HOPE Public Resource Center, along with Empowered Youth Neighborhood (EY) – a local nonprofit organization which provides support and resources for inner-city, 'at-risk' boys between the ages of 13 and 18 – will host a volunteer information session during the lunch hour on Tuesday, September 20. The organizations are looking to attract students to EY's neighborhood program, which launched in March of last year. The program meets in groups twice a week to assist teens in reaching personal goals and improve their overall attitudes about the future.
"The flexible hours of the neighborhood program may be appealing to first-year students," said Daniela Gordon, HOPE program manager, who is excited to note that Colleen Adams, founder of Empowered Youth, will be at the meeting. EY depends heavily on HOPE volunteers and other organizations to reach out to youth in the greater Miami area.
This past summer, EY made alliances with the Optimist Club, Miami Springs Power Boat Club and HOPE, to create a day on the seas. Some of the young men had never been on boats or gone fishing before. The day included a boat ride through Key Biscayne where they spent the afternoon at the Club's house in Stiltsville – an area in Biscayne Bay where homes were built on stilts around the 1930s. A part of the EY mission is to expose adolescents to opportunities they may never have had otherwise.
"EY is making a difference in the lives of young people who need it most," Derik Washington said, a 2L at Miami Law. Having been raised in a low socioeconomic background he says his family was torn apart by drugs when he was 12 years old. "Were it not for the support I received from my grade school, and people like those who serve on the EY team, I don't think I would have accomplished half the things I have in life, thus far."