Our Strategy: Learning Centers
Our vision is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or to be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, enabling them to live a life of choice. Each child will become an active citizen, committed to serving those less fortunate, and be an active friend of the environment.
Our Mission — What We Do to Bring that Vision to Reality
Our mission is to be a world class provider of international service-learning opportunities, providing a consistent and predict-able volunteer experience, surprising and delighting our volunteers with a powerful cultural experience and the ability to make a significant difference, resulting in a 100% enthusiasm rating - volunteers want to join us again and/or are willing to encourage their friends and family to join us. The cultural interchange (intercambio) is a significant outcome of our efforts.
Our Goal/Primary Aim
The Goal of Outreach360 is to transform individuals, families, communities, countries, and the world through the education and development of disadvantaged children. As we release the hero within these children, we release the hero within each person involved with Outreach360.
By the year 2030, 2500 children are enrolled in our 1st grade program. Over 200 children will be completing their Out-reach360 GED Training or Vocational Training, choosing to attend the university or be qualified for a skilled job. Over 50,000 international volunteers will be involved with Outreach360 each year. Outreach360 will be working in 10 countries, with a total of 30 Community Centers supporting 150 Learning Centers.
Outreach360 adopts specific disadvantaged neighborhoods. In each neighborhood we adopt, we will staff an Outreach360 Learning Center. The Learning Center will provide educational opportunities training from pre-school through high school.
Pre-school: Early Childhood Development Activities and Nutrition Program Grades 1-8: Literacy and English Grades 9-12: GED and Vocational Training
*All Levels will integrate Community Health, Environmental Education & Life Skills.
Learning Centers will be supported by an Outreach360 Volunteer Center. The Volunteer Center will be a larger facility than the Learning Center. Volunteers will be housed at the Volunteer Center, and specialized educational resources will be available at the Volunteer Center.
Sustainability and Community Involvement
Service and Skills: Each student will be required to serve other students in the program, with their time and skills. The parents of each student will also be expected and invited to serve the program, but the parent’s service will not be a requirement for the child to participate. Neighborhood residents will be given priority for permanent jobs, when qualified.Natural Resources
Each Outreach360 facility will promote caring for the environment, being sustainable in the areas or power, water, and food production.
Outreach360 is grass-roots volunteer organization. International volunteers and donors will provide the primary source of teaching and funds for new centers; transitioning to local teaching and funds as each center matures. Outreach360 is an opportunity for all people to volunteer and contribute—to Release the Hero Within.
Outreach360 Core Values
- Be Ethical and Operate with Integrity. Use good judgment to protect Outreach360’s good name; ensure transparent stewardship of Outreach360’s financial resources; communicate in a timely fashion clear standards and procedures for all processes; and deal fairly, truthfully, and constructively in all transactions with everyone associated with Outreach360.
- Treat People With Respect. Treat people fairly and with respect. Value and acknowledge people for who they are and the contribution they make. Create a community with all people associated with Outreach360. Go out of your way for others; care for each other. Be supportive of people on their journey through life. Respect people’s beliefs and differences. Trust people to make good decisions and to do the right thing. Be a team.
- Build Open and Honest Relationships through Communication. Communicate often, early, and openly. While communicating, embrace the Four Agreements of being impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, do not make assumptions, and do your best. Be willing to say what needs to be said; be willing to hear what needs to be heard. Listen intentionally. Trust, and be trustworthy. Support people in being their word.
- Prioritize Local Involvement and Opinions. Respect the communities where we work; pracice humility. Create programs based on information and feedback from local citizens. Employ local staff. Strive towards local ownership of effective and sustainable programs that serve specific and valuable purposes.
- Our Focus is Clear, Prioritized, and Limited. We strive to meet real needs with available resources. We can do anything, but not everything. We need to say no to some things outside our focus in order to meet and honor our commitments. We are a development organization, not a relief organization. Be Committed to Excellence and Continuous Improvement. Outreach360 is and will always be an organization that strives to be the best at what we do. We do our best given the resources we have and the situation we are in. We don't imagine a ime when we will be fully satisfied. We invest ourselves in our efforts to improve our services to beneficiaries and refine the experiences of our volunteers. We are constantly moving uphill - and we can't wait to see what's at the next level.
- Work with a Sense of Urgency. We are not content with what is—we are committed to what could be. We work to continually expand the number of volunteers and donors who join us, enabling us to serve additional children and families. We understand that our program is key to a life of choice for these children, and work intentionally to provide needed services.
- Pursue Personal Growth and Learning. Education and training is your best investment; coninually look to grow. Use the best tools available.
- Be Innovative and Embrace Change. Growth requires taking risks and making changes. Embrace thoughtful change; avoid reckless change. Celebrate both successes and failures. Think big.
- Strive Toward Simple and Sustainable. Work to keep things simple, to maximize sustainability. Be a good steward of all resources.
- Be Joyfully Passionate and Positive. Work hard, in a joyful and happy way. Be quick to smile and laugh; be positive with others and with yourself!
- Be Yourself. You are the only person just like you; share yourself and celebrate your differences. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Be proud of your beliefs; share them when appropriate.
- Surprise and Delight. Give people more than they expect; exceed expectations. Be open to receiving from everyone around you.
- Have Fun. Life is too short not to have fun. Let the child come out; have some fun and be playful. Be creative!
Outreach360 Ten Principles for Successful Volunteering
People usually sign up for an Outreach360 trip to make a difference. And you will make a huge difference during your trip and through your contribution of time and money to Outreach360. But there is also a lot available for you yourself to learn and gain from the trip. It's why volunteers often say they gained more from the trip than they gave.
To maximize the experience, we have assembled 10 principles. Please take some time to review these now. Your team leader in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua will discuss these with you during orientation, and refer to them throughout the week. Hopefully, you will view the world and yourself a little differently after your trip; reflecting on and embracing these principles will help you do that.
- Acknowledge Yourself Acknowledge yourself for the difference you are making. Very few people are willing to do what you have done; raise or donate funds, take a week or more of your time, give up other options you had for this time (skiing, the beach, work, etc)- to go to another country for the benefit of children in a community you don't know. And many of you had to overcome fears and obstacles; a different language, not knowing anyone, only knowing Outreach360 from the internet, parents concerns, etc. It's a big deal that you are here. Celebrate the difference you are making!
- You Are Outreach360 There is no big staff of Outreach360 doing work. Nothing happens without you; the majority of funds and labor come from the volunteers. You aren't here to "help" Outreach360, "you are" Outreach360.
- It's Not About You As generous as you are, sometimes your time here can become about you. "What difference am I going to make?" "How can I optimize the use of my time", "I can't speak the language", there's too much free time", "When will my donated items be used?" Focus on the big picture, the difference you are making as a group. Take the focus off of you, and enjoy the impact the kids are receiving. For example, reading a story to one of the little boys may not be the best utilization of your skill, but it means the world to the boy.
- This Is It Most of the time, Americans and Canadians are living in the future. Kids are waiting for high school, high-schoolers are waiting for college, college students are waiting to graduate and get a job, single people are waiting to get married, etc. etc. People don't live that way in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua; they live much more for each day. This is a unique opportunity to really live in the present and forget about worries at home, forget about tomorrow, quit thinking about what lasting impact you are having; just enjoy the present moment.
- Communicate Love It is not necessary to know Spanish to be involved with the kids and to make a difference. We've had many volunteers who spoke no Spanish make a huge difference with the kids and had a great time; we've had other volunteers fluent in Spanish get frustrated because of the unique Dominican or Nicaraguan words and expressions. The experience is totally what you make of it. No matter how much Spanish we know, we always wish we knew more. What you know is what you know, so make the best of it. Don't let your lack of Spanish be an excuse to not get involved.
- Poco a Poco (Little by Little) You can't change the world in a week. But, you can make a world of a difference in one or more of these kids lives. Don't be frustrated by the slow progress; great things happen little by little. Your contributions this week, along with those volunteers who came before you, and those volunteers who will come after you, are making a huge difference.
- Jump Right In You've got a short period of time here. Don't spend a day or two getting to know what is going on. Jump right in, be assertive, do what you came here to do. If you wait till you get it all figured out, your time will be over.
- Serve, Don't Help There is a subtle difference between serving and helping. We're here to serve, not to help. These are not poor, sick, helpless people who need our help. We're here to serve. We share our strengths and blessings with them, and they share their blessings with us. It's a two-way street.
- Be Flexible/Creative Living and working here requires flexibility and creativity. Practice it, enjoy it! You have all the skills you need to be effective and productive at the Learning Center.
- You Are Responsible The experience you have here is up to you and you need to take responsibility for your experience. Do not look to the team leader to make the experience for you. Use the team leader as a resource. Communicate with the team leader. They will support and facilitate your work. But you are ultimately responsible