A reception celebrated a Hope/Holland community collaboration that has helped highlight a distinctive neighborhood.

Ten Hope students enrolled in the college's leadership program worked across the spring semester with 15 high-school age students at Holland's Van Raalte Tech to create colorful banners to support the stores and atmosphere of Washington Square, located along Washington Avenue between 18th and 19th streets.

The illustrations on the banners, hanging on both sides of the block, represent the district as well as individual stores. The Hope students organized and coordinated the project, and worked with the Van Raalte Tech students to write a grant request to the Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation, which provided $500 in support.

The Hope and high school students worked together to complete the banners, which feature artwork by the Van Raalte Tech students.

Representing the Hope group at left in the photo is 2011 graduate Joel Riegsecker, a business management major and leadership minor from Middlebury, Ind., pictured with students from Van Raalte Tech.