Allison Hope 
Allison Hope, an instructional technology consultant with ECU's College of Nursing, finds time outside of the busy workday to volunteer with scouting and the Rocking Horse Ranch. (Contributed photo)

Hope balances work, personal life through service to others

By Judy Currin
ECU News Services

Allison Hope can rattle off the Boy Scouts of America’s oath, law, motto and slogan in her sleep.

She’s had lots of practice. Hope felt compelled to participate when her now 10-year-old son, Scott, joined the organization four years ago.

“It’s our responsibility as parents and adults to do all we can to give our children a strong foundation in life,” Hope said.

“I believe scouting is good for kids and if it’s good for kids, it’s good for the community,” said Hope, an instructional technology consultant with ECU’s College of Nursing. It’s also a healthy outlet for this working mother.

“Volunteering helps balance my personal life with my professional obligations,” Hope said.

Hope spent 11 years as a fourth-grade elementary school teacher prior to her career change. She views her community service with the scouts as a great way to get her “kid fix.” It also allows her to spend more time with her son, and husband, Jeff, a computer support technician with ECU’s College of Business who has just completed his MBA from ECU.

Hope supports the goals and values the scouting experience offers youngsters. “The goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities and educational programs,” Hope said.

She recently took the reigns of Pitt County’s Cub Scout Pack 200 as den leader and assistant cub master.

“We go camping, involve the boys in service projects in the community and always seem to be working on satisfying badge requirements,” Hope said.

She credits assistant den leader, Laura Corbett for being the “go to detail person.” Hope admits she forgets the little things; like scissors.

“I see the forest, but thank goodness Laura sees the trees.”

Hope also spends time each week with the children visiting the Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program.

“Rocking Horse Ranch helps children and adults with physical, cognitive and psychological disabilities through equine-assisted activities or therapy,” said director Linda Moran. Participants come from 10 counties in eastern North Carolina.

Hope volunteers every Thursday for an hour after work.

“The obvious goal of the program is to introduce the children to the joy of riding and to have fun,” Hope said. The ultimate goal is to improve each rider’s quality of life.

“It’s funny how just one hour of watching those kid’s smiles light up the planet can recharge your batteries and help you face your own bumps in the road with more positive energy,” Hope said.

During this year’s College of Nursing Diversity Day, Hope shared her formula for success.

“Look for your passion,” she said. “Look for where your heart is and then follow it. Once you do that, you won’t give it up… you will find that while you are giving to that organization, they are giving to you as well.”