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