Hope Mustakim


-Hometown: Lafayette, LA. I come from a strong Cajun French heritage that I love, however my husband and I consider Waco our true home. We moved away briefly in 2013 and learned that the hard way! 😉
-Undergrad degree, school: Bachelor of Social Work, Baylor University
-One of your hobbies/talents/interesting fact: I’ve been a church worship leader for a few years at a couple different churches. I am also a certified dance fitness instructor (REFITRev.com). My wonderful husband and I have two toddlers, a boy and girl, age 3 and 1, and a beloved (yet often ignored) miniature schnauzer. (that’s more than one, sorry!)
-Why you chose social work: I always wanted to be a counselor or psychologist (because my friends said I gave good advice, and I loved helping people solve problems, aka. troubleshooting). There are a unique few teachers, mentors, adults, etc. who encouraged me at my lowest points in adolescence, and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My favorite was my 8th grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Leger. She taught me how to channel all my pain into art, through creative writing. She held us to high standards, but she still had grace for our mess-ups. She understood what each of her students were going through. That’s why I originally started college in 2008 with the vision of being an 8th grade English teacher, and switched to Social Work in 2010 when I transferred to Baylor,  to work at Mission Waco’s youth program. Mission Waco is the place where I found my faith and passions collide, where I got a glimpse of heaven on Earth. I originally thought I came to Waco to serve and give to “the poor”- I realized that they were the ones who gave so much to me.
-What you love most about your internship/your role in the BEAR project so far: I am a social butterfly, and I love moving around, working in different spaces every day, meeting new people in their natural setting, learning new things about Waco, and helping students and their families to thrive. I am very macro-minded; meaning, I see the “big picture” in every situation (admittedly, to a fault sometimes)! That’s why it’s easy for me to connect the dots in Waco- people, agencies, schools, community groups, programs, resources, gaps, inequities, disparities, assets, potential, etc. I am a fierce advocate for equity and opportunity, and policies that honor the dignity and worth of every person. As the community practice intern, I get to blend all of these things. I meet with community leaders, parents, educators, administrators, faith leaders, and get feedback on the good, the not so good, and the hopes and visions for the future of Waco ISD. Everyone I’ve met with, across the spectrum, has unique perspectives and really great ideas! There are some common themes emerging, and I look forward to sharing what we’ve observed, implemented, and evaluated at the end of the school year.

Relevant Experience

Aug. 2016- Current: MSW Community Practice Intern, BEAR Project
Spring 2016: Waco ISD / Methodist Children’s Home Substitute Teacher
Jan.- Dec. 2013: Waco ISD/ ACE 21st CCLC, BSW Social Work Intern
2010-2011: Mission Waco Youth Program Assistant Director
2009: Mission Waco Summer Intern- Youth, Children, & Homeless outreach programs
2008-2009: CyFair ISD Substitute Teacher
2007-2009: Willowbrook Church- Worship Leader & Youth Group Leader
2008- 2009: Secondary Ed. Major, Lonestar College, Houston, TX
2005-2007: Master’s Commission, Leadership and Discipleship School- Broussard, LA
1991-2004: Lafayette Parish Public Schools- Graduate of Comeaux High School