ERATC and GCTHL

Our proposal is to provide a high quality tutoring center using mentorship, apprenticeship and online tutoring as the means of acquiring basic technical and vocational skills needed to operate a restaurant and other enterprises. The Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center will provide the training and Grandpa Chester Tower Hill Lounge will recruit trainees for employment. The proceeds from the Lounge will be used to fund the Tutoring Center.
Name
Ruby
Last name
Reyes
At what stage is your proposal?
Idea phase
What category/categories do you want to address with your idea?
Education
Describe the need or problem you want to address
Unemployment, lack of educational opportunities and a life of crime and violence go hand in hand. It is the intersectionality of these issues that make addressing them particularly difficult. Raising Kyle has been no easy feat, but because we know that a sound education separates the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’, we worked tirelessly to ensure he is thriving academically. At schools I have taught and currently teaching, I have witnessed students dropping out because the school cannot keep up with their lifestyles. Students dedicate their time and attention to matters that interest them and have direct benefits to their pursuits of happiness. So students who do not thrive in formal schooling are often ‘left behind’. These troubled teens are sometimes forced into the work force because of their dire socio-economic situations. Such persons often become victims of abuse by employers, while others who cannot secure a job find money using questionable techniques. These are then the same persons who often terrorize law-abiding citizens. We intend to change this narrative.The Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center and the Grandpa Chester Tower Hill Lounge will give persons another chance at vanquishing the demons of the past and allow its recipients to readjust their life’s bearings to a path of success. A promising student of mine is currently on the brink of expulsion because he was involved in a daytime robbery. What will happen to him if expelled? If convicted who will willingly employ someone with a record? What would have happened to our Kyle if he had continued his dark path? The Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center would recruit such students and enroll them in Math and English CXC classes and match them with a trade to begin learning a craft through mentorship and apprenticeship. Upon completion of the basic skills training necessary for mastering their craft, such students will then have the opportunity to be placed at Grandpa Chester Tower Hill Lounge for application of their skills. From there, they can either remain with the Lounge or use the experience as a launch pad to pursuing better employment or further studies if they so choose. They would not only have the skills for their personal reform, but the job experience as well to secure a job. A success story of the Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center and the Grandpa Chester Tower Hill Lounge.
What is the main product or service you will offer?
The aim of this proposal is to get the Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center and the Grandpa Chester Tower Hill Lounge off the ground. Two main services will be offered: academic support via the Tutoring Center and job placement via the Lounge. The first service is that of a riverside restaurant offering a unique riverside experience for tourists. Patrons will have the opportunity for fine dining in a scenic view as part of their Belizean experience. Inspired by Chaa Creek’s Maya Organic Farm, we also intend to have an eco-friendly garden and a carpentry shop; both staffed with students and alumni from the Tutoring Center. The Tutoring Center will provide the job training students will need to thrive in the Lounge.The Lounge will act as a launch pad for these persons to achieve financial independence and freedom. Current students of the Tutoring Center can work on weekends to earn extra cash, while full time employees would be the ones who had successfully completed the program. Having their sights on a job will act as added incentive for students to diligently pursue their studies since their sights would already be on the prize.
Briefly describe the community or population that will benefit from your solution and how do you plan to involve them in the project
Our project is intended to provide financial and academic empowerment to school drop-outs and the unemployed. The Elfreda Reyes Apprenticeship and Tutoring Center was inspired by not only our son, but by all students who ‘didn’t make it.’ Our aim is not to condemn these persons for their circumstances, but is intended to provide love and support for them to rise above the adversity. Our first order of business would be to develop a profile of each student referred to us or who walks through our door. We will interview them to determine how we can best assist them in meeting their needs. What level of education do they have? What line of work would they like to pursue? What are their interests? How do they intend to use the skills acquired from the Center? These are only some of the questions that would be asked to develop each student profile. Students will then be matched with mentors, all volunteers, who will help them to successfully navigate through the program. We already foresee that the first year or two of implementation will be times of constant modification, as we ensure that our program meets the needs of our students. The purpose of the Tutoring Program is to be as student-centered and student-driven as possible since the students will be the direct beneficiaries of its resources.
Does your proposal have a business model (i.e. strategy to generate revenue)? Please describe
Yes, we intend to ensure that our program is self-sufficient hence the reason for the symbiotic relationship between the Lounge and the Tutoring Center. The intent is that youths looking for a job will acquire the necessary job training from the Tutoring Center and then complete their practicum at the Lounge. The funds generated from the Lounge will sponsor the programs at the Tutoring Center; this means furnishing the Tutoring Center, paying the teacher-volunteers, paying for maintenance and upkeep of the Center etc. Employees will be recruited from the Tutoring Center so there is a steady pool of persons to employ. We are not sure what are all the required elements of a business model, but we hope that with your mentorship we will be able to meet all the requirements for a successful social enterprise.

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Successful vocational/adult training schools focus on skills that are growing in demand in the respective country/place. IT developer skills are highly sought after in Belize (and will be even more highly sought after in time, as the world continues to adopt technology). Consider having a module of development of IT skills (website, cybersecurity, data analysis, social media manager, etc.)
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7 months ago

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