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  • Don't Miss the Kappa Kappa Gamma Flower Sale THIS WEEKEND!

    The Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association of Champaign-Urbana's 52nd Annual Flower Sale starts tomorrow!!! We are so grateful that, for the second year in a row, the sale will be benefiting DREAAM!!! [Thank you, CU KKGs!] Get your flowers tomorrow, Friday, May 13th from 9am to 5pm or Saturday, May 14th from 9am to noon at Indian Acres (1 Arrow Road) in Champaign. Some of our DREAAMers will be there tomorrow afternoon and on Saturday to help assist customers! [NOTE: Please remember to bring either cash or checks, as credit and debit will not be accepted.] There is a wide array of planting flowers and herbs to choose from, as well as hanging baskets, patio gardens, and more! All the plants come from Ropps, a local nursery from in Mahomet and Gibson City. The plants are incredibly beautiful and healthy and long lasting! So, make sure to grab some for yourself this weekend! Hope to see you there!

  • Cheering on our DREAAM FundRACERS!!!

    After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Illinois (Marathon*) Race Weekend is here! DREAAM is one of the race weekend's Charity Running Partners, which means runners have the opportunity to give more meaning to their miles, training, and race(s) by raising money for a nonprofit organization. We are humbled to have three amazing people (& me : ) running for DREAAM today and tomorrow. If you're planning to be out on the course to cheer on the runners, be on the lookout for highlighter yellow shirts with the DREAAM logo on the front and cheer loudly!!! Let's meet the runners!!! Judi Geistlinger will be running the Mini I-Challenge: the 5K (3.1 miles) tonight and the 10K (6.2 miles) tomorrow. Judi first learned about DREAAM through First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, one of our first partners who stepped up with seed funding early on. [Thank you, First Pres!!!] In Judi's words: “I started "running" 10 years ago primarily at fundraiser races. I run for the swag, the people cheering, and the post-race banana! When DREAAM became part of a race I have run for the last several years, I jumped at the chance to support this wonderful cause. I was already planning to run the Illinois Marathon Weekend, but now I get to support this terrific work too. I am running with a purpose this year. I love DREAAM because it helps raise up young men, giving them the future my children had automatically due to our race, economic status and education. Supporting DREAAM financially is such a small thing to do, but if it can make a difference in one young man's life, the world will be a better place. And so many young men have the chance for success with the skills and community developed through DREAAM. I will be honored to wear a DREAAM shirt this weekend and support this wonderful cause.” Jake Watts will be running the Illinois Half Marathon (13.1 miles) tomorrow. He grew up on a farm in Rankin, IL and attended PBL High School in Paxton. After graduating from PBL, he studied Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and graduated in December of 2021. Since graduation, he has been working in the Moose functional genomics lab on campus as an hourly employee studying nitrate transport genes in corn. How cool is that!??! Jake hopes to attend graduate school in the fall to continue studying plant genetics. In Jake's words: "I run simply to stay active and elected to raise money for DREAAM because we share the belief that education is our greatest tool to end poverty cycles in the community and your organization takes action on that belief!” Caitlin Drake will be running the 10K on Saturday. Caitlin has been a longtime supporter of DREAAM and says, "I love a challenge so thought it would be a good time to train for the 10k and when I saw DREAAM was a charity partner, it was an easy decision to choose you guys. Love your program and the impact it has in our community." Caitlin's daughter, Mia, will be rocking the Youth Run tomorrow, as well! Thank you so much, Judi, Jake, and Caitlin, for running for DREAAM! All of us here at DREAAM are wishing you a phenomenal race! Know we are all cheering you on!!! You ROCK the DREAAM HOUSE!! Learn more about the Illinois Race Weekend at illinoismarathon.com. *The marathon is not a part of the races this year due to staffing and the amount of space the marathon would take up street-wise and time-wise.

  • DREAAM STRIVES FOR EXCELLENCE

    For the past few weeks, 10 DREAAM participants had the wonderful opportunity to take part in STRIVE, a program offered by the YWCA in Champaign. They not only enjoyed the personal interaction, but also gained worthwhile experience with technology that they are sure to use in future careers, as well as in their daily lives. STRIVE’s program offers free digital skills and workforce development using the Google suite of applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Keep, etc. In addition to learning tech, the STRIVE program offers peer mentoring and fellowship. On the first day of training, each DREAAM participant received a Chromebook, which they were able to keep upon completion of the program! Throughout the six-week course, specific topics were covered, including basic familiarity of computers, introduction to Google Workspace, and gaining confidence with technology. STRIVE and DREAAM are helping our participants gain beneficial skills to help them succeed! The next 6-week session will begin soon. If you're interested or know someone who could find this program helpful, please reach out to sam@dreaam.org.

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  • Dream Big! | DREAAM | Academic Achievement for Males | Champaign-Urbana, IL

    DREAM BIG! Our 4-Stage Program to Transform Boys and Young Men Dream Big! fills the opportunity gap by connecting boys and young men with low to no-cost learning and transformative experiences that cultivate college and career readiness skills, creativity, build social and emotional skills, and boost academic achievement. O U R A P P R O A C H ​ We promote a college-bound and career identity through a pipeline program, starting at the age of 3 until the age of 24. 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. ​ We offer programming at four levels to best serve our DREAAMers. Each program has a college-bound and career identity focus. Prevention and early intervention are key to developing social and emotional health. Each program offers transformative experiences, leadership training, mentoring, and forming positive relationships with caring adults. ​ Click the buttons to learn more about each program. ​ B E G I N N E R S Ages 3 - 5 years old A C H I E V E R S Ages 6 - 9 years old B E L I E V E R S Ages 10 - 13 years old C H A S E R S Ages 14 - 24 years old P R O G R A M S O F F E R E D B E G I N N E R S 3 - 5 years old Early childhood STEM education ​ Programs Offered: ​ Kindergarten readiness services Parental education and empowerment Parent-child connectedness ​ Programming projected to begin in February 2022. A C H I E V E R S 6 - 9 years old After school STEM education and enrichment ​ Programs Offered: Social emotional development Cultural and artistic activities Family engagement including family STEM nights B E L I E V E R S 10 - 13 years old ​ Programs Offered: Continuation of Achievers Program with additional programming Violence prevention and conflict resolution More emphasis on college and career identity and readiness C H A S E R S 14 - 24 years old Empowering and positioning youth voice as change agents Programs Offered: College and career experiences Youth employment Mentoring and life coaching Leadership development Civic engagement

  • Hope for the Future | DREAAM | Academic Achievement for Males | Champaign-Urbana, IL

    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. 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. 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! Read More > 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. Read More > 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. Read More > 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 .

  • News & Events | DREAAM | Academic Achievement for Males | Champaign-Urbana, IL

    Stay up-to-date with our newsletters and events ! No upcoming events at the moment F A M I L Y N E W S L E T T E R S A G E N C Y N E W S L E T T E R S Calendar of Events Newsletters Family Newsletters December 2021 Download PDF May 2020 Download PDF April 2020 Download PDF Agency Newsletters March 2022 Download PDF Summer 2021 Download PDF Fall 2020 Download PDF Summer 2020 Download PDF Spring 2020 Download PDF DREAAM's Summer 2021 programming captured some powerful moments! View some of those moments here!

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