About Us

Glories Happy HATS, Inc., is an IRS designated 501 (c) 3 organization and donations are tax-deductible. Financial statements are available upon request and are on file with the Division of Consumer Affairs, VA.

Glories Happy HATS, Inc., founded in 1997, manages and directs all aspects of the Glories HATS Project® and HATS Headquarters® including their trademark protection.

This is to ensure the integrity and high standards for the production and therapeutic use of Glories hats as well as to provide the creation of Glories hats to stregthen communities of caring youth through the after-school service-learning community.

While you may be tempted to create hats in church groups, quilting circles, or senior centers, please recognize that this is a positive youth development project designed as an on-going process where youth develop task persistance, prosocial behavior with peers and strong work habits. In defining your role with GHP®, it would add more value if you arranged to mentor the youth participating in the project.

Dr. Alireza Khorsand’s academic, professional and research experience spans three continents. Originally from Iran, Dr. Khorsand obtained a Ph.D. in Economics and a MS in Economic Development from the University of Paris I – Pantheon - Sorbonne after having earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Grenoble, France.

Currently Dr. Khorsand teaches graduate economics, international banking, finance and geopolitics. He has taught at the Merrick School of Business (University of Baltimore), Northern Virginia Community College and Stratford University. Prior to his current position as teaching and student advisor for Stratford University’s School of Business, he worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars as researcher and expert economist at the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress where he published seven original papers on Iran.

Dr. Khorsand brings his vision, knowledge and experience to the Glories HATS Project® framework in a program service design to enhance these abilities in youth. As co-founder of the not-for-profit organization, Glories Happy HATS, he has developed a strategic, scalable social enterprise to tangibly increase social, human and economic capital among youth.

Susan Khorsand earned her B.A. in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University specializing in wearable art. She spent ten years in retail management while marketing and manufacturing her hat designs in design centers of the United States. Her greatest frustration was receiving orders of 12 dozen of her various designs when she was working off of her kitchen table. In 1982, Susan moved to Paris, France where she spent ten years in fashion, theater, and film production. There she met her husband Alireza who was completing his Doctorate in Economics.

In 1992 Susan returned to the United States and integrated her family into American life. Although transitioning back to the United States was difficult, in order to meet more people, Susan and Alireza volunteered to help refugee families who had children in need of urgent medical care. While Alireza translated to help parents communicate with doctors, Susan was able to observe ward atmosphere.

During this time Susan worked as Costume Shop Manager and Crafts Person at Arena Stage in Washington DC. Long theater hours and family responsibilities led Susan and Alireza to discuss how to combine their knowledge to design a product that might ease the anxiety and isolation hospitalized children experience.

At the same time, through social observation and research, Susan and Alireza recognized that, in general, American youth appeared to be falling behind youth in other countries. The idea of having youth produce this product was born and was reinforced through research showing peer-support as having the greatest impact on the well-being and positive outlook of hospitalized children.

Since 1997 Susan and Alireza have led the project and its development from designing the Glories hat pattern and having its functionality approved by staff at Children’s National Medical Center, Johns Hopkins and Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children to testing the assembly-process with adolescent groups in high-risk communities.

After receiving the 1999 and 2000 DC Service Learning Project of the Year Award, the resulting high demand for the project required a program delivery design capable of serving both the youth community and hospital requests. In 2001 Susan and Alireza developed the HATS Headquarters® unit, a modular turn-key factory containing all the materials and tools necessary to construct 300- 500 Glories hats.

This model was piloted in a grant from the US Army in five military posts with children of military personnel in support of children treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At the same time, Susan directed youth in the DC Region through a weekly service-learning project incorporating service, soft-skills, and workforce readiness. She accompanied participating youth to local hospital’s to deliver the hats to sick children at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children and Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics. Susan and Alireza partnered with the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Congressional Service Award to incorporate goal setting into the program. Susan directed the project in the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center to assess how incarcerated adolescents and those in Post-Detention programs responded to the program.

Susan presented the results, with co-founder Alireza Khorsand, PhD and Debbie Freiburg, Vice President of Nursing for Medicine, Surgery, Hematology/Oncology and Central Nursing Operations, Children’s National Medical Center at American University’s Community Based Research and Learning (CoRAL) conference in 2006. Essays written by adjudicated youth in response to the Glories HATS Project® illustrated the profound impact helping sick children had on these youth in regards to how they were respecting their own health. “Stay Healthy to Help Others” became the tagline for Glories Happy HATS. This tagline coveys the values of Glories Happy HATS in that it permits youth to develop health literacy, civic engagement, workforce readiness and increases their awareness as to the environmental impact on children’s health.

Youth demand, across the nation, has afforded Susan and Alireza to lead over 4,047 community workshops with 301,675 youth serving 1,064,000 hours to create and deliver 350,000 Glories hats to more than 23 children's hospitals across the United States while presenting 1485 President’s Volunteer Service Awards and forty-nine Congressional Service Awards to participating youth.

Alireza and Susan paralleled these experiences with research, literary reviews and evaluation to present in three peer-reviewed scientific conferences: Society for Neuroscience 2010 and George Mason University’s Bi-annual DC Health Communications Conference 2011 and 2013.

Since H1N1, MRSA, patient privacy and homeland security issues make it is impossible to have youth deliver Glories hats to patients, recent technological advances increase the potential to communicate. To that end, Susan has designed the programming aspect to incorporate ICT with medical staff to thank students, high school career technical academy’s to present their programs, and local community colleges to talk to future students about their degree programs.

This all being germane because the reciprocal connection youth have with healthcare staff at their local hospital allows them to see themselves in a new light; as a valuable resource in their community.

 

 

   
 
   
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