Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Three Step Process

Ever wondered how OYE finds all these great kids to participate in our projects?

Well I'll tell you...

It's a three step process.

Step One

Each student that would like to become a part of the OYE family starts by filling out an application. The applications are made available in the middle of September and the begining of Octuber. Applications take into account economic necessity, personal disposition and interests, and academic standing. That is to say, we are looking for local youth that have an economic necesity and a desire to be leaders and agents of positive change in their community.

Step Two

Valid candidates, as decided by the application, come to the OYE office for an interview. As there is only so much you can learn from written responses the personal interviews give OYE's staff a chance to get to know each of the applicants and assess their compatibility with OYE. During this second step. Applicants and staff talk about personal problems, goals, and personality.

Step Three

Members of OYE's staff visit each candidates house and do a final interview with the applicant and his/her family. During this step OYE can double check the economic necessity by seeing first hand the living conditions and meeting the family. This visit also permits OYE to clarify its expectations from the applicant and the family regarding time and dedication to OYE. Vice versa, this is an opportunity to the family of the applicant to learn more about OYE.

After each step has been completed all that is left is the decision.

Tomorrow, Wednesday December 1, OYE will begin the third step of this process. On the 18th of December it will announce OYE's 2011 scholarship students. Stayed tuned for more updates.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Matt and Mary Clay Finish the Race!

Matt and Mary Clary have completed their marathon. Congratulations!!!

These two have been incredible supporters of OYE and its programs. They have helped us form strong alliances with both Mary Baldwin College and James Madison University, and their positive out-going personalities have formed great reputations for them among the OYE team and our scholars. Everyone at OYE seems to have some new eccentric tale about Matt, and the youth are always asking when the dancing queen Mary Clay will be back.

If you have pitched in to help them reach their fundraising goal consider doing it now. These are two incredible people who have made a visible and positive impact on OYE. We're happy to see them both finish the race, but secretly I'm still pulling for Mary Clay!

Hopefully, one of them will see this post and can clear up the results a little bit for us.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Never a Dull Moment at OYE Honduras

There is never a dull moment when you are working to build 75 youth leaders in El Progreso Honduras, but some moments get a little more exciting than others. Over the last few weeks OYE has seen its programs grow, new alliances form, and an outpouring of public support. The month of October alone has been incredibly exciting!

We stand on the verge of having 12 projects seven of which will be entirely student planned, run, and reported. Everything from our sports program to our scholarship program will be planned and managed by OYE scholarship students. This is an exciting transition for our organization. We eagerly look forward to seeing the failures and successes of our students as they continue growing and learning through this hands on development experience. It is both inspirational and a little nerve racking to see students that entered our program afraid to speak publicly taking up leadership roles that entail managing a team of 20 or more fellow students and planning events that reach out to hundreds.

In addition to our seven new project leaders, OYE is excited to expand its integrated scholarship program to include 15 more students a year. In 2011 OYE will be working with 90 scholarship students. Applications are in and in addition to the 75 students already enrolled in OYE, OYE has received 70 new applications. With 75 at-risk youth involved in OYE’s programs as participants OYE directly impacts 300 people in the community and indirectly impacts 900. With 15 new scholarship students these numbers should continue to grow.

In another effort to deepen its impact, OYE has worked throughout the month of October on a community-building initiative that teaches project planning and management. This class has involved 25 youth from five local non-profits and increased the understanding between these groupswho strive to achieve common goals. With this increased understanding and the strengthening of these links, OYE is paving the way for bigger projects and future collaborations, while expanding the potential and leadership capabilities of the enthusiastic youth leaders involved.

One enthusiastic youth leader who had already completed such a class demonstrated the impact it has made on her project planning. Jarli Yanez, OYE Ritmo’s president and coordinator, led her radio group in the planning and execution of a community bingo event. October 31, OYE Ritmo’s Bingo brought together 228 players and a handful of viewers. Everyone young and old enjoyed the food, horchata, and of course the competitive bingo. As the event raised funds for OYE and brought together the community to share in a positive spirit raising and unifying event bingo was a clear success. Events like these planned and executed by OYE’s youth are a testament to the positive results that OYE’s capacity classes and programs produce each year in our youth, and beyond that they are very exciting to attend.

Finally, nothing is as satisfying or exciting as somebody telling you that you are doing a good job, and in October thousands of people told OYE just that. OYE was nominated for a Stay Classy Award, and a panel of judges deemed this organization worthy of moving on to the city-finalists round for Best Charity of the Year. We competed as one of Washington, DC’s top ten charitable organizations in a public voting round. Thousands of OYE supporters cast their vote to name OYE Charity of the Year. Right up until the end, OYE waivered between first and second place. We finished in second and did not move on to the next round, but to see the outpouring of support from our family was incredible!

Although there was never a dull moment these past few weeks, there were certainly a number of great ones. While this organization grows in size, its youth grow in capacity. OYE has left an impact on the lives of many people that both students within this foundation and members of the community at large can site. It was a true pleasure to see the recognition OYE received during Octobers Stay Classy voting period, and it is nice to know that people recognize the good job OYE does.

Other Important News

•OYE Ritmo Bingo October 31 draws 228 players and raised 7,000 Lempira; Goal raise funds to allow radio project to expand and gather together community for positive event

•Three OYE supporters run marathons to benefit OYE; Goal raise $4,500 and raise awareness for OYE

•OYE expands scholarship program to 15 more youth; Goal 90 at-risk youth receive capacity classes to realize their potential as agents of positive social changes

•OYE receives over 70 applications for 2011; Goal find the most deserving and worthy applicants to join the OYE family and begin sharing in our effort to make a social impact