The Change My Stars Education Program is designed to change the life path of lower class citizens/students in the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic area. With the Dominican economy being largely based on the tourism industry and with its close proximity to the United States and Puerto Rico, the ability to speak English can really change one's life path. With a very poor public education system, integrating public school students into the private school system can also change one's life path.
The challenge is the degradation of Dominican society due to the negative influence of the tourist industry. Economically, the tourist industry provides work. Unfortunately, it also exposes inequalities between tourists and locals and causes locals to engage in practices that degrade society such as theft, deception, and prostitution. The additional challenge is the corrupt history of the Dominican government and legal system and the very poor public education system, affecting the low class
Change My Stars will and is addressing this problem by creating pathways and programs for more English speaking expats to serve the community in the area of English education, while making this accessible to vulnerable members of society. Additionally, the project facilitates sponsor efforts in order to prepare and integrate public school students into the private school system. Lastly, these efforts will set an example and a standard that will inevitably improve the quality of education.
The summer camp will involve between 50-60 campers ages of 5-14 each summer. The pre-school will educate between 26 and 36 students each year. The English immersion day care will serve between 20-40 children each year. The private English lessons will educate between 20-30 people each year. In total, between 116-166 people will be affected each year. This doesn't include the expat volunteers and teachers who are affected through the service experience or the families of those educated.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Project Esperanza website
Blog of Dominican experiences
Organization director's blog
Change My Stars Blog