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Organization Reaching for the Empowerment of Youth (OREY) started as a student-organized, alternative spring break volunteer trip with students from Pace University in March 2006 just seven months after New Orleans and its surrounding communities were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. This annual trip inspired Pace alum Rachel Chopra to create OREY, which was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2010.
OREY was created out of the strong desire among today's youth to volunteer in a devastated or impoverished communities. Many young people believe that the problems are too large to be changed by the actions of one individual or cannot figure out how they can help. OREY's goal is to motivate and empower young volunteers to realize that one person can make a difference. OREY's mission is to assist college students with the opportunity to focus their volunteer efforts on aiding the victims of natural disasters by providing appropriately chosen placements with local organizations within the devastated communities.