In 1988, Bruce Main founded UrbanPromise Camden. Since then, the UrbanPromise model has inspired many leaders like Jamie Echegoyen to empower children and youth around the world.
In 2010, Jamie Echegoyen learned about UrbanPromise Camden through a service opportunity at her college. She felt compelled to become part of something bigger than herself and continued to stay involved. Jamie served alongside the Camden community as an intern for two years.
After her time with UrbanPromise Camden, Jamie made her way down further south to serve with UrbanPromise Honduras. While finishing her university degree, Jamie could not resist the opportunity of returning to Honduras during the summers, doing so for three consecutive years.
In 2012, she decided to intern at UrbanPromise Honduras and fell in love with their model in youth leadership. She realized that the youth of UrbanPromise Honduras were the essential piece to running dynamic and fruitful programs. At UrbanPromise Honduras she learned that she was not only empowering youth to lead and to become agents of change in their own communities but that she was also being empowered by them; they were also teaching her to lead.
Growing up in the United States with two Central American parents, Jamie enjoyed the beauty of being both Latin American and American. In college, she realized she knew less about her Latin American roots and knew more of her American identity. Having that realization, Jamie felt eager to learn more about her Latin American roots and decided to go to Honduras. Jamie's fascination with Mayan culture and having the opportunity to serve and learn from Honduran nationals also attracted her to UrbanPromise Honduras.
In 2014, Jamie began to dream and develop the vision for UrbanPromise Dominican Republic. She committed one year to participate in the UrbanPromise International Fellowship, with the purpose of learning best practices to launch a sustainable youth ministry. After sharing her vision with Bruce Main and the UrbanPromise International Board, UrbanPromise Dominican Republic launched their first summer pilot program in summer 2016.
Jamie sees a deep need for reconciliation in our world. Not only to God but with one another. Her hope is for Dominicans and Haitian-Dominicans to embrace the beauty in diversity in their country. She believes that Dominican Republic's young people can model God's love for humanity. Reconciliation has to start small. Small acts of kindness, love, and forgiveness can leave a profound impact. Why wait? Let's create a world we want to live in today!