From its inception in 2016, the United Academy program has faced a number of challenges, starting with hurricane Irma in 2017, which completely destroyed the SoIL building, home of the United Academy. With great efforts and much sacrifice, the United Academy was formally relaunched in June 2019 at the end of the Piper Davis Baseball Caribbean Invitational (co-hosted by United Academy), and the SoIL café reopened in August. Barely up and running a few months, the establishment faced another major challenge, namely COVID-19, and is currently in danger closing altogether.
How You Can Help and What You Get in Return
A number of you have asked how you can help. Well, we are trying to raise US$ 20,000.00 to reopen on August 1, 2020, and you can help by purchasing one of the following packages.
- Package 1, 100$: one-year SoIL membership plus a book from House of Nehesi Publishers
- Package 2, 250$: two-year SoIL membership plus two books from House of Nehesi Publishers
- Package 3, 500$: five-year SoIL membership plus four books from House of Nehesi Publishers
- Package 4, 500$: gives a student (five-month) scholarship at United Academy.
All membership packages receive 10% off all items in the book cafe, as well as free access to events hosted by SoIL.
Our Products and Services
The BookEd @ SoIL café serves a wide variety of coffees, pastries, and other goodies to the general public. Our goal is to continue to provide the same level of quality, service, personal attention, and knowledge that traditional operators of book cafés provide internationally. We also host a lending library, and patrons are engaged through activities such as book clubs, book launches and readings, lectures, writing workshops, panel presentations, and other public forums.
The Zone Youth Café
The Zone youth café is a place where young people from all backgrounds can find a voice and a forum to express their creativity in music, the arts, sports, public speaking, and other media and is open daily between 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Students are also able to receive academic support in the form of tutoring, assistance with research and projects, and other areas related to their school subjects, while interacting positively with their peers and the rest of their community.
Computer and Meeting Room
Another feature of SoIL is the computer and development center that is accessible to members and the general public.
SoIL rents space to individuals, groups, and organizations to host their events and activities.
SoIL also houses the United Academy, offering alternative education and academic support to students in other programs. The primary objective of the United Academy program is to introduce youngsters, especially underserved youth, to sports and to identify, train, and nurture talented students who might want to become collegiate or professional athletes.
In our short time of operation, and despite the challenges, we have managed to provide opportunities for two students to play baseball at colleges in the USA, and we currently have three students in the program that have been identified by college scouts as potential candidates for their school’s teams.
When you partner with SoIL and United Academy, your contribution goes directly to the work we’re doing, and our (outstanding) expenses consist mostly of rent, utility bills and the wages due to our staff and community leaders.
Thank you in advance for your support. You can’t imagine what it means to us and especially the youngsters we serve.
If you know someone who would be interested in supporting or participating in any of the events and programs we run, feel free to introduce them to us. You can find more about us and some of the work we do on the pages at the following links: