Project Strong was established in 1998 by educator and former headmaster George Washington “Washie” Archibald, in response to the teenage crime wave in Basseterre. Today, Project Strong has blossomed and provides youth with a chance to learn new skills and regain positive self-esteem.
Mr. Dale Phipps, Director of Project Strong, visited the Rotary Club of Liamuiga’s regular breakfast meeting last week and updated members on the status of the institution.
“At Project Strong, we aim to assist marginalized youth to gain positive attitudes and aptitudes in order to make them better, more productive citizens,” said Mr. Phipps. “We believe that upon leaving Project Strong they should be able to build lives that are self-sufficient and profitable.”
Mr. Phipps noted that skills training combined with instilling positive attitudes are at the core of the institution’s mandate to empower their students.
Ms. Colleen Hendrickson, an instructor and former student of Project Strong, also gave her impressions of the institution.
“Project Strong was a great experience for me as a student. I was able to learn various skills and I transformed my once negative attitude in a positive one,” said Ms. Hendrickson.
“I owe a lot to Mr. Washie as well. He encouraged me to do better and to become an instructor for Project Strong because he saw my leadership ability and a great attitude for learning.”
Mr. Phipps stated that the institution could do much more for the 21 students currently enrolled. He emphasized that more financial and in-kind support is needed and welcomed by the institution.
Mr. Phipps thanked the Rotary Club of Liamuiga for their continued support and interest in the advancement of Project Strong.
The skill areas offered currently are Bee-Keeping, Fish-Pot Making, Dressmaking/Tailoring, Upholstery, Basketry, Woodwork and Pastry Making/Baking. Along with these skills, Consumer Mathematics, Communication Studies, Information Technology Sports and Life Skills are taught.