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Vieques Youth Leadership Institute • Stone Soup Leadership Institute • vyli2012@gmail.com
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Friends of Vieques

 

Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo Launches Boston Friends of Vieques

For years, people have been saying, "We need to do more for the young people of Vieques. " In May, 2005 I hosted an event in support of the Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative.

I've been amazed with their progress in a short time - and against all odds. The Vieques community has embraced the Initiative. People have given their time, talents and resources. They have exciting plans. I believe the Initiative has tremendous potential to create a more hopeful future for generations to come.

This is the first time a public-private partnership has been developed in support of Vieques youth. We are grateful to the Stone Soup Leadership Institute for investing years of time and resources to the Vieques community. They need our support to help make their dreams come true.

They've applied for grants, but they take time. Interim funds are needed to continue the program.

To help address this urgent need, I've created the first Friends of Vieques program - and hope it will spread to other cities across the country and around the world. I invite you to join me.

Please be generous with your timely support. Together we can help build a better future for Vieques.

As a City Councillor representing the residents of Boston, and as an elected official of Puerto Rican heritage, I am honored to join with other public officials, government agencies, the Municipality of Vieques, local NGO’s and other interested individuals in support the Stone Soup Leadership Institute with the Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative. Particularly since the cessation of bombing one year ago this month, the people of Vieques have made great strides but this beautiful island community remains at a crossroads. With true community-based planning, Vieques could become a showcase for sustainable development. Without needed expertise and financial support focused on positive change, the people and the future of the island are at risk. It is my understanding that the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s program encourages all Viequenses to join in a constructive dialogue about the Island’s future. By engaging people from across the country and around the world to create long-lasting relationships with Vieques, the global community could help build a sustainable Island. For these reasons, VYLI is a most welcomed and needed effort. I was glad to host an introductory reception at Boston City Hall on May 17 and am honored to join this growing coalition of U.S. and international leaders, community agencies and political officials in offering my strong support for this important initiative to build new generations of young leaders on Vieques. I have also personally contributed to this timely Initiative and encourage others to join me.

Felix Arroyo, Boston City Councillor-at-Large, Boston, MA