Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Its a New Year! Entrega de Becas Welcomes 70 OYE Scholars to 2013

2013 OYE Scholars

I still don’t know how we pulled it all together! A day before the Entrega de Becas, our yearly welcome ceremony for OYE scholars, we were still trading stories about vacation and dusting off the keyboards. Due to unforeseen events we pushed the ceremony forward one day and it was one us before we realized!

Marisol and Dunia Supervising the decorations
Up went the decorations. Gerald, our art program coordinator, doubled as party decorador. He and his students dressed our upstairs conference hall in green and white streamers, they glued together paper globes of matching colors, and hand crafted OYE’s first ever portable display screen for our brand new projector.

We scrambled about the office and about town Friday the 11 putting the finishing touches on the ceremony. We hauled 100 plastic chairs across town and printed out the certificates. In the last 30 minutes we tested the microphones and changed from our sweat soaked tshirts into new, stylish, green OYE Maya logo tshirts that unified the staff anda ll 2013 scholarship students.

Guests of Honor
Doors opened at 1 pm and the familias of scholarship students poured in. They paused briefly in the reception to be bchecked out and for the new OYE student to receive a their their bright green shirt. As everyone filed up stairs moms, dads, brothers, and sisters filled in the back rows and a chatty sea of green flooded the front rows. The number of OYE scholars and familias grew and grew! OYE is never as fun as when its full of students and familias.

At 2 pm the ceremony began, with the opening words of Director Marisol and Vice President of the Board Eduardo Umanzor. Tragically, I took over the reception and waited for ther last few stragglers to wander in while Marisol and Eduardo eloquently pumped up the crowd with OYE’s mission and vision:

Eduardo Umanzor, Mrisol Fuentes, and Dunia Perdomo - From left to right
OYE’s mission as a community-based, youth-led organization is to develop the leadership and capacity of at-risk Honduran youth who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and might otherwise be drawn to the path of crime, violence, drugs, and/or gang involvement. OYE’s integrated development approach combines formal education, youth capacity building, and community engagement to inspire and equip young people with the awareness and skills they need to take control of their lives. OYE’s model of sustainable, long-term development focuses its efforts on the empowerment of socially conscious youth who will emerge as leaders and agents of positive change in Honduran society.

OYE envisions a society where all young people, regardless of race, gender, religion, class, sexual orientation, or abilities, are given the opportunity to exercise their leadership potential. Once they are educated and trained as leaders, OYE youth realize the positive impact that young people can have on their communities. In such a society, young people have a powerful voice and know how to effectively use it to create change in their lives and communities.

Fabiola Oro and Oriel Diaz

By the time I made it up we had arrived to the heart of the program. Oriel diaz and Fabiola Oro were revisiting the 2012 year in photos. They shed light on each of OYE’s youth led projects by presenting photos of individuals and groups from Art la Calle, Jovenes Revista, OYE Ritmo (Radio), Copa OYE (Sports), and our capacity building classes. The presentation always gets me, and many others, a little nostalgic for the good times we have shared together. Many family members get excited as they see what their son or daughter will be involved in.  The MCs of the event, Yarli Yanez and Gerald Velasquez, prepared a short presentation explaining the details and goals for OYE’s art, magazine, and radio project in 2013.

MCs Yarli Yanez and Gerald Velasquez
The MCs transitioned from history and facts about OYE to the presentation of OYE’s 2013 scholars. As their names were called each new or old scholar made his or her way to the ceremonial table to receive a certficate presented by a member of the “table of honor.” Presenting the certificates were Director Marisol Fuentes, Program Coordinator Dunia Perdomo, guest of honor Walter Molinari, and Vice-President of the Board of Directors Eduardo Umanzor. From my prospective, it was during this traditionally tedious affair that OYE really identified itself.

When I attend such ceremonies I fear the momento that we indivudally call each beneficiary  to come to the front of the room, shake a hand, receive a diploma, and take a picture-it takes forever! However, this time is was different. That is to say, it was fun! As names were called people cheered and teased and teased back. There bows and cat calls, there were hugs and chuckles, and it was the best awards ceremony I have had the pleasure of participating in. My only issue was that it was far too short – if only we had to budget to support 100 scholars and not just 70! QUE LASTIMA!

A huge thank you goes out to all of you who reached out and donated to OYE over the Holiday Season. The donations at the end of one year are very strong indicators and set the pace for the next. Your support is what allows us to introduce new at-risk youth into the OYE family and make a positive impact in El Progreso, Honduras. Now if you didn’t donate remember its never to late!

Learn about Donating

$50 is a University Scholarship
$30 is a High School Scholarship
$25 Sponsors a capacity building class of Sexual Education
$1 Because no amount is too small
$0 is too small! You can do better than that!


Kat Burdine said...

FELICIDADES!!!! Estoy muy orgullosa de tod@s ustedes y el equipo de OYE! Buenos suerte en 2013 (pero imagino que no la necesita.) ABRAZOTES!

Michael Solis said...

Que bueno ver! Tantos cambios y OYE esta creciendo de nuevo...adelente jovenes!

Sandra Erika Gómez Osorio said...

Feliz de ver cómo van todos y todas, progresando, creciendo y siendo parte del cambio! Bravo OYE staff, beneficiarios y toda Honduras!