Here it is! After months of hard work and defying challenges, we were finally able to open the doors of our new Youth Center. But how did this come about?

After carrying out the first few InspireDR activities in 2015, we quickly realized there was a real need for this type of center in Cabarete. We were just starting out, but parents in the community constantly asked us how they could enroll their child.

So, we decided to take action.

We signed a 5-year lease-to-purchase agreement for a property located in Callejon de la Loma. We chose this place for multiple reasons: Callejon is where the majority of the boys live; it’s close to a multi-purpose field (baseball, soccer, etc.); there’s less traffic noise than current location (better learning experience!); and, it includes a swimming pool which fits into many of the InspireDR program activities.

The place, however, was a bit of a fixer-upper. Ok, a lot of a fixer-upper.

Some of the more significant renovation tasks were electrical wiring, installing doors and windows, plumbing fixtures, building an entire second level with roof, and purchasing operating furniture/equipment.

We knew we couldn’t do it alone, so we started spreading the word and little by little, got ALL the help we needed.

In March, we launched a crowd-funding campaign with the help of Crowdrise, Kristen Bell and Universal Studios. The CrowdRise campaign included the InspireDR ‘Child’s Play’ video with voiceover by Kristen Bell.

The campaign offered a double date with Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard at the premiere of the new comedy “The Boss” and hoped to raise at least $30k for the renovation of the new youth center. Not only did we reach our goal, we went well past it. Allowing us to have operating costs for the year 2016 and thus provide high-quality educational opportunities to all the boys on our waiting list.

Thank you to all of those that lent us a hand through donations, hard labor and advice to make this possible. Thank you to CASIRA for their super group of staff and volunteers.

Thank you to Adrien, Alexis, (Edward & Neudy), Edu Mendez, Bernard, Marlin, Marta, Joseph Voccola, Yoel Blondin, Woody Dol, Jochy, Martin, Peter, Stefanie, Marlene, Shelley and the super cool crew from Alberta, and of course Director, Yann, and everyone else that helped w/ renovations.

Thank you also to our great team of craftsmen (Miguel, Johnny, Jose, Nacicio, Samuel, Sandi, Segundo, and Tito).

The finishing touches to the youth center fell on rainy days. Daily showers during the month of April and early May kept us from saying, “it’s ready!” until now. But guess what?

IT’S READY! We are now enrolling new students in a more appropriate place, where the boys have space to learn, grow and get inspired.

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