Fort Worth's HOPE Farm dedicates new vocational center

Published on October 01, 2020

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Leaders of HOPE Farm dedicated a new on-campus vocational center this week. Named for longtime supporter and 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.

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. 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.

“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.”

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).

“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 organization plans to open the Slone Vocational Center to the first students in August 2022.

People interested in making donations or in-kind gifts should contact Victor Neil at 817-926-9116. Now through Dec. 31, an anonymous donor will match all gifts for the Slone Vocational Center up to $70,000.