Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 12, 2005                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


New Organization to Empower Youth from Maryland to West Indies
Patsy Douglas’ Youth Empowerment Foundation announces web site launch and first fundraiser

Frederick, MD, August 12, 2005 The Patsy Douglas’ Youth Empowerment Foundation officially revealed their web site www.patsydouglas.org and announced their first fundraiser.  The foundation is a non-profit, faith-based organization established to enhance the lives of underprivileged youths, including pregnant teenagers, in Maryland, USA and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies.

The foundation works in collaboration with faith-based non-profit organizations, as well as government and private sector entities. Their mission is achieved through offering spiritual guidance, educational scholarships and financial childcare assistance.

According to President and Founder, Ann-Marie Lee-Wilkins, “we hope to be a bridge of hope to underprivileged youths in the world by providing them with opportunities and spiritual values to live independent and productive lives.”

Sister Patricia Ann Douglas, “Patsy,” to her family was a religious Sister with the St. Joseph of Cluny Congregation. She was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica and spent the last twenty-five years of her life serving the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Sister Pat died tragically in the Caribbean island of Barbados on May 20, 2005 in a motor vehicle accident.

She spent her religious life as an educator and high school principal educating children from all walks of life throughout the Caribbean islands of West Indies. Her last twenty five years was spent in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the high school Principal of St. Joseph Convent Marriaqua. Sister Pat was especially drawn to children who were considered unworthy, lost causes and underprivileged. She had the unique ability to beam her special light on children to bring about positive changes in their lives and to make them feel they were the only ones in the world who mattered to her.

Sister Pat believed in second chances.  She took in teenage prostitutes, academic failures, including pregnant teenagers who could not continue their education elsewhere and made both academic and social success out of them. Sr Pat was the first high school principal in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to give teenage mothers a chance to obtain an education. A pregnant high school teen in the Caribbean is forbidden to attend high school during or after pregnancy. The first teen mother was accepted in 1991. Later she built a home hostel with money raised in the USA and donations from St. Vincent Building & Loan Association. Now, spearheaded by Sister Pat, the first home for girls is being built in St. Vincent with funding provided by the Japanese government.

“Our ultimate goal as the Patsy Douglas’ Youth Empowerment Foundation is carrying forward her legacy throughout the world. We must start somewhere; I chose to begin in my second home Maryland and my birth home, St .Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Founder and President, Ann-Marie Lee-Wilkins.

The foundation’s first fundraiser, to be held in Maryland, will be a Bull and Shrimp Roast on Saturday, November 12, 2005 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Tiffany Catering, 3919 East Lombard Street,Baltimore, Maryland. Tickets are $40.00 – tax deductible. Contact (301) 257-7760.  Proceeds will benefit underprivileged youths and pregnant teenagers in Maryland, USA and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies.

For more information or interviews visit the Patsy Douglas’ Youth Empowerment Foundation website at www.patsydouglas.org and/or contact Carolyn Bailey, Vice President at 410-608-6667;  or Founder and President,  Ann-Marie Lee-Wilkins at (301) 257-7760; email annmarie@patsydouglas.org.