San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 20, 2019: The integrated service center Vimenti by Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico presented the results of its three program areas during the first semester of operation, as well as the impact of the center on the residents of the Ernesto Ramos Antonini Public Housing Complex.
Through its educational, social and economic development programs, Puerto Rico's first charter school concluded its first semester serving 57 Kindergarten and first grade students, and the 133 members of their families. The center also served 312 participantsbetween the ages of 5 to 21 during after-school hours, and 411 adults who participated in economic development and community impact programs.
Since it’s launch in August 2018, the center decreased the number of unemployed parents from 42 to 25 percent. A total of 52 adults participated in the employability program. The percentage of vulnerable families decreased from 36 to 29 percent. These are defined as families with intrafamilial situations living below the poverty level, which prevents them from having physical and emotional security.
"This project seeks to impact two generations: parents and their children, in order to break the generational cycle of poverty. The results that we present today show that, although we just started operations, the center is already beginning to bear fruit”, said Eduardo Carrera Morales, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico.
Likewise, the report revealed that 32% of Vimenti’s students have special education needs. The center staff found the necessary resources to ensure a high quality education for these children, including hiring a special education teacher.
In the first semester, Kindergarten and First grade students showed a 39% overall school proficiency performance. The goal is to achieve at least 70% of school proficiency. Vimenti students have also received health services such as psychometric evaluations and vision and hearing exams. Students who needed glasses received a pair to support their academic achievement.
Vimenti’s performance in other areas, such as the economic development programs, has been satisfactory as well. During the first semester, 52 youth and adults graduated from the employability program. Of these, 21 obtained a job within 30 to 60 days after graduation.
"In the area of economic development, we offer two main programs and the first is focused on adult development. These five-week workshops include topics such as customer service, hospitality and tourism, "explained Bárbara Rivera, director of Vimenti. "The second program, offered during after-school hours, focuses on business development for children and youth from 5 to 21 years old. Participants benefit from a custom-made comprehensive business education curriculum."
Since 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico has been planning and designing a comprehensive evidence-based service model to mitigate the effects of child poverty in Puerto Rico and to promote economic security for children and their families. The result of this unprecedented endeavor is Vimenti, which opened its first center at the Ernesto Ramos Antonini Public Housing Complex in San Juan in the summer of 2018. This center houses three main program areas: social development, education and economic development.
Vimenti is a comprehensive service center for the whole family offering education, social and economic development programs. Vimenti was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico as a two-generation service model to provide development opportunities and economic security for children, youth and adults as well as their parents as a whole. Located in the Ernesto Ramos Antonini Public Housing Complex in San Juan, Vimenti currently administers the first charter school in Puerto Rico, has an after school program for children and youth and a workforce development program for youth and adults in the hospitality, customer services and entrepreneurship fields.