OSU-OKC has brought two relatively new bright spots to the WesTen District with the launch of the Center for Social Innovation and the program’s senior director, Ariel Beasley.

The Center’s signature program is Growing Hope which guides participants through an intensive, 16-week schedule utilizing a hope-based curriculum that helps identify life goals, career pathways, and support systems. Participants advance through college courses toward a certificate or degree while gaining life-skills and resume-building work experience made possible by a growing number of community partners.

The director Ariel Beasley has been on the similar journey as her students, one of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. At 25, she was living in an abandoned house with no electricity or running water, lost custody of her 6-month-old son and went to jail. That was her wake up call and that desperation moved her towards getting sober and whatever it took to get her son back.  She now makes her professional home in the WesTen District at OSU-OKC as a bright spot for herself and us.