This Saturday, April 2, 2022 we had an Open Hand Open House to introduce ourselves to the community and give interested interns, volunteers, and business partners an opportunity to meet our staff.

We are also celebrating 20 years of serving youth and their families with job placement, professional development, and educational services. It was such a blessing to reflect on where we came from and where we are going.

We are excited to see what the next chapter of our organization will look like and to welcome the community to be a part of the process.

The Open House was all about our interns, who are our mission. It was a blessing to see the diverse group of interns we have impacted over the years. Over the years, we have seen youth grow and become accomplished and confident adults.

We are enthusiastic to add more interns to the Open Hand family this summer!

The Open House highlighted current community partners who have contributed to our success in various ways. Host employers have graciously opened their businesses and nonprofits to our interns to give them an opportunity to gain hands-on training.

Some host employers we have had over the years include Fredericksburg Voter Registration, Stafford Junction, Downtown Greens Inc., Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, SPCA of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, Sonic of Fredericksburg, Boys & Girls Club of the Rappahannock Region, Salem Fields Community Church.

Some new host employers joining us this year include Fredericksburg Area Museum and Joshua Hand, and more.

Our Community Partners also diligently contribute to our interns through donations and grants. Some grantors we were able to thank were Duff McDuff Green, Jr Foundation; Mary Washington Healthcare; and Chick-fil-A Lee's Hill.

Our Community Partners also serve our youth by offering their wisdom about the business world during our Professional Development Workshop.

Some business partners joining us this year are Bookmobile Fredericksburg, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Joshua Hand.

It was such an encouragement to see familiar and new community partners this Saturday. It is not too late to participate this summer as a community partner! We are still welcoming new partnerships!

The Open House was heavily attended by Open Hand staff and volunteers. They are the backbone of our organization. They work one to one with interns, strategizing behind the scenes, and in the office managing administrative tasks. Each individual that dedicates their time to our organization is valuable! During the presentation, we highlighted different ways community members can get involved and serve our local students. Volunteer opportunities include: mentors, event volunteers, administrative support, and fundraising.

Special thanks to: Sarah Whitt, our new GRAD administrative support; Juan Castro, a former intern who now volunteers his time regularly for GRAD; Dan Donehey and John Taussig, our IT guys; Pastor Bob Becker, our founder and President of the Board; Debra Smith, our PEARLS Lead Instructor; Veronica Eberlein, our new Board Member; Wayne Driver, our Vice President of the Board; Tamara Driver, our Grant Writer and Board Member; Scott Erdelatz, Board Member; and Ricky Jones, Board Member.

We are always looking for volunteers and would love you to join us!

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Updated: Jan 28

Open Hand of Fredericksburg will be the highlighted nonprofit for First Friday in February. First Friday is a community wide event meant to highlight local art galleries, restaurants, and nonprofits. As the highlighted nonprofit, we are providing kids activities and art for community members.

Looking for artists to display their work for First Friday next week 02/04/2022.

We encourage all ages to submit art and leave it at the office starting Friday, 01/28/2022. All art work needs to be brought into New City Fellowship Presbyterian Church by Thursday, 02/03/2022.

Please come in on Friday evening to view the art work, participate in the activity, and enjoy fellowshipping with our local community.

For any questions, please reach out to Elisha Sese-Khalid via email (

For more information about First Friday, visit their webpage:

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During the grand opening of Chick-Fil-A Lee's Hill in Fredericksburg, VA, Open Hand of Fredericksburg was recognized alongside The Brisben Center as a Community Hero. IT is such an encouragement and blessing to be seen for all the hard work our Board, staff, and volunteers do to serve local teens and young adults. To celebrate, we wanted to share the history of our organization.

Pastor Bob Becker founded Open Hand in 2002 as a ministry of New City Fellowship, a cross-cultural church. Incorporated in 2004, Open Hand of Fredericksburg is an outgrowth of a vision for a cross-cultural community-development ministry begun by New City Fellowship Church of Fredericksburg.

A Summer Youth Intern Program (now called GRAD) began to hire youth from low-income families to work in a summer internship with local companies and local non-profits and placed the youth with job coach/mentors who taught them job-specific skills and work ethics. The GRAD program features intensive continuing education classes in job readiness, character formation, life skills, career counseling and financial literacy, to add to the student’s abilities to prepare for college or other postsecondary education and sustainable employment in the future.

In the fall of 2009, Open Hand began providing job readiness and life skills training, as a paid consultant to the James Monroe High School’s STARS GED program. The STARS program meets twice a week during the school year. It incorporates practical real world academic enrichment for the students using practical real world experiences. Field trips and community lecturers who inspire and educate these students about a broad variety of opportunities for their lives.

Today, Open Hand of Fredericksburg houses both GRAD, GRAD+, and PEARLS seeking to reach even more at risk and under-resourced teens and young adults.

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