The hope blog


Tomila Sahbaei | November 23rd 2021 | 5 min read

This week’s article demonstrates the scope of The HOPE Initiative Foundation by presenting a spotlight article on one of HOPE’s University Branches: UBC HOPE! In collaboration with the executive team of UBC HOPE and The HOPE Initiative Foundation’s CEO, Dr. Vivian Tsang, this article shares HOPE’s beginnings, it’s expansion across Canada, and highlights the amazing work at UBC HOPE and how it connects to the Foundation’s larger mission.

The HOPE Initiative Foundation was founded in 2012 by Dr. Vivian Tsang at her local Vancouver high school. Her vision was for HOPE to provide innovative solutions to broken systems. Noticing the value and community interest in her initiative, Dr. Tsang’s vision for HOPE grew and she made this vision a tangible reality by using expansion strategies. These key practises transformed HOPE from a high school club into a nationwide charity with over a dozen university and high school branches. This structure was inspired by HOPE’s mission, which is to use solutions that are global in context, but local in execution. Dr. Tsang remains as the CEO of HOPE, continuously strategizing methods of growth to expand the reach of HOPE’s mission.

UBC HOPE is considered as the flagship branch of the foundation. UBC HOPE is a great example of why having the branches is important for fulfilling HOPE’s mission. By being a university club, UBC HOPE is able to focus on the immediate needs of its community and local students. The branch’s values are aligned with those of the Foundation’s, but these values are transformed into local contexts through a variety of workshops and programs. For example, UBC HOPE hosts the HOPE for Success program, which pairs incoming high school students with current university students: 

“HOPE for Success [is] a longitudinal workshop and mentorship program that pairs high school students with university students to help them with their transition to post-secondary education. We help with anything from the admissions process to mental health and logistical challenges of the transition”

The programs do not stop at university transitions. As an alternative to the HOPE for Success program; UBC HOPE offers high school students who are interested in trade school, Red Seal programs, or college opportunities the HOPE to Inspire program.

As aforementioned, UBC HOPE’s position as a branch allows the organization to create programs for community involvement that meet local needs. In Vancouver. These efforts are mainly concentrated in the Downtown Eastside, coming to form through the annual Warmth of Winter program: an outreach program that operates in the Downtown Eastside to gain a better understanding of the current needs of houseless individuals. From there, UBC HOPE partners with local shelters in the DTES to create portfolios that feature local residents. UBC HOPE’s role is turning these portfolios into marketable products that return proceeds to the DTES. 

UBC HOPE also offers a financial literacy workshop to community folk in the DTES, aimed at providing educational tools to foster financial management skills and handling debt. 

Getting Involved:

If you are interested in joining either the UBC branch or main charity see this statement about how to get involved from UBC HOPE Execs and The HOPE Initiative Foundation:

UBC HOPE is accepting General Members who will have firsthand access to our internal workshops, volunteer opportunities and be able to gain knowledge that will help with future executive applications.

More positions are also available at the main charity – The HOPE Initiative Foundation. Come check out all our available positions as well as opportunities available across the country on our Hiring Page

A sticker with an illustration of a brain that talks about mental health