About Us

HopeWorks’ mission is to guide Memphians in need of a second chance through essential education, counseling and career development programming to establish a relationship with God while building stability, confidence and a hope-filled future.

Conceptualized in 1988, HopeWorks received its 501(c)(3) status in 1998. HopeWorks believes that investment in the individual education and well-being of its students will create Christ-centered communities with strengthened relationships, improved economies and generational impact.

Providing Hope and Jobs for 35 years

HopeWorks provides support to Memphians in three main categories:

Adult Education
& English

We help people access essential educational opportunities, including high school equivalency degrees and English language courses.


We work to eliminate restrictive barriers and aid Memphians as they pursue viable, passion-filled career opportunities.


We provide life-breathing counseling support, mentorship, technical education and career pathways to Memphians pre- and post-release from prison.

The HopeWorks Leadership Team

Ron Wade
Executive Director

Gilda Shelby
Director of Finance

Louise Koonce
Director of Development & Marketing

Patricia Melton
Chief Operating Officer

Stoney Ramsey
Director of Adult Education

Kathryn Jackson
Director of Human Resources and Payroll

The HopeWorks Board

Brett Curtis, Board Chair

Robert Beckett

Beverly Lattimore

Patrick Parson

Brenda Garner

Michael Maxwell

Edward Wildrick