Hope R. Sinclair, Ph.D.
38, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Hampton Roads, Portsmouth
Business community involvement:
Civic Leadership Class of 2019, Town Point Club Young Executive Committee, Order of Eastern Star
Something that makes you stand out in your industry?
My ability and determination to keep going. My drive to intercede for our youth and for our community sets me apart from some in this industry. There isn’t a set schedule for my job. I go where I am needed and when I am needed. Oftentimes I find myself working 12–13 hours a day and even on the weekend. I take pride in planting and watering seeds in our community.
Who keeps you motivated?
The students are the ones that motivate me the most. I see every day the struggles and pressures that are placed on their shoulders, and if there is anything I can do to alleviate even a small percentage of those worries or just simply be that voice that pushes them to greatness, that’s what I will do.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
One accomplishment that I am most proud of is the recent commitment of our expansion into four additional schools during the 2019—2020 school year. Our program is something every Title I school needs but not every school knows it is available to them. This growth will allow us to reach more students, more teachers, more parents, more administrators and more people in our community.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
Aside from being the executive director of Communities In Schools of Hampton Roads, I also run a substance abuse counseling program called Hope Experts, LLC. This allows me to interact with youth in our community that are experiencing difficulties and not only educate them on harmfulness of drugs but allow them to get to the root cause of why they use and give them alternatives to using. In this capacity, I am still advocating for my community and play an active role in uplifting our youth. So, if I was not the ED, I’d be doing more substance abuse groups for our local youth.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for our area is access to public funding, in particular for nonprofit organizations. I am not only speaking to the impacts from school budget cuts, but with a vast majority of students receiving public aid, we see greater impacts and shortfalls to those who need it the most. This adds complex layers to our goals of meeting the student’s basic needs and assisting them with achieving greatness.
Favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
Downtown Portsmouth. The view of Norfolk on the water is beautiful from the ferry, and the quiet and calmness of the streets in the Downtown Portsmouth give you the feel of a small town. It is a great place to walk and explore, and the richness of the history in the area is great to learn about.
From her nomination:
“Dr. Sinclair is dedicated to building future leaders in our community while pursuing her dream of building a legacy that promotes service beyond self. Her display of perseverance, innovation and personal development all while having a keen understanding of community issues is impeccable and deserving of the honor of being a Millennial on the Move.”
—Renata Myles, sister