"We have to solve a problem if we're going to do something," said Trace3 Founder Hayes Drumwright as he accepted our Inaugural Catalyst of Hope Award at our 3rd Annual Anti Gala on Sunday, April 17.
This moving statement marks one of many reasons we value Hayes as a phenomenal longtime partner, advocate, and friend. It's also one of the many reasons we awarded him with this well-deserved distinction, which honors an outstanding individual whose innovation and heart has extraordinarily impacted the lives of the children and families we serve. Through his or her service, the exceptional honoree has moved the needle in these lives, sparking hope and igniting momentous change toward an end to the cycle of homelessness.
Our partnership with Hayes reaches back several years to his invaluable and pivotal service as President of PHA's Board of Directors. During his tenure, he linked arms with newly minted CEO Jennifer Friend, and they began leading a significant transformation of the organization.
"Hayes is one of those people who, fortunately, is willing to push the envelope for things that he believes in," said Friend during the award presentation. "He came on and put his whole heart and mind into Project Hope Alliance, and his Trace3 family built this organization from the foundation into what it is now."
They envisioned helping move more families out of homelessness, providing more children with exceptional educations, and ending the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time. They sought to do all of the above using a unique intergenerational approach and the most innovative, evidence-based, and efficient programs possible.
The transformation has been astounding. Since 2012, PHA has moved more than 700 parents and children out of homelessness, uplifting and empowering lives through one fundamental necessity: hope. We have grown from serving a single school in 1989 to now serving the needs of children attending over 90 schools in 26 cities throughout Orange County. We have implemented ground-breaking rapid rehousing and education programs designed to end homelessness today and tomorrow.
"If I had to give you a choice where you could help thousands of children or just make sure your kids have the perfect life, what would you choose?" asked Hayes on Sunday. He continued: "I have spent the last 5-6 years of my life making it so that your answer doesn't have to be an or. It doesn't have to be your kids or all of the kids that Project Hope Alliance helps."
In addition to his dedicated service to PHA and the families we serve, Hayes serves as Co-Founder/CEO of POPin, a mobile and web solution that empowers organizations to make a group's best ideas actionable by flattening and engaging the team through crowdsourcing opportunities and crowd-solving specific initiatives. As CEO of Trace3, he proved his ability to grow companies organically by taking the company from idea to revenues in excess of $400M. In 2010, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Orange County and the Desert Regions.