So many things have happened this year at The Bienvenido Project, and after some time reflecting, we've determined that these three events were our favorite...
In July we celebrated the fourth annual "Quince" celebration (the traditional Latin American coming of age party when a girl turns 15). Watching all of the proud parents see their daughters dressed up and confident in the women they are becoming was such a beautiful part of this event. A highlight for all was watching our youth dance group put on a wonderful series of dances. They definitely stole the show!
Happy Birthday to EVERYONE
Who doesn't love to celebrate their birthday?! On "Everyone's Birthday" we celebrated the birthday of EVERY child in our program. We blew up balloons and put one on each chair-- pink for the girls and green for the boys. There were three big birthday cakes shared by everyone, plus yummy snacks and juice. We also played games and danced. We've never seen so many smiling faces.
A huge accomplishment for the program this year was that 12 of our students graduated from high school. Some of these students have been with the project since it was founded 11 years ago when they were just seven and eight years old. With the support of our programs, they have blossomed into smart and capable young leaders who dream of education and bright futures; Manuela wants to study Child Development, Bernarda wants to study Clinical Psychology, and Luis Miguel wants to study Chemical Engineering. This month our graduates are headed off to univeristy at La UASD, the largest public university in the Dominican Republic. We can't wait to see where this takes them!
2018 was a big year, and there is even more on the horizon for this coming year. As mentioned, the 12 students who graduated high school are starting university, yet there are are still some challenges to overcome. We have a two-part goal for 2019 to make this a long-term reality:
- Secure university scholarships for our students
- Purchase a bus that will transport the students back and forth to university
Why is this important? Because even with scholarships for college tuition, the cost of transportation every day adds up to a monthly cost that is not feasible for the students and their families. Therefore, we need a bus to make education accessible to these students. It also opens up the opportunity for others in Bienvenido, who are not a part of our program, to attend university. We estimate needing about $20,000 USD to purchase a bus.
Another exciting development this year will be the continuation of our construction project on our building. In March, we will be taking the next steps toward building a second floor at our program center. This will open up more class and activity spaces, and allow us to expand our programming.
Now it's your turn! What was your favorite event or story from The Bienvenido Project in 2018? Interested in supporting us in one of our upcoing 2019 goals? Let us know at email@example.com.
Thank you for all of your support in 2018! We're looking forward to partnering together with you in 2019, and a very happy New Year from all of our staff, volunteers, and youth!
Our youth dance group stealing the show!
Happy Birthday to EVERYONE
2017 & 2018 Graduates
2018 construction prep for this year's addition