Jamaican Advantage thru Sports for Youth (JASY)

JASY was formed in October 2006 as a charitable Mission Outreach and Youth Ministry program by the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, NY and St. Patrick's Foundation in Kingston, Jamaica for the benefit of underprivileged children in Kingston, Jamaica.

Youth Ministry volunteers from First Presbyterian Church and St. John Fisher College in Rochester plan and coordinate annual JASY Sports Training Camp activities under the guidance of professionally trained and certified volunteer Sports Program Directors. Each day is themed (Joy, Gratitude, Faith, Teamwork, Finish Line), with each venue placing an emphasis on the theme of the day. Campers hear a biblical message related to the theme each day in Olympic Village. JASY campers also learn teamwork and community in Caribbean Games (team-themed gym games) and in the football (soccer) venues. Swim lessons help to teach the campers to have faith in themselves and others.

JASY Camp participation has also become an integral part of the youth ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford. Many senior high and college aged youth have participated multiple times. Here is what some of them had to say about the experience.

JASY has impacted my life in several ways. First and foremost, it showed me (and pardon the cliché) how the other half lives. There is one moment that sticks out in my mind. One day we were doing an activity in Olympic village with the kids. We were going around saying what we were thankful for. Almost every single child (who were preteens-16) said that they were thankful for life. It really opens your eyes that people with so little can be so happy and so thankful in life. I try to implement that attitude that those kids showed in my every day life...This mission trip has an impact on the teenagers’ lives like no other mission trip can...As much as it impacts the volunteers, it impacts the campers even more. The best example of this comes outside of JASY camp. One day, a JASY camper was walking through a neighborhood that he probably shouldn’t have been in. A rival gang member saw him and pointed a gun in his face. Another JASY camper happened to be nea by and called off the man by saying “no he is ok he went to JASY camp with me.” Above all, JASY is able to bring the youth and congregation together through a mutual desire of serving Jesus.
— Taylor F.
Living in Pittsford, it’s easy to take things for granted. Parents, teachers, and mentors all preach open-mindedness, and I think most people strive to accomplish that, but you can’t be open-minded without knowing the things to which you’re opening your mind. That was what JASY did for me. I learned that there are people with nothing who are completely happy, that there are people who deal with tragedies that I could never imagine, and that pretty much everything I have is due to the circumstances I was born into. I knew all of this before in theory, but it didn’t affect how I lived my life because I didn’t have any personal stake in it. JASY changed this, and I now think about these things daily.
— Nathaniel K.

In 2009 JASY received recognition and endorsement from the Office of the Prime Minister as a key program supporting the efforts of the Jamaica National Transformation Programme.
JASY is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Charitable Organization. JASY is a registered Charitable Organization with the Office of NY Attorney General. Registration #40-66-09.