Since moving to LA from New York City in 2014, Hope has lived in Silver Lake and Los Feliz before settling in the Franklin Village area of Hollywood. Through Urban Helper, Hope offers private tutoring in writing and standardized test prep for older students and adults, admissions application essay guidance, blogging, and copywriting. She works the rest of the time as a freelance writer and tutor, drink recipe developer for brands and catered events, and as a supervisor at a restaurant in DTLA. She lives with her partner and their 4 year old chihuahua mix, Billie, and likes to spend as much time as possible in Griffith Park helping Billie chase those elusive lizards (though she has never caught one, which is a relief).
Tell us a little bit about the experience you have with the services you offer through the Urban Helper
I’ve been writing professionally for over 15 years, and my first full-length nonfiction book is coming out this October from Unnamed Press. For two years I have been working with a professional tutoring agency in LA, helping students from sixth grade through college prepare for standardized tests and in their weekly assignments for AP English Literature. Prior to that I worked with high school students in New York to complete their college applications, tutored adult literacy through the Columbia University Artists as Teachers program, and had the pleasure of working with fifth-grade writers through the Young Storytellers organization in Los Angeles. I personally struggled with having a nonstandard learning style all through school, and therefore developed what I think is a keener understanding that every student requires an individualized approach to engage with a topic.
In marketing/copy services, I’ve worked with high-end fashion retailers in NYC to fill out their e-commerce sites, as a copy editor for my graduate program’s literary journal, and ran the social media promotion for my old restaurant in New York for years. I’ve got a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing.
Have you been hired through the Urban Helper yet? If so, what was that experience like and were you paid in U-Brix or USD?
I am a newbie and have not been hired yet! Payment type depends on the service and the length of commitment, but I am open to both.
What services do you think you will spend your U-Brix on?
Currently I’m in need of help with design and graphics for my book’s website, and creating photo and video content for book promotion and recipe development services. Will trade words for visuals! I could also definitely use a haircut and some coaching.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
I most enjoy seeing a concept “click” for the first time in a student’s mind. There’s nothing better than watching the realization dawn that they can, in fact, understand something previously opaque. In content and copy writing, I enjoy learning a client’s specific voice and seeing what I can bring to that “character.” It’s like an acting exercise.
What are the top three things you love about your neighborhood?
Being walking distance to Griffith Park is tops, followed very closely by the abundance of fruit trees. Having lived in a very packed northeast US city for most of my adult life, the idea that you can just walk out of your house and pick food still amazes me. Watch out for me and my picker during loquat season! I love this area because it’s central--I can go east or west with relative ease and can frequently get around on my bike--but still lush with plantlife. I live in a historic building with a tight-knit tenant community, many of whom are long-term residents, which is wonderful.
What about The Urban Helper’s mission resonates with you?
The thing that most resonates is that we all have something to offer one another, and that this is a conduit for connections in an increasingly isolating world.
You can see Hope's Profile here. Photo by Tuan Lee