About Us - The Burchell Youth Development Foundation
It was at my grandmother's knee that I first learned about my 4th great grandfather, Thomas Burchell, and his work to evangelize and educate the slave population of Jamaica in the early 19th century. She herself was born in Jamaica, and lived there as a child, the daughter of a Baptist minister. And she was determined to pass on Thomas Burchell's legacy to her grandchildren.
My family visited the Burchell Memorial Baptist Church in Montego Bay in 2012, and were deeply moved. After returning home, I established a relationship with the Pastor, Rev. Davewin Thomas, who I'm now honored to call my friend. In the summer of 2014, Rev. Thomas and I decided to focus our resources on education, and established a scholarship program for deserving young people in the Church.
After the first scholarships were awarded, I was determined to expand the program, and empower more children to continue their studies. As I spoke to family and friends about my plan, I was amazed at the encouragement and offers of help I received. Energized by their support, and guided by the Holy Spirit, in March, 2015 we formed The Burchell Youth Development Foundation, a faith based, Christian 501(c)3 corporation, enabling us to greatly expand the support we can provide.
The Foundation provides educational and spiritual support to Jamaican students of multiple Christian denominations, doing our best to answer the call we Christians share, to care for those less fortunate than us. In 2017 we will not only expand the scholarship program once again, but also offer tutoring programs and support for the Hart Street Community Transformation program. We'll also use the work of the Foundation to encourage conversations between Christian churches, celebrating how much we have in common.
In addition to my family, I've been blessed with strong and diverse membership on the Foundation's Board of Directors and external advisors. We have support from a variety of Christian traditions, including Baptist and Catholic Board members, and people with strong organizational skills, from both for profit and non profit backgrounds. This diversity ensures your donations will be handled both prayerfully and efficiently, getting the most benefit from each dollar.
Thank you for considering a donation to help these Christian kids who are so deserving, and in need of a helping hand. Whether you decide to give or not, please say a short prayer - right now - for the young people we support, their families, our partner Churches, and our efforts to support them.
Founder & President
The Burchell Youth Development Foundation