Dunia, one of OYE's first 5 youth scholars in 2005
Dear Friends and Supporters,
When Justin Eldridge Otero, Ana Luisa Ahern and Jessica Mockrin started working with young Honduran students unable to continue their education due to poverty, they had no idea that their efforts would result in an organization that has endured and grown for ten years.
Since 2005, OYE has provided access to education, leadership development and community engagement opportunities to over 500 promising youth in El Progreso and its surrounding communities. No words can express how humbled and grateful we are for your confidence in our mission and the accomplishments of our youth scholars.
This year as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we reflect back on the youth whose lives have been and continue to be transformed by OYE.
Dunia was one of OYE’s first five scholarship recipients in 2005. When she was only 12 years old, she lost both of her parents to AIDS. Living out her remaining adolescent years in Copprome, a home for orphaned children in El Progreso, she had little hope of continuing her education upon graduating from high school. Through OYE’s support and working part-time to cover her living expenses, Dunia graduated from university in 2010 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. After a few years of employment elsewhere, she returned to El Progreso and to OYE in 2012 as our Programs Coordinator. Last year, she was selected by the Seattle International Foundation’s Central America and Mexico Youth Fund, as one of five Central American youth leaders, to head a sexual and reproductive health education project carried out by OYE to promote healthy lifestyles and gender equity among at-risk youth populations in El Progreso.
As Programs Coordinator, Dunia oversees OYE´s Participation and Community Engagement Programs, youth-ed programs designed to build stronger communities by providing a safe space for youth to engage with their peers, discover hidden talents, learn new skills, express themselves, cultivate creativity and build self-confidence. These programs, designed and led by select OYE scholars (youth coordinators), serve as OYE’s platform to reach out to and engage thousands of youth throughout the city through the arts, communications and sports.
Among OYE's Participation and Communication Programs is Arte La Calle. Since the beginning, the arts have been a crucial element of OYE's strategy in engaging and empowering youth. Arte La Calle creates a space for youth to develop artistically and express themselves and their reality through the visual, performing and media arts. This year, nearly 100 youth actively participate from week to week, but thousands more youth are impacted by the program’s diverse initiatives.
This year, OYE's programming in the arts and communications, dubbed Mi Voz Es Poder, was nominated for the International Spotlight Award of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, the United States' highest honor for out-of-school time arts and humanities programs that reach underserved youth. We are incredibly honored by this nomination and humbled by the generous support of our donors that make this program, and all of OYE's work, possible.
During the past year, we have made great strides in acquiring financial support from local businesses and institutions in an effort to achieve greater sustainability for OYE's programs, especially our scholarship program, and reach even more youth next year. While we are proud that increasing numbers of Hondurans are supporting their hometown youth, it isn’t enough. It is because of you that we have made it this far and your support remains indispensable as we move forward.
We’ve come so far in these past ten years and together we can continue our mission to educate and empower young Hondurans for years to come... Are you in?
Arte La Calle's Saturday drawing classes at OYE
Photo expo at OYE's 10th Anniversary Fair in June
Staff and youth celebrating OYE's 10th Anniversary