We love Destin's story, and we just had to share it with you! Destin Lembelembe started working for DREAAM about a year and a half ago, in February of 2021. Last fall, he took part in DREAAM's 5-10-15-20 Program, which included 5 eligible participants who participated in a 10-week program and received 15 hours of life skill training per week and were assigned with life coaches to help them along the way. In addition, 20 hours per week were reserved for employment or volunteering services that would eventually work towards employment. [Participants then decided to pursue further education including completing a GED, applying for college, trade school, or obtaining a full-time job. The aim was to promote personal and professional development. Life skills included finance literacy, mental health, physical health, nutrition, preparing for job search, job application process, resume writing, mock interviews, communication skills, etc.]
Destin is always wanting to help others and has grown so much as a person, an employee, and a DREAAMer. He has been an integral part of our team. We look forward to seeing this young gentleman make strides here in Champaign County and beyond! He's well on his way! Read more about Destin in our interview below.
Please tell us about you! Where are you from? How long have you lived here in Champaign? I am from Africa–The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I have been living in Champaign-Urbana for about 7 years now.
What's your favorite food?
Fufu and chicken
Please explain your experience with DREAAM. How did you learn about DREAAM?
I learned about DREAAM through my church, First Presbyterian - Champaign. And that’s the only way I learned about DREAAM. Mr. Tracy Dace spoked about DREAAM during a Sunday service. Once I heard about it, I was interested and I wanted to be a part of it but I couldn’t because I did not know if they wanted younger employees. But one day I was looking for a job and I remembered Mr. Tracy. After visiting with him, he offered me a position with DREAAM; I got so excited and I immediately accepted the offer and have been with DREAAM ever since. I stuck with it.
DREAAM–it’s an organization that builds you up as a young man, all the way up to an adult. I am forever grateful. Awhile after I started working with DREAAM, I heard about this 5-10-15-20 program. I took the class. The class taught me about money management, bills wise, banking, eating healthier, how to be a successful young man living on my own, etc… I learned so much and am so grateful.
What has been your favorite experience with DREAAM?
My favorite part about DREAAM is that we are all family. We strive to help the youth and we are not ashamed to share our personal problems, feelings. Because when we do so, there’s always a solution on the situation or the problem. We're all there for each other.
Where are you working now and how did you get there?
I am still with DREAAM through the month of July. I have a life coach who has been keeping me going and has motivated me not to give up fast. Thanks to DREAAM and all I've learned, I will be moving on to be a teacher at Bradley Learning Center, an Early Childhood Education Center, in Urbana.