Howard University Partners With Project Promise for Several Service Projects

Project Promise’s Caterpillar kids, community volunteers and Howard University students

On Monday, Project Promise’s Caterpillar Project (TCP) students and staff were joined by students from Howard University and other community partners to complete three service projects on St. Croix. “With the assistance of Howard University and other local stakeholders, we were able to rehab the D.C. Canegata Ballpark’s playground area, beautify the Altona Lagoon Playground and rejuvenate the Children’s Memorial Garden at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center (JFL),” said Project Promise founder Resa O’Reilly.

Twenty-three students and one faculty member from Howard University arrived on island late last week as part of the university’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. 

Project Promise and Howard University – Alternative Spring Break students work on fixing the playground

“We helped develop the proposal to add St. Croix to the list of destinations,” said O’Reilly.  “We were delighted to work alongside Dr. Kevin Washington and Denise O’Neal, and excited to learn that our proposal had been accepted.”

“Howard University’s motto is Truth and Service, and we are honored to be in partnership with Project Promise positively impacting the lives of St. Croix through truth and service,” said Howard University professor and program adviser Dr. Kevin Washington.

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“This year the HU ASB efforts focused its attention on the hardest hit areas during the 2017 hurricane season. Students are engaged in restoration efforts to communities that have been overlooked for various types of humanitarian aid.  Not only are we working on the Cultural Center and playground restoration at a school in Christiansted and in a community in Frederiksted, but we are visiting two high schools and a Boys & Girls Club, providing psycho-social support through psycho-educational activities,” he said.

Monday’s activities included beautifying the grounds at Altona Lagoon, planting flowers and picking up trash.  At Canegata, the volunteers re-painted the playground equipment as part of Project Promise’s collaboration with the Department of Sports Parks and Recreation (DSPR) under a memorandum of understanding to rehab one playground per year.  With the assistance from another group of Howard students, JFL’s garden was spruced up with new plants and flowers as well as decorative, calming toys.

O’Reilly expressed appreciation to Caravelle Casino, Island Delivery Service and Raul Ayala’s Construction Inc. who helped sponsor the projects.  DSPR and Caravelle Casino also provided volunteers.

For more information about The Caterpillar Project or other Project Promise programs, please contact Resa O’Reilly at 244-3242.   Project Promise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk youth on St. Croix by providing empowerment initiatives, cultural programs and family services. 

To learn more about Project Promise, please visit the website at www.projectpromisevi.com.

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