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dreamprogram.org The DREAM Program @DREAMprogram

The Village Mentoring Organization

Birchwood DREAM Quarterly Report March 2013 – May 2013 Greetings from DREAM! This spring held a lot of exciting events for Birchwood DREAM mentors and youth including Birchwood Beautification Day, the DREAM Teen Identity Retreat, and the Alumni welcoming for graduating mentors and youth. Please read below for more information about events and highlights for Birchwood DREAM this quarter.

Highlights from the quarter include: This year’s Iron Chef Competition at Champlain College was a huge success raising $920 to help support the Birchwood DREAM Program. The program was awarded a grant from the DREAM Alumni Organization to help cover the costs of Birchwood Beautification Day, an annual event held in the Birchwood community. DREAM mentors and youth helped out with Birchwood Beautification Day. This year’s projects included painting the community center, putting up pictures, and setting up a basketball hoop. Six Birchwood teens attended the Teen Identity Retreat hosted by the Vermont DREAM staff. Teens explored Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, discussed healthy relationships, and practiced hula hooping. Four Birchwood mentors were welcomed into DREAM’s Alumni Organization along with two DREAM teens. Birchwood DREAM youth are looking forward to this summer’s in-community programs run by DREAM intern, Julie Jacobs.

Fridays: Mentors and mentees spent the first Friday back from spring break participating in one-on-one activities and going to the Champlain College cafeteria. Champlain College staff competed against a team of DREAM mentors and youth during Champlain’s annual DREAM kickball tournament, which raises awareness and money for Birchwood DREAM. Mentor pairs explored Champlain College during one-on-one time. Teens and younger DREAM mentees split up for a Friday of activities. Teens played laser tag at Pizza Putt while the younger DREAM mentees went bowling. The mentors hosted a very successful community dinner for DREAM mentees and their families at the Birchwood Community Center. Mentees and mentors had a blast at the Spring Meltdown Carnival at Champlain College. Activities included a dunk tank and a bubble machine.

Special Events for Children and Mentors: Twenty-five teens attended DREAM’s annual Teen Identity Retreat in Burlington. This years retreat featured sessions on healthy relationships, a reflection on DREAM’s Theory of Change for older mentees, and a hula hooping tutorial lead by DREAM alumna, Nicole Stevenson. Birchwood mentors and mentees participated in Birchwood Beautification day on Saturday, April th 27 . This year, beautification projects included painting the community center, hanging pictures, and installing a basketball hoop. Every year the beautification day is held in conjunction with Vermont’s Green-up Day.

Office: 30 Community Drive, South Burlington, VT | Mail: P.O. Box 361, Winooski, VT 05404 │ (802) 338-8979 | info@dreamprogram.org


Capacity Building and Fundraising: Last quarter, Birchwood mentors volunteered at a very successful Iron Chef Competition at Champlain College. The event raised $920 to support Birchwood DREAM. DREAM mentors and youth competed against Champlain College staff in the annual DREAM Kickball Tournament. Champlain staff were encouraged to donate $10 in order to impose creative handicaps on their opponents in order to give their team an advantage. This year’s handicaps included: hopping on one foot to get the ball, fielding while holding hands with another player, and crab walking the bases. This year’s event raised $90 for Birchwood DREAM. This year, DREAM was honored as the beneficiary of The Clothes Exchange. The Clothes Exchange is an annual event that is dedicated to turning clothing into cash to benefit the community. TCE collects gently used and new apparel from generous retailers and then sells it at bargain prices. This year the event raised $8000 to support DREAM. A special thank you goes to all of the DREAM mentors, mentees, staff, board members, and volunteers who made the event a success. As DREAM looks toward expansion, we have undertaken efforts to codify our programs. Mike Foote, Director of Strategy and Growth, spearhead this work. This quarter, this codification work has moved into its second stage, which is creating training and orientation materials for new offices so that they can carry on the DREAM culture.

Camp: This quarter, Camp DREAM was once again happy to host volunteers from IBM through the United Way’s Days of Caring program. Volunteers worked on clearing trails, installing new trail signs, building an awning for the porch connected to our DREAM bus that has been converted into a kitchen, and sprucing up Camp’s drainage systems.

Alumni Involvement: This year DREAM’s Alumni Organization welcomed 73 new members from 11 local programs across Vermont and Massachusetts. Welcoming events were hosted for each Local Program to congratulate both mentees and mentors as they graduate from high school and college. Four Birchwood mentors and two Birchwood teens were inducted into the Alumni Organization this season. This year’s Teen Identity Retreat was a success due in part to all of the support from DREAM’s alumni volunteers: Paul Espina, Nicole Stevenson, Claudine Nkurinziza, and Susie Silva. A group of DREAM alumni are running in a RAGNAR relay race in West Virginia to support DREAM’s expansion efforts in Washington D.C.

Office: For this year’s DREAM sprinter retreat, Vermont staff headed down to the Boston Office. Discussion topics included incorporating Results Based Accountability, DREAM expansion, and redesigning DREAM annual mentor training event, DREAMstock. This quarter, Camp DREAM welcomed back Birchwood mentor, Matt Karkut as the Adventure Program Coordinator. This past May, DREAM hosted its first ever combined staff, alumni council, and board retreat at Camp DREAM. Discussion topics included incorporating Results Based Accountability, staff and board structure, and coordinating calendars for the upcoming year. The Vermont DREAM office recently participated in Unbridled Innovation Day, taking the full day off from regularly scheduled work tasks in order to research, interview, learn and explore the next frontier of DREAM growth. Among the questions we sought to answer were: how can DREAM reduce its carbon footprint without reducing its impact? Are car dealerships willing to help out a local nonprofit with its transportation costs? How do youth from affordable housing neighborhoods compare to other peer groups in terms of high school graduation rates? And, how does obesity affect the children and families in DREAM, both short- and long-term?


Vermont office staff had a very successful Adventure Teaching Day. Adventure Teaching Days are an opportunity to continue to grow, learn, and bond as an organization. The discussion topics included how to support mentee who are being bullied or bullying others and codifying orientation materials for future offices. Staff then headed down to the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center for an afternoon of sailing. This quarter DREAM launched its new database through Salesforce. This new platform will allow staff to more effectively monitor outcomes for DREAM youth as well as mentoring relationships and attendance at office lead events. Summer hiring for DREAM is wrapping up for the season with nearly all positions filled. In June, DREAM will welcome 16 summer interns who will organize in-community programs and 6 camp staff who will run summer camp programming. This quarter DREAM said goodbye to Boston Program Director Chad Butt. Chad has been a staple of the DREAM office for over 8 years and we wish him all the best in his new role as Executive Director of Mobius, a state-wide mentoring organization in Vermont. Thank you for your ongoing support of DREAM. If you would like additional or more detailed information, please contact me by email or by phone. You can always look back at past reports or other programs’ reports by going to: http://dreamprogram.org/mentor-program/vermont/local-program-reports.

DREAM big, Britt Wedenoja Program Empowerment VISTA Britt@dreamprogram.org 802.338.8979

The DREAM Program, Birchwood, Quarter 3, 2012-2013  

Local Program Quarterly Report

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