Hooks Book Events partnered with the Goodwill Excel Center to host a book and author event last month with DC native Simba Sana, author of the memoir Never Stop, a powerful account of achieving worldly success against all odds while searching for personal peace, fulfillment, love, and healing.
The Goodwill Excel Center is a unique, tuition-free adult charter high school that awards industry recognized certifications and high school diplomas, not GEDs, to adult learners in the District. At the Center, students from age 14 to over 80 years old enroll in eight-week terms and earn credits at an accelerated rate. Director Chelsea Kirk stresses the relevant curriculum and immense, relationship-focused support that these students receive.
The March 20 presentation was part of HBE’s Bridge Builder Event series, which brings authors to share books and ideas with students and communities in Washington, DC. As a Benefit Corporation, HBE partners with five independent book stores across the country to process bulk book sales for corporate and USGOV events. HBE pools revenue from these sales to fund the Bridge Builder series.
Perry Pidgeon Hooks, President and Co-founder of HBE, worked with Chelsea Kirk to coordinate the event, hosted at the Center for their upper-level humanities students. The event kick-started the Center’s efforts to host authors in their library in monthly presentations.
Simba’s memoir Never Stop was infused into the curriculum, allowing students to study his life and engage in close reading of the book for weeks leading up to the event, where Simba dove deeper into his story and read aloud some of his favorite sections. Through HBE, each student attending received a signed copy of the book.
“The students left the event feeling encouraged and inspired that they too can share their stories and inspire others,” Chelsea said. She described Simba’s presentation as “very high energy and very focused.” She noted that the author was professional, honest and reflective, and that he connected with the students well, as they are all DC natives and many share similar backgrounds.
HBE is thrilled to have this connection with the Goodwill Excel Center and looks forward to more events this spring and into the fall.