Gerald Velasquez, Honduran artist
Dear OYE Supporters:
Looking back on 2011, OYE has accomplished a lot. From a massive COPA OYE sports tournament that involved over 1,500 youth, to environmental projects in El Progreso and Cayos Cochinos, to Arte La Calle’s the creation of new Estilo OYE bracelets, to capacity building classes, and to scholarships that enable 91 OYE youth to access local secondary and university education – just to name a few achievements – OYE has made a significant and positive impact on the youth in El Progreso.
Madga Reyes, a recent University graduate who has spent four years as an OYE scholar, can attest to the positive change that OYE creates on a daily basis. Magda has recently graduated Suma Cum Laude from the National Autonomous University of Honduras with a degree in pedagogy. Not only that, but she was the valedictorian of her class.
“OYE was the critical piece that enabled me to complete my education and receive my degree in teaching and educational sciences," Magda says. "I would like to thank OYE from the bottom of my hear for the help you have provided me, raising my self-esteen day after day. My thanks to all of you will never end, and I hope that you continue proving to youth that they are the present of our country. You helped me discover the potential that I have as a leader; keep doing all you can to continue showing that to the youth of our country and, above all, our city."
Despite OYE's successes, the reality that the youth of Honduras find themselves in remains grim. Honduran youth are still dropping out of school by the tens of thousands. Unemployment levels combined with a lack of education, disintegrated families, frightened and distrustful communities, and a lack of recreation opportunities, among other variables, continue to draw too many youth to a more destructive life path that includes violence, drugs, and criminal involvement.
The obstacles these youth must overcome on a daily basis are immense. Fortunately, at OYE youth are committed to working towards making their country a better place. Change from within is never easy; if it were it would already be done. Real change – change you can touch and feel – happens only when you begin your journey with an open mind, unite with your peers, and strive to help one another grow. This is what we do at OYE. We support each other’s dreams, we push our friends to be better and know that they are there to do the same in return.
It is with wide and hopeful eyes that OYE’s youth are looking forward to 2012. Thank you for your continued support of OYE and for being a part of this monumental change.
The OYE Family
Arte La Calle at Work
Justin Otero representing OYE at the UN