My big sister, Mara Lamont Hoskins, who is a Master Fitness Instructor (or a fitness instructor's instructor), and a former award winning female body builder as well, protected me as a youth growing up in Compton, California, and continues to educate and teach me to this day.
This is partly why I feel so responsible today for all of my childhood friends (and childhood communities) who did not enjoy the same emotional and physical priviledges, amidst the backdrop of poverty and economic indifference we found ourselves in as children. It is also the reason for the underscoring Operation HOPE quote I use so much today; "there is a difference between being broke and being poor. Being broke is an economic condition, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind, and a depressed condition of our spirit, and we must vow to never, ever be poor again."
I am sure you agree -- what an incredible sister I have. Really, what an incredible family. And this is the real story of John Hope Bryant. I am me, because of my family, and specifically, because of my mother, and later on the influence of my father.
This is no different for any other child. We are, for better or for worse, the products of our (childhood) environment. We can change this -- and this is why I do what I do, through Operation HOPE.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.