High School + University Scholarships
OYE's signature Adelante Jóvenes Scholarship Program supports economic and socially disadvantaged young people to graduate from high school and become first-generation university students and graduates.
Educational access and equity are significant challenges in Honduras, where less than half of young people complete secondary education. Economic factors, specifically insufficient family income to invest in education and the need to work to contribute to the family income, are the primary reason that young people do not continue their education.
OYE awards needs-based, multi-year scholarships to promising disadvantaged students from El Progreso and surrounding rural communities to continue their education at public high schools and universities. Young people become eligible for scholarships as they enter 9th grade, the final year of mandatory education in Honduras and a critical moment to intervene and support them to complete their secondary education. Our scholars are generally from single and no-parent households with an average household income of less than one minimum wage salary. Over 60% are adolescent girls and young women.
Beyond economic support, OYE scholarship students and their peers have access to academic and emotional support services, including one-on-one and small group tutoring, career orientation and individual and family counseling.
Teacher Training + Support
OYE trains and supports school directors and educators to improve educational access, quality and equity.
OYE directly engages 100+ educators from three public secondary institutions in El Progreso, impacting a collective student population of 5,000+ students. To date, our efforts have mainly focused on empowering teachers on themes of gender and sexuality, relationship-building and technology.
In partnership with the Tinker Foundation, and in response to educational challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, OYE is supporting directors and educators to re-engage disconnected students, maximize student persistence and retention, and minimize learning loss during school closures and when schools reopen.
Leadership + Life Skills Development
Through participatory workshops and sessions based on lived experiences, we empower young people with critical knowledge, attitudes, skills and values to make informed and healthy choices in their lives and for their futures.
Our curriculum explores diverse themes across three different levels, based on young people's age, experience and prior knowledge, including: self-esteem and values, sexuality education with a gender-focused approach, communication and relationships, civic participation and advocacy, and technology and media literacy, among other themes.
Beyond our in-house workshops, we encourage and support our young people to deepen their knowledge and understanding of issues relevant to their personal and professional interests. In recent years, our young leaders have participated in local, national and regional trainings and internships on gender, masculinity, communications, storytelling, and political participation and advocacy.
Youth-Led Creative Arts and Sports Programs
OYE's youth-led creative arts and sports programs foster a sense of belonging and create spaces and opportunities for young people to lead, develop and hone critical skills, and engage with each other and their communities.
On Saturdays throughout the year, 150+ young people participate in our youth-led programs. Current programs engage young people through art, graphic design, communications and sports. Comprised of our scholarship students and other young people, these programs are small communities within our broader organization.
Led by and for young people, these spaces:
- Foster a sense of belonging, building young people's self-esteem and strengthening their support networks.
- Create spaces and opportunities for young people to lead, empowering new generations of youth leaders to assume formal and informal leadership roles within the organization and in their lives.
- Develop young people's artistic, digital and technical skills, which vary depending on the program and personal interests. These skills include drawing, painting, muralism, photography, graphic design, digital marketing, locution, video production, event planning and physical health and fitness.
- Develop and strengthen young people's life skills, including critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration.
- Encourage young people's positive engagement in and with their communities, through public art exhibitions and murals, awareness campaigns and youth sporting events, among other community outreach initiatives.
Communications + Storytelling
#MeWeHonduras training hubs equip young people with tools to communicate with themselves and the world around them.
After an initial pilot in 2018, OYE was selected by MeWe International as a community partner to strengthen and scale #MeWeHonduras.
Over the past couple years, #MeWeIntl program staff have trained 6 youth facilitators in OYE, who have gone on to lead in-person and virtual training sessions - hubs - for over 75 young people. #MeWeIntl's methodology develops young peoples' internal, interpersonal and public communications skills as a means to promote healing, inspire hope, unlock their agency and build community.
OYE supports young people to create their own economic opportunity by starting a personal or family business.
Youth under- and unemployment are critical challenges faced by young people in Honduras.
In partnership with the Inter-American Foundation, OYE economically empowers young people by providing training on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, access to seed capital and ongoing support for them to launch and grow their businesses. Launched business ventures to date include graphic design and serigraphy services, baking and catering services, online shopping and delivery services, packaging distribution, and an English academy.
Participation + Advocacy
Peer-to-Peer Educators on Sexuality, Gender and Masculinity
Young people are trained as peer-to-peer educators on sexuality, gender and masculinity to lead everyday conversations with their peers and families to challenge harmful gender norms and advance gender equality.
Since 2015, trained youth facilitators have led comprehensive sexual health, gender and positive masculinity workshops within OYE and in public secondary schools and community organizations in El Progreso and beyond. Current efforts focus on training peer-to-peer educators to bring this critical learning out of the classroom and into young people's everyday conversations with peers and families.
Our participatory methodology draws from young people's lived experiences, focusing on challenging patriarchal power structures and learning, unlearning and relearning attitudes and behaviors that advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and young women. We create spaces for young women and men to express themselves openly amongst same-gender peers and also for them to come together, listen and learn from each other.
This programming has grown in reach and impact through partnerships with the Global Fund for Children, Summit Foundation, Central America and Mexico Youth Fund and Canada World Youth.
Adolescent girls lead advocacy efforts to pass a local public policy to mandate comprehensive sexuality education in local public schools.
In partnership with Rise Up, OYE staff and young women leaders mentor adolescent girls, supporting them to understand and defend their rights and advocate for local public policy change.
In 2018, OYE led a working group of local health and education institutions and community organizations to draft a local public policy proposal to mandate comprehensive sexuality education in local public schools, based on methodological guides approved by Honduras' Ministries of Health and Education. In 2019, adolescent girls presented this proposal to the local council.
After nearly two years of advocacy efforts, the city council passed the policy in July 2021. Moving forward, our work will be directed towards its implementation so that more than 300,000 children and young people have access to comprehensive sexuality education.
Relationships + Community-Building
OYE uses restorative practices to build community with intention, strengthening relationships between and among young people and the caring adults in their lives.
Young people's relationships with each other and the caring adults in their lives are of vital importance. Their support systems, or lack thereof, impact their development.
Restorative practices – derived from restorative justice – is a framework that empower us with practical tools, both proactive and reactive, to restore and build community. One of the most widely used and versatile restorative practices is the circle, which can be used proactively to strengthen relationships and build community, or reactively to respond to problems and conflicts that arise to restore community.
In partnership with the Strachan Foundation and International Institute for Restorative Practices Latin America, OYE supports young people, educators and representatives of community organizations to integrate restorative practices – like circles – into their respective classrooms, families and social communities.
Conversations + Connections Across Borders
Shared_Studios' Portals facilitate meaningful human connections between people separated by distance and difference.
Created by multidisciplinary art, design and technology studio Shared_Studios, Portals are gold spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal live and full-body, as if in the same room.
Launched in 2015, the Honduras Portal has connected hundreds of students, artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, activists and community leaders to strangers in distant Portals across the globe, creating shared spaces to challenge, educate and inspire.