Thanks to support from the Rotary Club of Tortola and other donors, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) will hold an 8-week summer program beginning July 5 for 150 children at the Road Town Multipurpose Complex. The Road Town “pop-up,” limited to this summer, is in addition to YEP’s regular summer program at its East End location, which is also set to welcome 150 children, thus doubling YEP’s reach and impact for the summer of 2022.
Established in 2005, YEP has to date provided over 5,500 children in Tortola and beyond with enriching after-school and summer activities. Girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 16 participate in a wide variety of activities, from team building, skill building, and homework assistance to sports, cooking, and art classes – all within a safe and nurturing environment that encourages positive development and community service.
For the first time ever, YEP will be able to provide 8 weeks of summer fun and learning to children in Road Town, in addition to East End. Children in both locations will benefit from a number of YEP’s signature enrichment programs, including traditional skill building, such as coding and computer classes; sports, such as basketball and dodgeball; and cultural programs, such as cooking, art, and cultural history of the BVI. In addition, the children will go on field trips and join in special outdoor summer programming, such as learning to swim and snorkel through the “Unite for the Sea” program supported by Unite BVI, the Bitter End Yacht Club, and Beyond the Reef.
“We can’t wait to welcome many new children and families to YEP in Road Town,” said YEP Executive Director Stacy Mather. “As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, it is especially important to offer as many kids in the BVI as possible the opportunity to learn, grow, and just have fun with their peers all summer long.”
“We are very grateful to the Rotary Club of Tortola, as well as other donors and community partners, for making this Road Town pop-up happen,” commented YEP Chairman Dr. Henry Jarecki. “This project responds directly to the request for YEP programming in Road Town, showing the desire of parents all over the BVI to keep their children productively engaged over the summer.”
Lorna Smith, Rotarian and YEP Board Member, noted: “Rotary Club of Tortola has been working to help YEP expand to serve the children of Road Town for several years. I know that our President Ian Smith and the entire Club is extremely pleased that this event is finally happening. We look forward to great results and perhaps even a permanent location in Road Town in the future.”