HopeCAT

The Hope Center for Arts & Technology (HopeCAT) is based on Bill Strickland’s belief that environment shapes behavior. Our classes are held in a contemporary high-tech, newly renovated school on the West Hill in Sharon, PA (The former Sacred Heart Elementary School), filled with art and light, that’s fully equipped with classrooms, computer labs, and art studios to serve students throughout our region.

It’s the same approach used by Manchester Bidwell, Strickland’s jobs and arts program. Since 1972, Manchester Bidwell in Pittsburgh has attracted national recognition for its market-relevant career training programs that lead to employment.

Each year at Manchester Bidwell:

  • 85% of adult graduates get jobs
  • 90% of youth in its arts program graduate from high school, and many continue on to college

HopeCAT joins other centers nationwide, replicating Manchester Bidwell and Strickland’s theories of adult and youth training including:

  • Brockway, PA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH 
  • Cleveland, OH
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • New Haven, CT
  • Boston, MA
  • Buffalo, NY

                                                         The first international location is in Akko, Israel

HopeCAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which broke ground on renovations in 2016 but began serving students in the fall of 2015 in collaboration with Penn State Shenango.  We are actively seeking a combination of legislatively directed funding and donations from regional foundations, businesses, and individuals to secure matched grant funding through the state (RACP funds)  and establish our long term endowment.

How You Can Help

Community members can make a positive impact on the Hope Center for Art and Technology by making a donation or volunteering time to the organization’s programs.

Donations made online can be given in single or monthly payments by visiting HopeCAT.org and clicking on Donate. Donors can also contact HopeCAT’s executive director, Tom Roberts, by calling 724 308 5135 and discussing their wishes.

“If you choose to invest in this education model, we want to make sure that we carefully handle your investment in the future,” Roberts says.

Interested volunteers can contact HopeCAT to discuss their interest in helping. HopeCAT currently has volunteers who help in the ceramics studio, work during special events, or manage the front desk.

Creating Opportunity with Training and Clay

By Jeremy Lydic SHARON, Pa. -- Wearing medical scrubs and a white lab coat, Calette Robinson applies a blood pressure cuff to Martina Moore, her classmate at the Hope Center for Arts and Technology. The class of eight is in the center’s lab room practicing what they’ve learned. Robinson is...

Walker Shapes Clay and Learns Lessons for Life

Christian Walker, founder of Animatr Apparel, wearing his "Humble Tee."

By Jeremy Lydic SHARON, Pa. — To some, the process of “throwing clay” might seem perfectly straightforward: Put the clay on the pottery wheel, shape it, fire and glaze it. But for Christian Walker, the process parallels many aspects of life. Walker was a sophomore at Farrell High School when he heard Bill Strickland speak […]

By Jeremy Lydic SHARON, Pa. -- To some, the process of “throwing clay” might seem perfectly straightforward: Put the clay on the pottery wheel, shape it, fire and glaze it. But for Christian Walker, the process parallels many aspects of life. Walker was a sophomore at Farrell High School when...