Hope for the Future

DREAAMers are brilliant. They are resilient. They have hope, and they have a voice. By expanding our work to embrace new people and programs, we are challenging the dehumanizing spaces that tell people they don't matter.

- Tracy D. Dace, Founder of DREAAM

The Why

DREAAM has been dedicated to uplifting the academic achievement and well-being of Black boys and young men in Champaign County for more than five years. Every day, we witness firsthand the benefits of early intervention and prevention programs that create hope and opportunities for our amazing DREAAMers, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. 

 

However, gun violence continues to rise in our community. We have already lost too many young lives to cycles of violence, incarceration, and trauma that leave few families and neighborhoods untouched. 

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This is why, with years of grassroots program development and experience, DREAAM is moving into our next phase of impact - Hope for the Future (H4F).

Hope for the Future (H4F) is a community collaborative model for proactive violence prevention and to activate systemic change. It brings our community together to address inequities in the academic, physical, mental, and social health of kids who might be derailed by gang activity or other forms of violence and trauma, as well as their families.

Our early intervention, prevention, and wellness services complement existing community gun violence and trauma response efforts, many of which are focused on crisis intervention. Several community and University of Illinois partners will provide additional support, knowledge, and research to ensure that our programs are of the highest impact.

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Hope for the Future offers space, connection, and attention for children, young adults, and families of all backgrounds, and we offer a wide range of programs. Some programs have a special emphasis on Black boys, and many others are open to everyone. With DREAAM, there is Hope for the Future. As we support one another and build a healthier tomorrow, we will dedicate ourselves to preventing violence, ending school suspensions, and encouraging community wellness in Champaign County today.

The Strategy

More specifically, H4F executes a three-part, evidence-based strategy: (1) Wellness for All, (2) Hope for Boys, and (3) Black Family Wellness. These strategies build healthy, positive, and tight-knit communities that embrace cultural identity, provide healthy outlets for healing trauma, and create an overall sense of collective well-being.

Wellness for all

Wellness for All offers year-round, free enrichment programs for kids, their families, and their communities. These programs get families moving, build positive networks, and provide access to health and wellness resources, many through a lens of celebrating culture and connectedness.

 

Make sure to follow our social media for the latest on upcoming indoor soccer and drill teams, mental health and self-care workshops, cultural education opportunities, and more!

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HOPE FOR BOYS

Hope for Boys empowers middle school boys who are emerging leaders, yet might be derailed by the school-to-prison pipeline. Intensive mentoring and trauma-based counseling, life-skill development, and opportunities for physical activities allow boys to build positive relationships and to focus on their potential and mental health.

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black family wellness

Black Family Wellness supports the families of Black boys aged 3-6 who are experiencing social and emotional difficulties with wraparound support for mental wellness, behavioral health, and family resilience.

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We are grateful to the United Way of Champaign County, the City of Champaign, the Champaign County Mental Health Board, and donors for their generous support.

To learn more about how you can invest in a hopeful future for our community, please reach out to us at info@dreaam.org.