ONH Staff Being Trained by: Resiliency-Building Leader Program

In our latest nonprofit Giving Back initiative, the Resilience-Building Leader Program is thrilled to offer RBLP Leadership Certifications to the staff of Operation New Hope, an outstanding organization based in San Bernardino, CA doing exemplary work in educating under-served youth and providing them with life skills and pathways to success.

Photo via Facebook.

Founded over 35 years ago by Bill and Anne Degnan – who drew on their educational background in philosophy, sociology, theology, science and medicine to create a unique lifestyle format and support program – Operation New Hope “envisions a community in which all youth, without regard of their living situation, have an equal opportunity to pursue their goals and dreams, and an equal likelihood of achieving them.”

ONH is dedicated to understanding the challenges of out-of-school youth, aiming to increase the success rate of dropouts through Evidence Based trauma-informed curriculum, case management, leadership development and more to develop their own personal roadmaps to achieving success. The organization has made tremendous strides with the Inland Empire’s disadvantaged youth over the last decade, with over 4,000 students completing their Career Pathway Program and 83% entering employment or enrolling in higher education or technical schools.

Photo via Facebook.

In its standards- and classroom-based curriculum, ONH serves its students needs by providing a low student-to-teacher ratio learning environment and individualized instruction based on each student’s needs. To compliment the curriculum, ONH teaches essential life skills and encourages a “lifestyle change based in personal responsibility”; activities in the program include outreach efforts such as this past February’s “Love Is A Warm Blanket” initiative, offering hygiene kits, clothing and tents to the homeless community.

Watch this video feature to learn more about how Operation New Hope is “changing lives, one step at a time”:

To learn more about Operation New Hope, visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit their website for more detailed information about ONH’s curriculum and programs.

Taking care of our community is a core value at the Resilience-Building Leader Program. Our primary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is to provide RBLP exam prep training and leadership certifications to front-line leaders, middle managers, and senior leaders at selected charitable nonprofit organizations at no cost.

Learn more about how we are Giving Back to the community.

Get your staff certified and trained by Resiliency-Building Training Program Today


ONH Evidence Based Trauma-Informed Youth Program


#mentalhealthmonday #mentalhealthmatters
ONH Youth Opportunity Ctrs. & Comm. Partners provide a unique but largely untapped opportunity to support youth who experience potentially traumatic events and adversity, such as poverty, violence, verbal abuse, childhood abuse, sexual abuse, & living under substance abuse.

To enroll today:

#changinglivesonestepatatime #teamonh Choosing to be better today than we were yesterday.
#changecanhappen #holistichealth


Man of the Year – CEO Nominated 2018

First Man of the Year event hosted at San Bernardino Valley College

Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes hosted the Inland Empire’s first ever Man of the Year ceremony on Friday, August 24.

IECN photo Manny B. Sandoval: Gary Ferrer being honored with a Man of the Year certificate from Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes.

Exemplary men who have gone above and beyond in their communities were recognized with a certificate in front of a packed crowd inside KVCR Studios at San Bernardino Valley College.

“Friday night we honored 25 finalists in the 47th Assembly District who exemplify exceptional service to their community,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “It is an honor to recognize these successful and altruistic men who continue to be mentors to community members throughout the 47th Assembly District and the Inland Empire. Congratulations to Ipyani Lockert for being selected as the 2018 Man of the Year.”

Ipyani Lockert of Fontana was selected as the 2018 Man of the Year award based on his work with Motivational Realizations, California Partnership and other community organizations within the Inland Empire.

IECN photo Manny B. Sandoval: Man of the Year finalist Tom Rivera and Lily Rivera enjoy a night out.

Each of the finalists were recognized with a speech detailing their significance within the community before taking the stage to accept their certificate and thank their community.

“I’m very humbled to be acknowledged at this level. It means a lot to see the names of those I’m being recognized with, it’s exciting. It’s an honor to do great things for the community. My wife Racheal believes in uplifting people in the community and helping them be the best they can be,” said Aaron Burgess Sr., executive director of California State University, San Bernardino’s Santos Manuel Student Union.

Out of 80 nominations received, 25 finalists made the cut.

“This is the first time we’ve done anything like this. My office received over 80 nominations throughout the community. You all inspire me,” said Reyes.

IECN photo Manny B. Sandoval: Pastor Samuel Casey, Keith Burkes, Dwaine Radden Sr., and Aaron Burgess Sr.

The start of the ceremony began with an ice-breaker activity. All attendees had to stand back to back with someone whom they did not know and then revealed to their partner something that they always wanted to do as a child.

“KVCR is aiming to continue to be an asset to the community. When approached to host events such as this, this answer is always ‘yes.’ It’s an honor to help make a difference in our community, it’s important to recognize and promote those who do good for themselves and the community. It’s important as a media station to acknowledge that,” said Ralph Cooper, director, Foundation and Development, KVCR.

Many of the nominated men who went up on stage expressed having felt that it was unbelievable that they were nominated for Man of the Year.

“When I got the phone call about all of this I thought they were joking. My wife started laughing. After going through what I went through when I was a young adult, it has got me all the way here…today. I want to thank my wife, my mother-in-law and father-in-law,” said Man of the Year finalist James Tillman.

Those who were honored at the ground breaking event included Aaron Burgess, Sr., Artist Gilbert, Bishop Gerald Barnes, Dr. Dev Gnanadev, Dwain Radden, Sr., Gary Ferrer, Ipyani Lockert, Jack Long, James Tillman, Jeffrey McConnell, Jerry Almendarez, John Braxton Jr., Leno Moreno, Lowell King, Lt. Mike Madden, Michael Garcia, Russell Degnan, Rev. Samuel Casey, Sandy Torres, Terry Abernathy, Thomas Rocha, Tom Rivera, Vin Ho, Walter Hawkins and Wilfred Marshall.



ONH Story


  By IE Business Daily – Media Writer Beth Washabaugh on August 31, 2015

Inland Empire youth rehabilitation program celebrates 35 years

Operation New Hope (ONH), an Inland Empire-based youth rehabilitation program, began 35 years ago as a means of preparing at-risk youth for the realities of adulthood. The program originally began as a court-ordered recovery program for teens that were incarcerated and housed in California’s Youth Authority (CYA).

ONH’s founder, Bill Degnan, who worked at CYA, saw a growing trend: young men were frequently returning to the institution once they were paroled. To help combat the problem, Degnan decided to address the issue outside of the prison walls. In 1993, Operation New Hope, a learning facility, was formed for those who were not incarcerated. The thought process was simple: educate and rehabilitate at-risk youth before they become incarcerated.

Operation New Hope is based on the premise that behavior is a system of unrecognized, therefore, unsolved problems. Once the problem is identified, it can be “treated” by understanding the difference between positive and negative decision-making, awareness of toxic relationships and the development of self-trust. The youth training program helps at-risk youth ages 17 to 21 years old making conscious, informed decisions.

One of the unique aspects of Operation New Hope is that it reinforces small, everyday successes while addressing the teen’s fears of the real world. By recognizing their fears, the teen no longer feels the need to seek out drugs, alcohol or gang activity to feel safe. Knowing that they do not need that lifestyle allows them to develop skills necessary for being a productive member of community and allows them to successfully reintegrate into society.

The goal of the program is to produce a confident, self-accepting person who will make positive life choices. Instead of focusing on past failures, Operation New Hope focuses on building a bright future.

Degnan brought the unique holistic teaching approach ONH used inside California Youth Authority and applied them to the general at-risk population. Targeting the population at risk – particularly before he or she becomes incarcerated – was key. Once the learning center was created, Cal State San Bernardino and University of California, Irvine performed research to see just how effective Operation New Hope was at rehabilitating those in their youth program. The universities’ research eventually labeled ONH as an exemplary youth program. The program was then listed as a proven, evidence-based success story. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have also listed Operation New Hope as a model program.

Over time, Operation New Hope continued to grow. Bill Degnan’s son, Russell, followed in his father’s footsteps. He had the passion and desire to help teenagers from ending up in the broken prison system. In 2008, Russell became ONH’s new executive director, which allowed Bill to share his program’s success with others in the Inland Empire.

“When I came on-board, my goal was to take ONH from a small mom and pop non-profit and transform it into a valuable resource that could be utilized throughout the Inland Empire,” said Russell Degnan, ONH’s now chief operating officer.

In 2009, Operation New Hope received critical funding from the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). That funding allowed the program to partner with John Muir Charter Schools. The partnership with John Muir Charter Schools provides ONH students with a high school education that is tailored to the student’s needs. The partnership provides students with small class sizes and a family-like atmosphere that teaches the importance of life, job and leadership skills.

It is crucial for students to receive their high school diploma, Degnan said. Having their diploma allows them to gain employment or enroll in a secondary institution.

“We provide our students with soft skill sets that make them attractive to potential employers,” Degnan explained. “They receive training on job readiness, financial literacy, leadership, anger management, substance abuse, and everything in between.”

To help make their students even more competitive in the job market, Operation New Hope provides worksite placement where students are required to complete a three month internship with a local business.

“Each element of our program is critical to building healthy young men and women,” Degnan said.

At the beginning of the year (2016), ONH saw an additional growth. Russell Degnan moved from executive director to chief operating officer, which gives him the freedom and ability to attend workshops and promote Operation New Hope in the community.

“Operation New Hope seeks to be the premier youth opportunity center in the Inland Empire,” Russell Degnan explained. “The high school dropout rate is a huge epidemic across the nation. Our goal is to be a positive solution for the our youth, our communities and the taxpayers.”

In the next 10 years, Team ONH envisions youth opportunity centers in other communities, particularly in communities with the at-risk youth. Next year, ONH will open a new youth opportunity center in San Bernardino. Every year after that, Degnan plans to open at least one new campus per year.

In addition to their youth opportunity centers, Operation New Hope’s evidence based trauma informed life skills curriculum are currently being used in Soledad and Salinas Valley State Prison (California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation), juvenile facilities, group homes, halfway houses and church outreach programs.

Degnan credits the success of his father’s program to ONH’s belief system. “Our success is built on our belief that lives must be built on healthy relationships,” Degnan explains

Although ONH continues to expand to meet the growing demand, the program’s growth is limited due to financial constraints. The programs ONH offers are part of reimburse contracts, which can create cash flow problems. Operation New Hope’s Board of Directors has made it their personal mission to build a solid cash reserve to alleviate the burden of waiting on reimbursements from a number of government agencies.

Operation New Hope currently employs 6 and serves over 150 students daily. Since 2009, 421 students have successfully graduated with their High School Diploma and 3120 students have successfully completed their Career Pathway Program which 82% are employed and or enrolled in to post-secondary education. Currently, ONH’s high school has 65 students enrolled and the Workforce Program has 110 students. All students range in age from 16 to 25.

To enroll, students can stop by Operation New Hope’s campus at 8520 Archibald Avenue Rancho Cucamonga, California 91730 or call at (909) 527-3894. Or 323 W. 7th St. San Bernardino (909)-380-0641 teamonh@onhcares.com www.onhcares.org

Editorial, Inland Empire Daily News: Editor Beth Washabaugh