Our Promise Youth Academy is now under the dedicated leadership of Johnny Trevino. Johnny took over the position when Ernesto Elizardo, who had been the Director for many, many years, left to pursue other opportunities.
Johnny is no stranger to the task. He worked at OPYA in 2017.
Johnny is a 2016 graduate of Brownfield High School. He attended South Plains College and New Mexico Junior College. He has three children of his own.
“I absolutely love spending time with kids,” Johnny stated when asked what drew him back to OPYA. “I have a passion for making a difference in their lives and this is a great position in which to make a difference.”
Johnny also umpires baseball and has really learned more about dealing with kiddos through his experiences behind the plate. “You have to have patience and understanding but also the firmness to make the rules stand.”
Johnny has a vision of growth for OPYA. “I would love to see us expand, maybe even add a new building on our property. I want our membership to grow. I want to see us more involved in the community and the community more involved with us.”
Right now, OPYA has 32 kids enrolled and coming regularly. But the center can handle up to 60 during the school year. The hours during the school year are from 3:30 – 6 p.m. and it costs a grand total of $20 to enroll your child for the entire school year.
In the Summer, Johnny hopes to add two more staff members and be able to handle up to 90 kids. The cost for the all day program for the summer is again, only $20 for each child. The summer hours are from 7:45 a.m. – 6 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be served in the summer. The meals come from the South Plains Food Bank and are free to all the kids.
During the school year, homework help is offered daily, along with supper, which is served from 4:30 – 5 p.m. There are also plenty of games indoors and out, when weather permits. The OPYA has a brand new fenced in basketball court that has seen plenty of action already.
“I would like to have more volunteers come and teach crafts or sports to the kids. We have lots of kids that are eager to learn new things,” stated Johnny.
Johnny is also hoping for the opportunity to have more field trips for the kids this summer. “We want to take them places they might not have been. Let them have new experiences and learn, and of course have fun,” stated Johnny.
With all these plans and ideas, there is a cost. This is where you come in. The needs at OPYA are many. They always need more sports balls and sports equipment. There is also a great need for prepackaged snacks and bottles of water. “These kids work hard and play hard. They are hungry and thirsty. We want to always have something for them,” stated Johnny.
Donations of money are certainly gladly accepted and certainly needed. OPYA is in the middle of their fund raising campaign and will welcome your donations. If you would like to mail a check, you can mail it to OPYA at 301 East Broadway. Or you can drop it by during their regular hours.
OPYA has plans to sponsor a big Corn Hole Tournament this summer, so keep your eye out for that fun event. TownTalk Media will have information on this as soon as it is available.
If you have a talent you would like to share with the kids, whether it be playing an instrument you would like to teach others, a craft project, or a sports skill, contact Johnny and visit about what you might could offer these kids.
As mentioned, Johnny is looking for two staff members for the summer. If you are a college student home for the summer and looking for a way to make a little extra money, and make a difference in the life of a kiddo, contact Johnny.
Johnny said that one of their first priorities daily is to make sure their kids are safe. Staff are thoroughly checked out before being hired. They are trained to watch out for certain things with the kids and pay attention for signs of abuse or or mental health issues that need to be addressed.
As far as health goes, masks are now optional for the kids but employees will be wearing masks. The facility is deep cleaned every evening after the kids leave. Everything is sprayed down twice a day. Social distancing is encouraged, but pretty difficult when dealing with kiddos just getting out of school. “We do the best we can with them, while still letting them have fun,” stated Johnny.
Johnny truly has a heart for these kids. “I love this place. I know what a great place it is for kids. I want to see it grow and I want to encourage growth in the kids we serve. We try to be a big brother or big sister that the kids feel comfortable sharing with and confiding in. If we see or hear something that is not as it should be, we contact Juvenile Probation Officer and President of the Terry County Child Welfare Board,Karina Stults and let her come and check out the situation and see if something needs to be addressed within the family. We really do have a great situation here.”
It appears that OPYA is in great and caring hands with Johnny Trevino. He does have a heart that wants to serve the kids. Terry County is blessed to have Johnny caring for these kids.
If you can help in any way, or have any other questions, please contact OPYA at 806 523-9249 or at 301 East Broadway.