Founder and Board Chairman of Get HOPE Global
Author: Basics of Business, Girls Empowerment Training, HOPE Business Program – School Edition
Ruth Craig was an inner-city schoolteacher. As she taught her students their various subjects, she made sure the chief lesson they learned was that “greatness exists in all of us”.
In 1990, Ruth founded CI International, an executive leadership training and business consulting company, and served as CEO for 18 years. Among Ruth’s clients were Pentagon military leaders, political appointees, heads of government agencies and Fortune 500 executives. Like her former students, they were (very admirably) working to fully utilize the greatness within them – both personally and professionally.
As Ruth and her husband, David, a successful building contractor, grew their respective businesses, they also purposefully invested in their family, church and various mission-related causes. Their passion for church planting and missionary soul care took them to many countries around the world.
In 2008, Ruth felt called to do something very practical with her teaching, business and mission experience. She developed a business-training curriculum, focusing on the many character qualities she’d taught over the years. But it wasn’t for high-powered executives. It was for those in deepest need – the oppressed and underprivileged women she had met throughout her international travels. Basics of Business, accompanied by a microfinance program, has changed the lives of these women by giving them hope, tools, training – and the dignity of a chance.
While visiting an orphanage in South America, Ruth learned that, worldwide, the vast majority of teenage girls are released from these institutions at the age of 18, often without sustainable career skills or business training to support themselves. This makes them easy targets for human traffickers.
This new awareness served as the driving inspiration for Ruth to develop the Girls Empowerment Training curriculum, which once again addresses a very serious need. This training not only gives girls a vision of a better life but also the tools to help them start their own businesses. When you provide these girls with the ability to have financial independence, you also provide them with the “gift” of making better life-choices….giving them not only the dignity of a chance – but also the dignity of a choice.
Ruth and David continue to travel the world extensively for ministry and for pleasure. Nevertheless, coming home is what they enjoy most because family and friends are so important to them. They have 5 married children and 18 grandchildren. One of their greatest joys is the week-long “Cousin Camp” they create and host at their mountain cabin in Colorado. In addition to enjoying the magnificence of God’s creation, new adventures and family time together, each year the underlying theme remains the same – encouraging the greatness that God alone has created in all of us.
Just about every worthwhile endeavor takes a “village”. That said, my heartfelt thanks goes to our HOPE Village which includes three special traveling friends on this journey Susan, Fran, and Cathy along with Janine, Michelle, Julie, and Tami who continue to make this dream become a reality! My thanks also goes to our Prayer Partners and our beloved HOPE Team, who epitomize commitment, calling, compassion and JOY in the journey. Finally, it is with a grateful heart that I thank my soul mate, David, the “wind beneath my wings”.
To God Be The Glory!