The Blue Wagon Alumni Newsletter – February 2013
Inside This Issue Amuse Bouche & Announcements DREAM Named Citizens Bank’s Champion in Action Congratulations to Alumni Scholarship Winners Winter Programming Updates DREAM Dopplegangers
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AMUSE BOUCHE By Adam Goldfarb, Alumni Council President Hey Fellow DREAMers! My favorite Muppet is Sam the Eagle. That's not true. My favorite Muppet is Rizzo the Rat. My second-favorite Muppet is Sam the Eagle, and that's because he understands the Value of Moral Responsibility and is Willing to Serve when Called Upon. He might as well be the DREAM mascot. Last night, I dreamed that Sam the Eagle was on the DREAM Alumni Council. I was very tired. I woke up to find instead that the DREAM Alumni Council is stocked by some fantastically able folks-- folks who, I am very sad to say, have to leave the AC soon, as their terms are up. DREAM Alumni, you have the opportunity to do your best Sam the Eagle impression and volunteer for the DREAM Alumni Council! We have the following positions opening up: Connection Initiative Head: keep alumni CONNECTED to their programs! Community Initiative Head: foster an active Alumni COMMUNITY network! Knowledge Initiative Head: tap into the KNOWLEDGE of Alumni for the benefit of DREAM! Constitution Keeper (elected-- nominate yourself or someone else!): maintain order and help guide the direction of the Alumni Council! We would love to see some newly graduating or graduated DREAM Alumni join us on the council. Please don't let my Muppet references drive you away. If you are interested in ANY of these positions, please let me know! I may be contacting a few of you anyway since I can sense that you're strongly considering it, so just reach out at the email address below. Honor your duty... to DREAM, Adam Goldfarb DREAM Alumni Council Prez email@example.com
ANNOUNCEMENTS 1. At the end of last month we announced that Chad Butt had received the Ignite Award from the Mass Mentoring Partnership, given as part of January’s National Mentoring Month. As part of the award ceremony, Synda Maham has produced a great profile of Chad and all of the wonderful things he has done for the children of Vermont and Massachusetts. To read the full profile, please check out: http://massmentoring.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-dream-ofdream-a-mentoring-program-grounded-in-reality/
Chad Butt being typical Chad Butt…
2. On a similar note, DREAM’s wonderful Executive Director, Mike Loner, was featured earlier this month in the Vermont newspaper The Citizen. The profile piece details Mike’s long involvement in the program and some of his thoughts about where DREAM is going in the future. For the full read, you can find the article online at: http://www.thecitizenvt.com/?p=15630.
DREAM named Citizens Bank’s 2013 Champion in Action By Rachel Lieberman, Boston Regional On Thursday, Citizens Bank and NECN today named the DREAM Program as their first 2013 Champion in Action in the category of strengthening communities. DREAM will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for DREAM's work in the Boston area. “This award will help the DREAM Program continue to deliver positive outcomes for children in underserved communities through mentoring relationships, team building, and community development,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “DREAM helps children realize their potential by offering creative and fun mentoring programs that get the children excited to learn and grow.“ “NECN is proud to recognize the DREAM Program for its efforts to provide the social capital and self-confidence needed to help children understand their options, achieve financial success, and live their dreams,” said Bill Bridgen, Executive Vice President and General Manager, NECN. “We are proud to name it a Champion in Action.” “It is a tremendous honor for our organization to be selected as a Champion in Action,” said Rachel Lieberman, Regional Director of the DREAM Program. “The DREAM Program envisions mentoring relationships as a key ingredient for children to lead healthy, productive lives and for a more vibrant economic development strategy in Massachusetts.” Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and NECN to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Massachusetts communities. To date, the program has awarded 40 nonprofits more than $1 million in grants and promotional support in Massachusetts. As a Champion in Action, the DREAM Program will receive: • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation • Media coverage from NECN, including public service announcements and television profiles over the course of six months • Volunteer support from Citizens and NECN colleagues • The opportunity for the organization’s Executive Director to participate in a “President-to-President” mentorship with Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, of Massachusetts President Jerry Sargent • Extensive public relations support • Promotional support on all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and NECN websites. For more information and to watch a great 3-minute video about DREAM’s selection, check out NECN’s coverage here: http://www.necn.com/02/21/13/Champions-in-Action-The-DREAMProgram/landing_champions.html?blockID=832489
Congratulations to our first ever Alumni Scholarship Winners By Brian Bensch, Blue Wagon Editor After announcing our first ever, annual DREAM Alumni College Scholarship opportunity last month (http://dreamprogram.org/about/announcement/dream-alumni-organization-announces-first-scholarship-opportunity) the Alumni Organization received a number of inspiring & heart-warming applications from former mentees who are actively pursuing their college education. The purpose of the scholarship fund is to help former DREAM mentees continue to pursue their education and not let fiscal constraints become a barrier to achieving their full potential. As such, the Alumni Scholarship Committee reviewed each applicant’s file, and evaluated them based on the quality of their written essays, their demonstrated financial need, and their demonstrated commitment to the the community. After reviewing all the applications, the Alumni Organization is happy to announce that we have granted three scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to three well-deserving students (below). •
Kaitlyn Lapan, formerly (and currently now as a mentor!) of UVM Elm Street, is a junior at the University of Vermont and is pursuing her degree in Human Development and Family Studies. According to Kaitlyn: o “Throughout the entire process of planning, fundraising, and actually going on the trip, I learned to work and communicate with others. At the age of eleven, I was learning to discuss big ideas and goals with strangers at fundraisers, acknowledging the importance of preparation and charisma… Because of the conflict resolution and communication skills I fostered during these High Adventure trips, I have been able to not only have successful relationships in my personal life, but also in academic and professional settings.” Ashley Christie, also formerly of Elm Street, is currently a senior at Lyndon State College and majoring in Graphic Design. Ashley had this to say about how DREAM has impacted her life: o “Those years [in DREAM] contained a series of important events strung together to create who I am as a person today…The two weeks we spent traveling around the Kenai Peninsula [in Alaska on High Adventure] were two weeks that I know I will never forget. It wasnʼt without struggle by any means. It taught me numerous life-skills such as: team-work, perseverance, and most importantly, that no dream is too big to reach. It set the tone for the soon-approaching struggles I would have to face in Ashley wears her college colors with pride. my life with getting into college. Without this experience, I honestly donʼt think I would have had the patience and perseverance to get through all of the adversities I have faced with college.” Wayne Miller is currently attending the Community College of Vermont, working towards his Associates degree in Human Services and a certification in Substance Abuse Services. According to Wayne: o “My goal is to be working with adolescents who are facing issues with addiction and trauma. I want to enable young people to overcome their traumas and to help them believe that they can achieve great things, just as the DREAM mentors have done for me.”
On behalf of the entire DREAM Alumni Organization, I am very proud to see the hard work and dedication that these young adults have put forth toward their academic pursuits, and we as an Alumni community are very much excited to hear about their future accomplishments.
Winter Programming Updates By Mike Loner, Executive Director Elm St & UVM Mentors Go Cross Country Skiing at the Intervale DREAM’s Elm Street / University of Vermont Local Program partnered with the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) during the last DREAM Friday of January. As a gracious partner of DREAM, the CTA provided mentors and mentees with free cross-country ski equipment and lessons during their DREAM Friday and the activities which took place at the Intervale XC Ski Center in in Burlington. DREAM is excited and fortunate to be able to collaborate with CTA for a third consecutive winter. CTA has been a generous program provider in the past, supplying equipment and lessons to DREAM mentees, mentors and staff. Additionally, the CTA’s equipment and lessons have been key elements of our Winter Adventure Camps, and also instrumental for many of the office’s staff team building days.
Winter Adventure Day at Camp with Willowbrook & Poultney Local Programs This past weekend (Feb 23rd), Camp DREAM had the pleasure of hosting well over 60 DREAM youth and mentors for a full day of adventure and excitement. DREAMers bonded over broomball, went sledding, and many got to go x-country skiing for the first time ever. Of course, there was also lots of hot cocoa and yummy snacks! It was a beautiful winter day – Sunny with temps in the high 20’s! Also for the first time, Camp hosted mentor & mentee representatives from our newest Local Program at Johnson State/Katywin. After most of the mentors and mentees headed back to Burlington for the night, a smaller group of 8 youth, 3 mentors and 4 staff, stayed overnight at the grange in Fletcher. They enjoyed a wonderful, welldeserved dinner, then went back out to camp for night of broomball, star gazing and a bon fire with roasted apples.
Northwoods & Hollow Drive Programs to go Bowling for Culminating on 3/1! This coming Friday March 1st, the Northwoods Hollow Drive Local Programs and Dartmouth mentors will be holding their culminating experience for the winter term. Mentors and mentees will be bowling at Upper Valley Lanes and Games in White River Junction, VT. Please contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the group or if you have any questions! A crisp & sunny morning on Metcalf pond.