To empower under privileged local youth through education and the teaching of employable skills that can be utilized to provide for their future families. Our core focus is to teach fluency in the global business and local tourism language of English.
In early 2016, a Canadian family by the name of Bancroft, comprising of mother, father and their young children decided it was time for their young family to experience another culture and help whom and how they could. Coming from a back ground in Education and Business, they set off for the small pueblo of Puerto Aventuras in QRoo, Mexico. Upon arrival, they were able to partner with local community groups and volunteers to found Empowering Our Youth Society. Since that time they continue to deliver free English classes and to teach other employable skills to the youth of the small pueblo whom otherwise would have no such opportunities.
Our students are of ages 12-19 and attend our English classes 4 times per week for 2 hours per day. This is a heavy commitment for youth who as young as 12 often have to work long hours doing construction or other jobs for their families however, anyone that has learned a second language understands the commitment and constant drive that such learning requires. Our youth are excited and motivated to become educated in English and to develop other important employable skills however, as is the case with many youth and even many adults, that motivation can be become strained. For Empowering Our Youth to be a success we knew that we needed a way to motivate our students to keep the commitments of daily attendance and practice that would of necessity be required in order to learn the language fluently. To ensure this motivation we, with the help of local volunteers and businesses, organize weekly activities for our students to participate in. Students that hold a 90% or higher attendance, demonstrate that they are working hard and participate in our monthly service activity, are allowed to attend the weekly activities. Thanks to the incredible support of local volunteers, businesses and our sponsors, such activities are organized as no cost to our students or families. Activities such as snorkeling, swimming cenotes, Karaoke nights, sports activities and more, not only motivate our students but they also give our students growing and learning experiences in life that they likely would never have had the opportunity for otherwise. In addition, our monthly service activities give our students a firsthand knowledge of the importance and power of giving back and helping those around them.
In addition to the ongoing activities, we believe that every student should be celebrated for their successes as they progress through the language and make each step towards fluency. At certain language bench marks our students are individually rewarded for their language acquisition achievement. In the beginning this can be items as simple as school supplies, jewelry or other small items. As the student reaches higher more difficult bench marks, they receive items such as a bike or tools. Each reward is unique and based on not only the bench mark level but also the needs of the individual student. As a final bench mark, that of English fluency, the student will have the opportunity to travel to Canada and stay with a host family from our Canadian sister school Footprints for Learning Academy. This trip will be a 2-month immersion experience to solidify their English fluency.