Organization for Youth Empowerment

OYE has served the at-risk youth population of El Progreso, Honduras since its foundation in 2005. Through the years, OYE has evolved from a straightforward scholarship program to an integrated educational and leadership program with the mission of forming socially-conscious youth leaders who are agents of change in their communities. We envision a society where Honduran youth are active contributors to the positive development of their country.
Nov 14, 2016

What We Did This Summer

Kelyn at call center KM2 Solutions
Kelyn at call center KM2 Solutions

Dear Friends,

We have some really exciting news to share with you!

At the end of September, two of our scholars, both young women, completed an 18-month program to acquire the necessary skills - including English - to become bilingual agents at call centers, a growing industry in Honduras. Before this program, which provides full scholarships to disadvantaged youth, the opportunity to learn english was accesible only to upper and middle-class families with sufficient income to pay for a private, bilingual education. While the program fees are subsidized by the Honduran government, OYE's "Adelante Jóvenes" Scholarship Program provides a stipend for 16 youth to cover the costs of the daily commute from El Progreso to San Pedro Sula, the principal barrier that El Progreso's youth face in accessing higher education.

Do you want to hear something even better? Kelyn, one of the two graduates, was immediately hired to work at KM2 Solutions, a call center that has supported OYE since 2012. With the income from her new job, Kelyn has the opportunity to contribute to her family's income and continue her university studies. We are so proud of Kelyn and so thankful for the generous support of our donors that make success stories like hers possible!

In other news, OYE's youth-led programs have been in action all summer - and fall! Here's a quick rundown of what they've been up to since we last updated you in July!

Arte La Calle
Youth in the art program have been busy drawing, painting, jewelry-making, and learning guitar. They also made 15 piñatas to donate to local schools, churches, and community groups to celebrate Children's Day on September 10th.

OYE Comunica
Guided by in-house film expert Dylan, several youth have been filming and producing short documentaries. The radio students participated in professional workshops to hone their skills in writing scripts, presenting, and producing radio spots and programs.

DiseñOYE
Ten students in the graphic design program have completed an intensive diploma course on graphic design, focused on developing creative thinking and basic graphic design skills.

Deportes en Acción
Youth in the sports program have participated in numerous local runs, including the annual La Prensa Marathon (10.5K) in San Pedro Sula. In August, they organized yet another successful Copa OYE soccer tournament involving 250+ local youth in a fun day of friendly competition. Now they are focused on Taekwondo!

At OYE, sustainability is our priority. Our ability to achieve and grow our mission is only possible through the generosity of our diverse family of donors and supporters. Thank you for being a part of our family. We hope you will continue to join us on this journey to provide life-changing opportunities to deserving youth.

In appreciation,
Amanda

Guitar lesssons in Arte La Calle
Guitar lesssons in Arte La Calle
Learning to film in OYE Comunica
Learning to film in OYE Comunica
Graphic Design Diploma Program in DisenOYE
Graphic Design Diploma Program in DisenOYE
OYE girls playing soccer in Copa OYE
OYE girls playing soccer in Copa OYE

Links:

Jul 28, 2016

A Girl Empowered

Empowered young woman Ivelis in OYE
Empowered young woman Ivelis in OYE's radio booth

Dear Loyal Friends,

Can you imagine your life without education? Working long hours at a low-skilled, low-wage job just to survive-that is, if you can even find one. Living a life of stifled dreams and feeling powerless to change your circumstances.

Growing up in Honduras, it isn't too hard to imagine. This is the bleak reality awaiting the over 50% of Honduran youth who never finish high school. And to think that for $50 a month, you can ensure that one promising high school student not only makes it to their high school graduation, but is equipped to make a successful transition to college - a transition too few young people in Honduras have the opportunity to make. Only 14% of Honduran high school graduates enter college, in comparison to 90% of OYE's youth scholars.

Ivelis is one of the few, but it has been a bumpy road. Money was always tight in Ivelis' family, but the situation only got worse when her parents separated. She was in 9th grade at the time and all of a sudden her education was no longer a priority. Despite economic difficulties and family instability, Ivelis persisted and supported by an OYE scholarship, she graduated from high school at the top of her class in 2012. But beyond encouraging academic success, OYE became a second home and the place where she has found her voice.

In her words: "OYE has helped me grow. I have become more responsible and learned how to face life's challenges... I've found a place where I belong."

Now 21, Ivelis is attending college and holds a leadership role in CREA, an OYE initiative that has provided comprehensive sex education, with a focus on gender and rights, to over 750 teens in less than two years. But beyond energizing workshops and providing critical information on sexual and reproductive health, Ivelis has become a trusted confidant for many teen girls, listening to their troubles and answering tough questions they do not feel comfortable asking other adults in their lives. Today she is a leader and we could not be more proud of the empowered, dynamic, and reslilient young woman she has become.

While various international foundations provide crucial funding to cover much of our direct program costs, it is your contributions that prepare our young leaders with the confidence and skills to lead these invaluable programs that reach thousands of disadvantaged teens each year.

Today I write to thank you for your past contributions and ask for your continued support of our work to empower promising youth like Ivelis. Without valuable contributions like yours, at-risk youth will continue to go without an education, their only means to build a better and brighter future in Honduras.

On behalf of all of us at OYE, and most especially our youth, thank you for your support and belief in our work. We do not take you for granted.

Sincerely,

Rocío Mendoza
Executive Director

Ivelis leading sex ed workshop in local school
Ivelis leading sex ed workshop in local school
Our director w/ youth at 11th Anniversary Expo
Our director w/ youth at 11th Anniversary Expo
Ivelis w/ OYE Comunica radio crew
Ivelis w/ OYE Comunica radio crew

Links:

Apr 27, 2016

100 Strong

Ashly (center) at local TV station with CREA
Ashly (center) at local TV station with CREA

Dear Friends,

At the end of last year, we set a goal to extend 100 scholarships to disadvantaged young women and men for the 2016 academic year. And guess what? We did it! Thanks to the generous support of our donors (you!), our group of promising youth scholars grew from 75 to 100+ in just one year! This January 20th, we welcomed 44 new scholars to the OYE family, 60% being adolescent girls and young women.

One such girl is Ashly. First coming into contact with OYE through our sexual and reproductive health project, CREA, Ashly demonstrated leadership potential from day one. She stood out among her peers by actively participating in every workshop and protagonizing a media campaign to prevent adolescent pregnancy. Upon receiving the news that she had been selected to receive a scholarship: "It was a beautiful moment when I found out I would be an OYE scholar. I started out as a volunteer because I enjoyed participating in the activities and engaging with my peers. I actually missed the deadline to apply for a scholarship, but I think my eagerness to participate and the relationships I formed with staff caused them to give me a chance. My goal is to not simply be a scholar, but to grow within the organization and finish high school."

Ashly, like many of her peers at OYE, comes from a broken home with limited support and scarce economic resources. She also lives in one of El Progreso's most problematic barrios, known for its deep-rooted problems of violence, poverty and teen pregnancy. In contrast to this desperate landscape, OYE is a place of hope and opportunity; not just for Ashly, but for all of the youth who walk through our doors. (And they are many!) On their behalf, we thank you for your continued support of our work.

In other news, our youth-led programs in the arts, communications and sports have kicked into full gear in 2016. The art program "Arte La Calle" already has two community murals under its belt and has started a series of oil-painting workshops for some of its most advanced artists. Youth in the graphic design program "DiseñOYE" are honing their photography skills and hosting workshops in the community, promoting photography as a powerful means for youth to express themselves and their reality. The once-independent radio, magazine and TV programs have fused into one cohesive communications program, "OYE Comunica," which recently celebrated "Spanish Language Day" (Día del Idioma) with over 500 children and youth at a local elementary/middle school, carrying out a variety of literary activities and games, such as an essay contest, public speaking contest and spelling bee, among others. Most recently, youth from the sports program "Deportes en Acción" organized a soccer tournament with youth leaders from two local elementary/middle schools, where approximately 150 teens, boys and girls, from five local schools came together in a day of friendly competition as a means of preventing violence and promoting sports and healthy lifestyles among youth from at-risk communities.

This work is only possible through the generousity of the individuals, businesses and foundations that believe in the work we are doing each and every day to educate and empower the next generation of young leaders in Honduras. Please consider continuing to support our work by making your contribution today! With your support, we can offer even more girls like Ashly the transformative opportunity to finish high school and pursue higher education.

In appreciation,
Amanda

Youth of Arte La Calle starting community mural
Youth of Arte La Calle starting community mural
"Spanish Language Day" celebration at local school
"Spanish Language Day" celebration at local school
Teen girls at soccer tournament
Teen girls at soccer tournament
2016 OYE Scholars at Induction Ceremony
2016 OYE Scholars at Induction Ceremony
 
   

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