The Caterpillar Project Amid COVID-19

by Ileri Inc. dba Project Promise
Play Video
The Caterpillar Project Amid COVID-19
The Caterpillar Project Amid COVID-19
The Caterpillar Project Amid COVID-19

We have wrapped up the 2022-2023 School Year! This school year in addition to our regularly scheduled program our Caterpillar learned to swim with the St. Croix Dolphins, learned to dance salsa with St. Croix Latin & Ballroom Dance and engaged in several service projects.

Most recently, the Caterpillars participated in the Operation Gratitude Red, White, and Blue Paracord Lanyard Challenge. Operation Gratitude is a national nonprofit organization that provides care packages to our country’s deployed troops, first responders and veterans. For this project the Caterpillars made lanyards out of paracord and also wrote letters of gratitude, as an extra way to say “thank you” to those who serve.

As we reflected back on their experience during our wrap up activity, one Caterpillar exclaimed…. "My experience was AWESOME! I really enjoyed the community service projects, swimming & learning to dance."

Year eight of the Caterpillar Project starts in September!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook


Dear Supporter,

For the seventh year in a row, the Caterpillar Program’s December community service project was to buy toys for children at an orphanage in Tanzania. The Caterpillars had a great time on our group shopping trip to Super Dollar, buying everything from activity and learning books to toy cars and airplanes, games, school supplies and more.

This January, we are excited to resume programming, in our NEW building! We officially opened the doors to our new home in downtown Christiansted on January 17th. All Caterpillar Project programming will be held in this space starting on January 24th, and our new Empower Me program will begin there on January 28th.

“It has always been our vision,” shares Project Promise President and Founder Resa O’Reilly, “this building will enable us to expand our programming and impact."

As we celebrate 7 years of our Caterpillar Project...We’re ready to rock and roll!

Best Regards,

Resa O'Reilly-Shearn


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

For a few weeks this Summer, the Caterpillars participated in Project Promise’s hybrid virtual/in-person summer camp, with classes conducted online and field trips taking place in person. The program themes were morals/ethics, physical health and family, and the academic focus was on fractions and parts of speech. Students held debates, wrote in journals, created family trees, learned about different types of occupations that serve and maintain healthy families, and more. Highlights included a community service project in which the students raised money to purchase solar lights for the basketball court in the Mon Bijou Community, and a fabulous field trip where the Caterpillars and their families visited Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge for turtle watching.

The Caterpillars had a blast this summer, they are now looking forward to the Fall! 


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
New Army of Caterpillars
New Army of Caterpillars

After an extensive screening process during which a number of local fifth grade students and their parents got an opportunity to “dip their toes in the water” to see if Project Promise’s Caterpillar Program is a good fit for them, a new group of Caterpillars has officially joined the Project Promise family!

Please join us in welcoming Melakht, Firas, Charnaja, Jamoy, Malique, Dayniah, Alejandro, Seniya and Kamira. These energetic fifth graders from a variety of local elementary schools are now participating in all nine aspects of our holistic Caterpillar Program.

As an added bonus, each of the new Caterpillars has been paired with one of our older students, who will be acting as peer mentors.


Resa O'Reilly

Executive Director

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by! As always, I have a lot to share…
Our dream of having our own home is finally becoming a reality
Since Project Promise’s inception we’ve been operating out of borrowed facilities, as our building in downtown Christiansted was not habitable.

In April our world was turned upside down when the Humanitarian Experience for Youth surprised us with an offer to provide $25,000 of funding plus seven weeks of volunteer labor to start rehabbing our building. The catch: We had five weeks to raise $50,000 and get the roof replaced, so that the building would be safe for the volunteers to be in.
The community response was so strong that between cash and in-kind donations over $86,000 was raised! This summer seven groups, each with 19 volunteers, got an incredible amount of work done, and the work has been ongoing since then. We anticipate being able to move into our building, which will also serve as a community center, just in time for the 2022- 2023 School Year.
This year we started the 5th year of the Caterpillar Project
In 2016 we kicked off our flagship Caterpillar Project with a promise to provide an intensive, holistic multi-year afterschool program to a group of fifth grade students. I’ve loved every aspect of this journey. This is real life, and regardless of what life has thrown at us, from the devastation of Hurricane Maria to the unimaginable disruption of a worldwide pandemic, we’ve persevered. This year most of our program was presented virtually.
I’m incredibly proud of the amazing growth that our first group of Caterpillars has experienced. This year our Career Exploration component transitioned from guest speaker presentations to hands on internships! We are so thrilled to see how Project Promise’s impact continues to expand.

Speaking of expansion, we are now recruiting our next group of Caterpillars. This summer we hosted “Caterpillar Camp with a Twist.” The “twist” was that we invited a group of prospective Caterpillars to participate, and our older kids served as the camp counselors. The selection process then continued in the fall, and we will officially be kicking things off with our next group of Caterpillars next month.
Our other programs went virtual as well
In February we presented a virtual version of our annual Havana Nights fundraiser that took place on the beaches of Cuba. Party-goers tuned in to Cuban music, took a salsa dancing lesson, had a chance to win a trip to Cuba (including a 4-night stay at an all-inclusive beach resort!) and more. We also honored three high school seniors who have overcome adversity to succeed academically
. New for this year, our honorees were each awarded a $500 scholarship.
In March we then kicked off the new, virtual version of our popular Salt River Basin field trip. To make this happen we added video production to the Project Promise team’s list of accomplishments, as the entire virtual tour was produced in-house.
Other 2021 highlights include service and art projects
In January our kids, who had become Certified COVID-19 Youth Ambassadors, led a COVID-19 informational session and discussion for other youth. I’ll never forget the one girl who said, “Thank you for asking how I’m doing! No one had asked me that in a while.” It was quite profound, and another reminder of the impact that Project Promise is having.
This summer four of our Caterpillars participated in the St. Croix Mural Project, ‘All Ah’ We’. This was our first time getting together in a classroom in a year! The kids each created a part of the image, which is on display at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts from December 28th throughout January 29, 2022.
This year we continued our support of an orphanage in Tanzania. Thanks to the generosity of two donors, we were able to purchase $450 worth of toys! Participants chose everything from sports equipment and small cars and helicopters to jumping ropes, board games, books, art supplies, stuffed animals, dolls and more—over 250 toys in total, to date, the most toys that we’ve donated all at once.
We’re looking forward to continuing to expand our impact
Moving forward into 2022 our plans include expanding our Caterpillar Program to start with a new group of kids, moving into our own building and, hopefully, getting back to in-person programming.
Thank you for your past and continued support, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Ileri Inc. dba Project Promise

Location: Christiansted, VI - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Project_Promise
Project Leader:
Resa O'Reilly
Christiansted , VI United States
$20,650 raised of $25,000 goal
224 donations
$4,350 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Ileri Inc. dba Project Promise has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.