Designer Elaine Griffin with Hope Leadership Academy's Shauntrelle Conde, Darrell Conde and Rashida
Four years ago, on the needling insistence of a cousin who didn't want to go in alone, Darrell Conde dragged his heels across the threshold of Hope Leadership Academy (HLA). Under the shadow of East Harlem's Taft housing projects, HLA is a youth-services program for 14- to 21-year-olds founded in the wake of 9/11. Darrell came for the summer jobs offered by HLA, a program of the Children's Aid Society, but stayed to get his GED and become one of the program's top peer trainers.

Thanks to the breadth of eBay®, the basement-based program for community-minded teenagers goes from dungeonesque to divine.

How did Elaine Griffin stand up to this design challenge?

More on HLA
The scope of Children's Aid has widened since it began rescuing orphans and street kids in 1853. HLA, for example, welcomes everyone, including honor students, teen parents, and wards of the juvenile justice system. Children's Aid CEO C. Warren Moses says his organization serves 150,000 kids a year, most of whom are in some way disconnected and left behind by our society. "At the top of that list," he says, "are older adolescents. Nobody takes two seconds to design anything for them but jail cells."

Special Thanks
Hope Leadership Academy, O at Home and Elaine Griffin are grateful to our contributors: eBay, Just Shades, ILevel, Scholastic, Taylormade Contractors, and our official makeover framers, Larson-Juhl.

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