The World is Your Oyster (TWIYO; pronounced twee-yo) is on a mission to broaden the horizons of inner city youth through culture, travel, and experiences.
We work with youth to provide leadership development and opportunities that allow youth to see themselves, their communities, and the world differently. Based in Brooklyn, we partner with schools to offer our Experiential Learning Program which encompasses each aspect of our mission in our own Experiential 360 program model. Our Experiential 360 model encompasses the following components: leadership development, culture, travel, civic engagement and service.
Through our use of the Aspira Leadership Development curriculum, we encourage development of character using project-based learning and youth-centered discussions. We encourage and hone soft-skills such as public speaking, confidence, research, critical thinking, self-reflection, and accountability.
TWIYO students host their own youth-led events, perform research and a host of other activities to exercise leadership. We believe that if given the opportunity, youth always rise to the occasion while increasing their exposure to skills that will serve them in life. It is our aim to allow students to see themselves differently. In the words of former President James Buchanan "The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to ellicit it, for the greatness is already there."
The belief that exposure and experiences changes lives is partially accomplished through our cultural outings and travel around the city. Our presence in one of the greatest cultural capitals of the world allows us to bring youth to different events, restaurants, and activities throughout New York City. We believe in the words of Author Paulo Coelho when he says "Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and pilitical barriers."
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & SERVICE
TWIYO uses Washington Public Service Corps' Roadmap to Civic Engagement to teach the importance of community engagement. We engage youth in understanding their communities through the creation of community asset maps, youth-centric discussions, and research on how local governments work. Through this work, students learn to see their communities differently.
YOUTH VOLUNTEER CORPS
TWIYO is an affiliate of the national Youth Volunteer Corps and provides a Summer Service program to youth city-wide. Youth from ages 14-21 participate in projects over the course of the summer to give back, and truly experience Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's belief that "Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve."
Oliver Wendell Holmes said: "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."
Each year, TWIYO embarks on a trip to Martha's Vineyard in collaboration with Battle in the Bluffs. Martha's Vineyard is a chance for youth to experience travel outside of the hometowns and to visit a destination typically regarded as a place fopr the affluent. Youth participate in activities they would otherwise not have the chance, network with other youth, and prior to departure research the culture and history of the island.
Martha's Vineyard is the first destination in the Beyond BK Trek travel program, but we are excited to grow and incorporate more domestic and eventually international destinations as our oganization grows in capacity and reach.