The former Apopka Family Learning Center was once a hub for after-school tutoring. Located in South Apopka, it is a large, beautiful building with six acres of land and plenty of parking space. To Hope CommUnity Center Founder Sister Ann Kendrick, bringing life back to this once vibrant property was a calling.

In February of 2016 the incredible announcement was made to three hundred Hearts for Hope Luncheon attendees: HCC has acquired a second building, the former AFLC. Through the financial contributions of nearly a dozen donors, notably from Disney and Sisters: Builders of a Just Community (see more donors in our annual report), and 2200 hours of volunteer help, the building had been purchased, transformed and ready to use by early May.

By June, the new building received its first test: over a hundred Kids Camp kids! The kids were divided by age group in different rooms. There was chattering and noises and games and music heard throughout the hallways. The kind of noisy distractions you want to hear at work. The newly-painted kitchen was occupied daily by our friends and partners at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Every Tuesday night and Saturday morning, dozens and dozens of cars fill the building’s parking lots. On a typical Tuesday night, over 100 students pour through the front entrance to greeters at the front desk, with even more coming in on Saturdays. Some students wait in the lobby, chatting about citizenship, politics, and life. The classrooms are filled with eager students absorbing as much as they can to practice for their citizenship exams. In other rooms, students are taking mock interviews with volunteers.

Throughout any given week, 20-30 elementary school-aged students come in to get help with homework and practice skills they are learning in schools. Twice per week, on average, 5-10 women receive GED help to be a better support for their kids and have better career opportunities.

The acquisition of HCC’s second building one year ago has given this organization an incredible opportunity to give programs more space and more parking.

Thank you for your contributions that made this new building possible!