Video Game Palooza (d/b/a Hope Training Academy) was started in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Rick Barretto, and Cara Barretto- a husband and wife team with decades of combined expertise in IT innovation and gaming and K-12 education.  


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. HTA uniquely engages adult learners, low-income individuals and first generation, post-secondary students for high-demand IT credentialing that launches them into successful careers. HTA was established to bring “hope through education.” Education and training programs offered by HTA are designed to promote equitable economic opportunity for low-income youth, young adults and mature adults, while minimizing student debt and providing on-the-job training. 

Current classes occur in our Castleton facility or in community partner locations—Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, Flanner House, Martin University, Shepherd Community Center, Warren Township and Wayne Township Adult Education, among others. Courses are also available online.