By Samuel Rioux - International Development Coordinator
The mantra in OYE is that we are about much more than just becas (scholarships). There is no denying that the economic aid helps OYE’s scholars attend school, but the real prize that OYE offers its beneficiaries is the opportunity to grow and learn. OYE picks up where the formal education system falls short, and this means reinforcing and offering tutoring in basic academic materials; capacity building classes to address self-esteem, sexuality, gender roles and bias, reproductive health, mental health, and leadership; and creating unique spaces for youth to express themselves and grow through hands-on experience.
This year OYE is opening its doors to the greater El Progreso community. Opening our doors means that OYE is reaching out to all of El Progreso’s at-risk youth population. You no longer need a scholarship from the institution to participate in art classes, learn how to edit and broadcast your own radio show, or write articles and publish articles in a youth operated magazine. Scholarship students are inviting their friends and family to join them at OYE and share in the life-changing and empowering programs they have developed.
OYE is excited to see our scholars grow as leaders and our programs fill with new participants. The participation of students not receiving scholarships is a testament to the importance and strength of our other programs. Perhaps one day we will go beyond becas entirely and dedicate all our resources to teaching, empowering, and preparing thousands of at-risk youth to be young professionals and leaders.
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