Elinabel has been involved with Bridges to Community’s youth program in the Dominican Republic since the idea of the youth center came into existence. As a youth in Derrumbadero, she helped to fill the plastic bottles with sand alongside international volunteers who came to work on the construction of the Youth Center.
Elinabel has also participated in our youth programs. On the youth committee, she served on separate occasions as secretary and president. When the Youth Center was first opened, as part of the youth committee, Elinabel was responsible for opening and running it on select days before a Youth Center Director began. Of her involvement in the Youth Center, Elinabel says, “Because of Bridges, I have been able to figure out that what I like to do is help people, and I have been able to work to help others. I have also been able to meet people with big hearts who motivate me to be a better person and help my neighbors. The Youth Center has helped young people in my community to become better people and formalize our goals for the future through motivational talks and other youth leadership that was desperately needed in this community.”
Currently, Elinabel helps gives arts and craft class in the Youth Center, tutors children and helps with homework in the center, and recently spearheaded the creation of a female volleyball team, motivating the other youth to participate as captain and organizer of the group. She says, “I like to motivate the youth to do things they truly like and to continue their studies so that, in the future, they can pass it on and help others.”
Now 21 years old, Elinabel studies Education in university. She chose this major, she says, “to help other youth to have a clearer idea of what they want in the future and how to get there. With this major, I can help intervene in the lives of youth through talks and workshops, and have even started to do this in a few cases in my community.” As a young person herself, Elinabel’s goals are to “finish university, work and help my community. In the future, I want to do a masters in Psychology to help those children and people who have problems in my community.”
Happy International Women’s Day!