Leadership & Service Program meeting
Strengthening our organization requires that we put in place the building blocks which will serve as a base for our growth. Thanks to the support we have received from donors, we are working on two essential building blocks: emergency response capability and financial development.
One of the pillars of our organization is the Leadership & Service Program. This program incorporates graduates and mentors from our different projects who commit to continue their personal and social development through community service activities and leadership development workshops. A group of over 400 active volunteer members support our prevention projects for youth at risk, as well as the communities we serve.
On the one hand, members provide volunteer service which allows us to implement our projects at a lower cost. On the other hand, because members participated in our projects, they still live or have a strong connection to the communities where we provide our services. As a result, our organization has a strong network of alumni within the communities we currently serve. After Hurricane María hit the Island, our volunteers served as the first line of response in the communities where we carry out our work. This proved to be an excellent resource to connect with our participants and their families and it enabled us to provide support and meet immediate needs after the devastation.
Based on our experience, and looking forward to being more resilient in the future, our Leadership & Service Program is already implementing a needs assessment of the different municipalities where we have presence. This stage of our resilience building plan requires the regional chapters to evaluate available resources and services, as well as vulnerabilities in each community we serve. Another important step we have completed is the evaluation of our organizational emergency response plan, so that it can be adapted to regional chapter capabilities and needs in coordination with our main office.
Along with the effort to strengthen our emergency response plan and structure, we are working to expand our development activities. Our coordinator of development continues to maintain our established fundraising efforts in addition to implementing new activities. One of the efforts entails reaching out to mayors of the municipalities where we carry out projects. Relationship building with local governments will provide access to funding and resources we have never tapped into before. In addition, we are reaching out to untapped government funding which is designated for youth development in economic development agencies. Finally, we are also focusing on regional businesses and industries which we have not contacted in the past.
All these efforts are made possible with the support of donors who believe in grass roots organizations which change lives everyday with very little resources. We are confident that putting in place these essential “building blocks”, or strategic efforts, will allow us to reinforce and grow our organizational structure. Our mission and passion are to serve more students who are extremely vulnerable to dropping out and becoming involved in delinquent activity. Supporting our efforts results in life changing programs for the youth who need it most.