John Hope Bryant has an impressive resume — he’s started multiple international businesses, advised three presidents, has billions in investments, and all with only a high school education. He’s not shy about sharing his rags-to-riches story. He was homeless at 18 and now has multiple limitless credit cards. How did he get there? He says through entrepreneurship and believing that he could do it.
“Poverty has nothing to do with money. Half of all poverty is low self-esteem and lack of confidence in yourself. Then the second part of poverty is crappy role models and a crappy environment.”
Junior Anton Green says his take-home message was “when people are coming at you with negative stuff, just ignore them. Because that’s a big thing in my life where it’s a repetitive thing where there’s always something happening. So what I got out of it is if you’re trying to reach a goal, and they’re getting in your way, ignore them.”
Bryant says his non-profit Operation HOPE plans to partner with 200 organizations like banks, schools, and community centers around Alaska. Together they will offer space for one-on-one counseling and teach about things like credit scores, entrepreneurship, and trusting that you can succeed. The project is funded through financial institutions, foundations and some government money.