates practical real world academic enrichment for the students using practical real world experiences.  Field trips and community lecturers who inspire and educate these students about a broad variety of opportunities for their lives.  

Today, Open Hand of Fredericksburg houses both GRAD, GRAD+, and PEARLS seeking to reach even more at risk and under-resourced teens and young adults.

Original Blog Post Author: Elisha Sese-Khalid
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