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ST CROIX — One of St. Croix’s most rewarding nonprofits is celebrating its 10th year in service to the community! Incorporated on January 24, 2014, Project Promise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to nurturing the potential of young individuals in the territory. Founder & Executive Director Resa O’Reilly’s decade-long work with the area’s youth unveiled a strong need for a holistic program that would address many of the challenges that the island’s at-risk youth face. Like many communities around the world, the U.S. Virgin Islands has challenges that include economic disparities, educational gaps, and social issues. With her motivation and desire to make a difference in her community, O’Reilly launched Project Promise. With a Board of Directors, she created an organization that combines one-on-one mentoring with an educational, cultural, and vocational focus to safeguard a brighter future for at-risk youth in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment. Today, Project Promise stands as a testament to resilience, offering a wide range of programs and initiatives tailored to address these pressing concerns. Their goal is to identify the youth within the community who are experiencing adolescent hardships and may have a rough transition into adulthood.

Project Promise centers its programs around 7 programming pillars: personal wellness, financial literacy, career exploration, creative expression, cultural awareness, community service, and life skills. At the heart of Project Promise is the organization’s belief in the power of education. Through academic enrichment programs, tutoring sessions, and scholarship opportunities, the organization equips young minds with the tools they need to excel academically and pursue their aspirations. In addition to its focus on academics, Project Promise understands the importance of holistic development. Their flagship program, the Caterpillar Project, is a long-term program designed to make a significant difference in the lives of at-risk youth in St. Croix. The program includes mentoring, life skills workshops, community service, and counseling services to foster emotional well-being and personal growth among participants. Their newest program, Empowered Me, is a holistic enrichment program for young adults ages 10 to 18 that will equip them with the tools and attitudes they need to be winners in life with classes and activities centered around the program’s pillars. Other programs include:
The Buck Island Program, which offers every public school fifth-grade student the opportunity to visit and learn about the Buck Island Reef National Monument.

The Open Outdoors for Kids Program, which offers every public school fourth-grade student the opportunity to visit and learn about the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.
Throughout the year, Project Promise hosts various fundraisers to support its mission. The largest is the Havana Nights Silent Auction Fundraiser, held every February. Here attendees indulge in the sights and sounds of Cuba, including vintage cars, live cigar-rolling demonstrations, a domino tournament, salsa dancing, and delicious Cuban food. The grand prize of a roundtrip ticket to Cuba for two makes the event even more irresistible!

To learn more about Project Promise and the organization’s amazing impact on St. Croix’s underserved youth, visit their website at

Written by Anquanette Gaspard