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'Hope Dealers' Mentor Chicago Teens During Spring Break

 Morehouse College graduate Corey Hardiman started Hope Dealers in 2014.
Morehouse College graduate Corey Hardiman started Hope Dealers in 2014.
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ROSELAND — Morehouse College graduate Corey Hardiman is on a mission to spread hope.

The Roseland native graduated with a Political Science degree in 2014 from the all-male historically black college in Atlanta.

It was during his spring break that he came up with a different kind of  spring break trip. He and other Morehouse students gave up their vacation to visit elementary and high schools on the South Side. They’ve been in Chicago this week visiting schools like Robeson High School in Englewood and his former high school Corliss.

Hardiman and his 16  “Hope Dealers” share their personal stories and talk to the young men about college.

“I believe in the philosophy if I don’t see it, I can’t become it, but if I do see it, I have a vision in mind,” he said.  “Hope Dealers is a two-fold thing. It’s to get students politically engaged, educationally inspired, and to challenge the social quota, defying the [black male] stereotype.”

John Watson, a board member with the Chicago Area Morehouse College Alumni Association, said that he's very proud of Hardiman.

"Corey is a good man with good heart and he's very serious about community," he said.

Neither of Hardiman's parents finished high school. He’s the only male in his family to graduate from college.

Hardiman said he’s always felt there was somewhat of a disconnect between young black males and college-age men, which he’s trying to address.

When they go into the schools, it’s a time to bond and the college students always share their personal contact information.

“I want my Hope Dealers to pour into these young people,” he said.

They’ll conclude their week with the Young Men of Color Summit at Kennedy-King College from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

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