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The Blue Wagon

Alumni Newsletter – May 2012

Inside This Issue Amuse Bouche & Announcements Congratulations to first DREAM College Graduates DREAM Teens Hold Retreat in Burlington Volunteer for the Alumni Appeal Committee Alumni Shout-Out – Making Change Stickk Dream Jobs Bulletin Board DREAM Doppelgängers

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AMUSE BOUCHE By Adam Goldfarb, Alumni Council President Hello DREAMers! I have a few bits of news regarding the Alumni Council that I'd like to share. I'm happy to announce that Mr. AJ LeGaye is our new Governing Bodies Initiative Head! You all know him from his great and energetic work as the Alumni Council President, and his experience and extensive knowledge of that particular Governing Body will no doubt serve him well in his new capacity as GBIH. In this new and evolving role, he will facilitate communication and collaboration between the Alumni Council and DREAM's Board of Directors. We on the Alumni Council are looking forward to working with AJ in devising new ways to coordinate and streamline the work of DREAM's Governing Bodies. Additionally, Ms. Julia Risk is our new Money Initiative Head! Kate Haggerty, the outgoing IH, is leading the transition for Julia, and is doing a fabulous job of imparting wisdom gained from her experience organizing the finances associated with the Alumni Organization. We can't thank Kate enough for all of her work on the Alumni Council, and we're happy that she'll be hovering about in various capacities once she formally transitions out of her current role. Julia has already displayed passion and energy in taking on her new responsibilities, and the DREAM Alumni Council is incredibly lucky to have her in this vital position. These two highly qualified individuals have ably demonstrated their commitment to DREAM in the past, and are set to do even bigger things in their new roles. I think I speak for the whole Alumni Council when I say how excited I am to work with them! Adam Goldfarb DREAM Alumni Council President 2012-2014

ANNOUNCEMENTS 1. Boston DREAM was recently named a proud recipient of the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant program. The grants were thoughtfully devised to carry on Celtic legend Bill Russell's passion for youth mentoring. In total, DREAM will receive a grant of $11,300 to expand our summer internship and adventure programming for elementary and middle school aged mentees in Lower Roxbury. See the link below to read the full text of the press release from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Mass Mentoring Partnership ( 2. Meghan Kerrigan, St. Michael’s / Franklin Square DREAM ’10 recently won the Rising Professional Award at Howard Center. In a speech delivered at an organization-wide annual award ceremony, Kerrigan was recognized for her “voracious appetite for learning” as well as her “creativity, empathy, and growing skills”. Kerrigan’s distinction is especially impressive given the pool of potential awardees. Howard Center is one of the largest social service organizations – not to mention one of the largest employers – in Vermont. Kerrigan has been a Howard Center employee since March 2011. She works in the School Services program, as well as being a Living Skills interventionist. In her free time, she volunteers as the Knowledge Initiative Head on our very own DREAM Alumni Council. Have you or one of your pals in DREAM recently been recognized for something great? Let us know, and be recognized!

First DREAM Mentees Graduate College By Sandy Mervak, DREAM Development Director Each spring, DREAM has the bittersweet pleasure of watching many people graduate. This year, however, for the first time, DREAM mentees are beginning to finish up their years in college, with three former DREAM youth getting their degrees this spring. Maryah Merlo, who has been involved with DREAM since 1999, graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering Technology from Vermont Technical College. Devon Lapan, one of the first mentees in our Elm St. program, also graduated this spring. He studied at Johnson State College. During his senior year, he had the chance to recruit new DREAM mentors for the budding program at Johnson State. Katlyn Bullis, also one of the first young people involved in the Elm St. program, graduated from the University of Vermont. DREAM is so proud of Maryah, Devon and Katlyn; both for their example to fellow mentees and for their tenacity in pursing what can be a very difficult path. We wish them all the best, and expect to see more DREAMers following in their footsteps in years to come!

DREAM Teens Retreat to Burlington By Sandy Mervak, DREAM Development Director The goal of the DREAM Teen Retreat is simple: To provide a safe and constructive space for teens to collaborate with each other and their adult role models in DREAM, with mentoring, leadership development, self-reflection, and exploration as some of the guiding themes. Conceived in 2007 by former mentor Jenna Martini, the Teen Retreat has grown into a significant annual event for our teens. This year's Teen Retreat brought out DREAMers from across Vermont, with discussion and workshop topics including Financial Management and Planning, Digital Citizenship & Your Online Reputation, and the Leadership Compass. A fortuitously sunny weekend also allowed the group to get outside to play some kickball and enjoy the spring season. Following up on our success, DREAM plans to initiate a second Teen Retreat for the fall, to focus on college and career readiness. DREAM would like to send its heartfelt thanks to King Street Center for their generous donation of retreat space. DREAM would also like to thank Five Guys, August First Bakery, Great Harvest Bread Company, Sugarsnap, and Vermont Sports Grill for providing us with healthy, delicious food donations. Without their help, the Teen Retreat could simply not happen!

Calling All Interested Volunteers! The time has come to start planning the 2012 Alumni Appeal!

Haven’t you always wanted to be a part of the fundraising process for DREAM?! This year, we are welcoming alumni volunteers to help out on the Alumni Appeal Committee in the following areas: ● Website Design and Social Media updating ● Writing and advertising in The Blue Wagon ● Mentor Phone-a-Thon organization For more details, please send a note with your interest to: Frieda Arenos, Alumni Appeal Leader, at

Alumni Shout-out: Making Change StickK By Sandy Mervak, DREAM Development Director

StickK is a website devoted to helping you do things you've always dreamed of doing, but just needed a little extra push to get you going. Things like running your first 10K, or cutting back on smoking. Victoria Fener, a 2008 Dartmouth / Northwoods & Hollow Dr. Alumna, began working for StickK shortly after graduating. The company was founded by two Yale professors whose research showed that by adding certain incentives, an individual is up to three times more likely to succeed in achieving a goal. What they came up with was a "Commitment Contract" to be filled out by the user, which states that the user wishes to achieve a goal and is willing to be held accountable. Combine this contract with real money and a designated "referee," and you have an almost certain recipe for success. So, where does DREAM come in? When a StickK user sets a goal but falls short of meeting it, they give their wager to a designated recipient. Most users select a charity as their recipient, and DREAM is one of those charities. With Victoria's help, DREAM has been the recipient of over $5,000 from StickK over the last three years. We even put their logo on the back of our Adventure T-Shirts (pictured above). So, if you're thinking of taking on that first 10K this summer, think about as a way to help you achieve your goal. When you do, be sure to select DREAM as your designated charity!

Dream Jobs Bulletin Board This Month, Commongood Careers has dozens of new job postings this month for positions in Boston, New York, San Francisco, D.C., and even Seattle! Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of the nation’s most innovative and high-performing nonprofit organizations. A sampling of the current openings is below. • • • • • •

Executive Director, New Teacher Center, Boston, MA Chief Financial Officer, Reading Partners, Oakland, CA Senior Director of Programs, Year Up, Boston, MA Program Director, Turnaround for Children, New York, NY Chief Development Officer, Free the Slaves, Washington, D.C. Executive Director, Stand for Children, Seattle, WA.

Additionally, Opportunity Knocks is national online job site, HR resource and career development destination focused exclusively on the nonprofit community. A sampling of current job openings includes: • •

Executive Director, Children’s Creativity Museum, San Francisco, CA Director of Development & Community Relations, EHC Lifebuilders, San Jose, CA

The Blue Waggon, May 2012  
The Blue Waggon, May 2012  

The DREAM Program's Alumni Organization Newsletter