First Things First
Each year, HOPE celebrates a client who demonstrates HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity with the Thurman Award. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the stories of this year’s winner and four honorable mentions to the blog. Today we celebrate Evangelista Osoria, honorable mention from the Dominican Republic. Evangelista Osoria rises well before the sun in Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic. The 52-year-old dreams of someday sleeping past 4 a.m., but for now, her elderly mother, three children, three grandchildren, and five employees are counting on her and her business, Yenis Empanada. Evangelista sells popular Dominican dishes directly to customers and sells flour and prepared dough to local vendors who rely on these products to run their own shops. Yenis Empanada has been in Evangelista’s family for years, but she found herself at the helm just a few years ago when her husband suddenly passed away. Even as she mourned his death, Evangelista knew it was now her responsibility to breathe new life into the business. One of her first decisions was to seek a loan from Esperanza International, HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic. “In the toughest moment, Esperanza opened their arms and helped us,” she recalls. With the nearly $200 she borrowed, Evangelista bought a freezer to preserve her perishable ingredients.
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