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2013                             H.O.P.E. Awards 2nd Annual Joyce Dockery Memorial Scholarship
                                                                       By Amanda J. Vicars

 Job success is fueled by education in the community's youth and for the second year in a row, the non-profit program titled H.O.P.E. (Help Our Potential Evolve) has enhanced the future of a local high school graduate by awarding them with a college scholarship.

H.O.P.E. founder and president Stella Robinette said, “Our plan is for them [awardees] to go to Northeast [State Technical Community College] first cause that first two years are absolutely free and apply for all scholarships and they can take that money and move on to higher ed [education].”

 H.O.P.E. began in 2008 as a means of paying homage to Black History in the community and to improve the lives of future generations of high school aged youth by teaching them vital skills needed to achieve their dreams. In recent years, the organization raised the ante further by orchestrating a scholarship program designed to grant any student involved in H.O.P.E. the opportunity to earn the Joyce Dockery Memorial Scholarship.

 “Joyce Dockery was an employee of Tri-Summit Bank and helped me get this [program] started,” Robinette said. “If they[students of H.O.P.E.] follow our program and [have] at least been in our program for at least one year and do everything in the program... anyone that graduates from H.O.P.E. at high school receives a scholarship.”

 H.O.P.E. holds its scholars to the same requirements the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce has for the Tenn./Va. Scholars program including: maintain at least a C average and perform 80 hours of community service. However, Robinette said, “the majority of our youth have more [hours] than that.”

 The community service and goal -oriented organization also promotes a positive work ethic for their youth by teaching them hands-on career skills through job shadowing and life lessons classes like proper etiquette, how to manage and invest money, how to fill out job a application and résumé, and how to dress for success.

  The H.O.P.E. program helps teenaged participants find employment and requires they “put at least 10 percent of their money into their own savings account, saving for their own future,” Robinette explained. They must also donate 10 percent of their earnings to a church or non-profit organization of their choosing and set another 10 percent aside for emergency.

 Teiaira Blye is the 2013 recipient of the H.O.P.E. scholarship, having completed all their requirements by her recent graduation from Dobyns-Bennett High School. At 18 years old, Blye is the second to receive the award in a two year span and according to Robinette has been dedicated in her volunteerism to the point of going “beyond” the requirements asked of her; Blye assisted in many local community service outreach programs and received “high marks” from them all.

 “I don't think there was anything I ever asked her to do that she didn't follow through on,” Robinette said. “I'm very proud of Teiaira. She's come a long way.”

Blye plans to attend Northeast State Community College for her first two years of college in pursuit of a career in child development.

H.O.P.E. relies solely on volunteers and sponsors like the Tri-Summit Bank and Regions Bank, therefore donations of time and money are always needed.

The organization hopes the public can assist them in their goal to “pay for one kid [for] four years of college.”


To donate, volunteer or for more information contact Stella Robinette at 423-276-6541 or

May 1, 2014                                                     

                                                        H.O.P.E. Names Quindalyn Perry Scholarship Winner
                                                                              By Katherine Scoggins


Founded in 2008 by Stella Robinette, H.O.P.E. (Help Our Potential Evolve) strives to identify and train young leaders, ages 12 to 18, and helps them develop skills in their future careers while also promoting community service.

One of the highest honors a H.O.P.E. participant can achieve is receiving the Joyce Dockery Memorial Scholarship, named after a very special woman who believed strongly in the mission and purpose of the organization.

The Joyce Dockery /H.O.P.E. Scholarship is an award in the amount of $500 presented to a qualified graduating Senior who has followed the H.O.P.E. Youth Leadership Program and has a 3.0 or higher GPA. Additionally, the nominee must be a H.O.P.E. Leader, must follow the TN/VA Scholar Program guidelines and must have been actively involved in the H.O.P.E. Leadership program. Recipients are approved by the Board of Directors upon meeting the scholarship qualifications. Receiving the 2014 Joyce Dockery Memorial Scholarship is Quindalyn Perry.

“Quindalyn has been a great leader in the program, “says Stella Robinette, Founder and President of H.O.P.E. “She has also told us that she is staying on to volunteer with the program.”

“I saw a lot of my friends involved in the program and I enjoyed what they did,” explains Perry. “I talked to my parents about it and we talked to Mrs. Stella and learned more about the program. I've developed leadership skills and life skills. I've also learned how to help others without being told to. I've learned how to save money and keep it in the bank. I've learned CPR, which will help me in my career path, and I also have learned the proper way to dress, sit and eat at a dinner.”

In addition to her school work and leadership classes, Perry also “job shadows” twice a week at the Kingsport Child Development Center in preparation for a career in Early Childhood Education.

“Quindalyn is a remarkable young woman,” says Cindy Housewright, Director of the Center. “She is so polite and responsible and when she takes on a project, she always does a great job.”

Perry seems to have been preparing for a career in Education for most of her life. “Growing up, I was always babysitting for a family member or a family friend and I've always loved being around children, showing them love, and teaching them things I hope they will never forget. After I graduate from college I hope to become a kindergarten teacher.”

And where does she see herself in ten years?

“In ten years I hopefully see myself happily married, working in an elementary school,” Perry says with a big smile.


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