History:

 

Video Game Palooza (d/b/a Hope Training Academy) was started in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Rick Barretto, and lifelong educator, Cara Barretto. Cara and Rick are a husband and wife team with decades of combined expertise in IT innovation and gaming and K-12 education. Through their work with youth in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, in eSports league development, and gaming in education, Rick and Cara’s conversation with parents and interested adults led them to begin offering educational programming for adults, as well, since there was interest in not just understanding technologies for their children, but for increasing their career prospects, as well.

In June 2018, Hope Training Academy (HTA) launched as a program of the 501(c)(3) Video Game Palooza, which provides STEM education, gaming and coding education programming for youth.  HTA is a nonprofit training provider dedicated to helping end the cycle of poverty and financial insecurity for individuals by providing high-demand Information Technology (IT) credentials, leading to career attainment in rapidly growing, technology fields. Additionally, HTA seeks to address the tech sector’s growing need to increase skills and numbers of qualified individuals to fill the demands of the workforce. 

Current classes occur in our Castleton facility or in community partner locations. Partner locations have includes the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), Flanner House, Indianapolis Public Schools, Martin University, Shepherd Community Center, Warren Township and Wayne Township Adult Education, among others. Courses are also available online, in-person and in hybrid formats.

 

Mission:

 

Hope Training Academy is a nonprofit training provider dedicated to helping end the cycle of poverty and financial insecurity for individuals by providing training, support, and high-demand Information Technology (IT) credentials, leading to career attainment in rapidly growing, technology fields.