Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative


 Breaks cycle of poverty, encourages self-sufficiency and sustainable economic activity

• Trains youth with transferable skills: from repairing bikes to cars, boats and airplanes

• Increases youth pride, self-esteem and ultimately motivation for providing good service

• Develop bi-lingual communication and presentation skills

• Learning-in-action, project-based social-entrepreneurial ventures

• Grassroots problem-solving leadership development

• Multiplier effect/replicable model: trains young people to be leaders

How VYLI is affecting young people and the future of Vieques:

Invest in Young Leaders of Vieques = Multiplier Effect. By training young Viequenses to become leaders and investing in their dreams of building a new Vieques, we will impact all students and their families — fundamentally changing the culture of education in Vieques.
Build an educated workforce and a vibrant sustainable Island economy. We will increase youth skills, education and job readiness while fostering life-long curiosity for learning and technology. Young people will be more marketable in today’s global economy; so they can get good-paying jobs.
Reducing School Drop Outs: We invite everyone to dream about what they want for their lives, their future and the future of their island. We motivate and direct youth to education and opportunities; connect to the world of work through mentors, apprenticeships and internships.

Each one, Teach One: we invite everyone to share their gifts with our youth – young and old. We train emerging leaders in their 20’s to work with teens, who in turn work with younger children.

Reducing Teen Pregnancy by Increasing Positive Role Models – and supporting the dreams of aspiring teen models with the mission of “beauty with a purpose.” Increase youth self-esteem through education/opportunities.

Reducing Unemployment and Government Dependency by Increasing Skills: We train people to become entrepreneurs and reward them recognition in the community and with travel opportunities. We train people in computers and technology to connect them with the world of opportunities.

Reducing Petty Crime by Bridging the Cultural Divide: We appeal to the enlightened self-interest of the business community to get involved with training the young people of the island. As part of our quest to connect young people with caring adults, we invite everyone in our community to serve as mentors. Statistics show that young people who have a caring adult in their lives are more likely to succeed.

How VYLI Supports Young People

Coaching with youth’s personalized action plans;

Counseling: nutrition & health; personal relationships;

Educational workshops:

cultural arts, entrepreneurship, eco-tourism & technology;

Inspirational books, personal notebooks and teaching tools;

Positive role models;

Culturally sensitive guest speakers and mentors;

Training in speaking, writing, interviewing and presenting;;

Tutoring to ensure academic excellance;

* Time management support with weekly phone calls;

Computer training and Internet access;

Portfolios developed with photos from VYLI activities;

Video training and editing;

Community service projects with official certificates;

* Job training+ jobs matched with Vieques jobs;

Opportunity to have a job:

VYLI hires youth: learn work ethic, manage time, team work;

Opportunity to be an entrepreneur:

develop life-long skills to create financial success;

Opportunity to develop leadership skills:

initiate projects, work as team, train other youth;

Opportunity to learn fundraising and sponsorship skills

articulate and present their dreams and request support;

Positive press about the young people of Vieques;

VYLI newsletter feature youth, their dreams and progress;

VYLI photo exhibit inspires youth to stay true to their dreams;

VYLI website features youth, their dreams and activities;

Educational field trips have included: San Juan, Caguas, Los Angeles, New York and Boston; and British Virgin Islands (BVI)