dream big!

Dream Big! fills the opportunity gap by connecting boys and young men with low- and no-cost learning and transformative experiences that cultivate college and career readiness skills, creativity, build social and emotional skills and boost academic achievement.

The program is impact driven — our solution to raising expectations and developing essential life skills to increase life opportunities for boys and young men. By recognizing that learning happens across the life span, this program addresses broad challenges in our community from kindergarten readiness to social emotional wellness to workforce access for disconnected youth. Dream Big! creates and engages a countywide network of out of school learning experiences that help boys and young men discover new interests, develop skills and create pathways to future success.


How We Do It

We promote a college-bound and career identity starting at the age of 5. 


We create a counter space that empowers DREAAMers for life success through a college & career readiness program focused on literacy, STEM, creativity, and solution-thinking.


We value a trauma-informed approach.  With this approach, the staff and volunteers are proactive, encouraging behaviors that promote learning.


We encourage movement, respect, work ethic, leadership, recognition of others, community, and positive brotherhood.  


Who We Serve

Boys and young men ages 5 – 24 in Champaign County, especially those living in areas with little or no positive youth development activities

Where We Serve

Champaign Location:  University Place Church

Monday – Friday 

Urbana Location:  CU Church 


Rantoul Location:  Northview Elementary School

Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Who Are Our Partners

Dream Big! is a broad community impact initiative funded and supported by more than 20 partner organizations including:

  • city, county, and state agencies

  • local school districts

  • colleges 

  • churches  

  • businesses

  • community organizations

  • education, arts, cultural and youth organizations

  • generous donors