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Landing at HopeWorks a ‘Homecoming’ for Rubio

RICHARD J. ALLEY | Special to The Daily News

Susan Rubio spent much of her life in private education before realizing that she belonged elsewhere – closer to the street.

Having attended Harding Academy as a child and later working there as a teacher and administrator, she “wanted to give back to someone who couldn’t afford a private education.”

“I’m a good teacher and I was always attracted to the ones who did the poorest and just didn’t like school, the ‘bad kids,’ “Rubio said. “So it was like a homecoming when I first started here. I felt like I was finally teaching at home.”

For Rubio, home is HopeWorks where she is director of education, a place where the lesson of self-sufficiency and the wisdom in teaching a man to fish is put into practice every day. HopeWorks helps those in need, those out of work or looking for a change in their lives, by teaching them basic skills and helping them to advance their knowledge base.

“They come because they’ve been unemployed for a long time, or perhaps they’re making career changes,” Rubio said. “Typically our students have a weak employment history or they don’t know what they want to do in the future, so they come here and study careers and learn about themselves and become career-ready. We launch them from here to a new place.”

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