The Blue Wagon October 2010
A beautiful VT wedding doubles as a DREAM alumni reunion*
Inside this issue Note from the President We Need Your Votes! Alumni Appeal 2010 Straight from Winooski, VT Message from the Board A Flippinâ€™ Great Time DREAMstock Goes to Hogwarts DREAMstock by the Numbers Corny Joke of the Month
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*Wedding attendees who helped start the Elm St. Program include Aaron Gaines (groom), Mike Foote, Julia Geier, Matt Griffiths, Casey Wilson, Sam Fitz, Katie Stevenson, Jon Potter, Elizabeth Rosen, Kendra Nardi, Jon Rockwood, Peter Helseth, Neil Grimaldi, and Keith Musselman (awesome name). The bride is the lovely Christina Edwards.
NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT By AJ LeGaye, Alumni Council President
Apple-picking, school starting, pumpkin-carving, DREAM kicking off, leaves turning, Homecoming, Alumni donating. Yes, my fellow DREAM Alumni, Fall is in full swing! Camp is winding down, but DREAM Fridays are back. DREAM programs throughout the Northeast are finding out how much they miss the class of 2010, but also how much they love recruiting new mentors who will spend the next four years immersed in the program that we all love. Mentors are reuniting with mentees who undoubtedly grew up way too fast over the summer, and mentees are once again continuing their personal growth because of the tireless efforts of our dedicated mentors. We all know how special DREAM is, both as an organization that brings together young, socially-minded, caring individuals and as a program that effects real change within kids and across communities. DREAM’s selfsustainability and continued growth (say hello to MIT!) is impressive, but it’s impossible without the support of Alumni. We, as Alumni, hold the keys to the past and the future of DREAM: our knowledge, expertise, and memories will forever be part of its foundation and history, but our contributions as Alumni will allow the organization, OUR DREAM, to thrive. Please consider giving in this year’s Alumni Appeal. Let’s give back to the program that has given, and will continue to give, everyone so much. DREAM Bigger and Better, AJ LeGaye President, 2010-2012
WE NEED YOUR VOTES!
DREAM is a top five finalist for the 2nd Annual CLASSY Awards!
Until October 22, anyone and everyone can log on to http://classyawards.stayclassy.org/classy-awards? city_id=10 and cast their votes for The DREAM Program, Inc. as the Most Influential Student Group and the Philanthropic Small Business of the Year! Once you've voted, make sure to invite all your friends to vote as well! We're up for two awards so remember to vote for DREAM twice.
The definition of classy
ALUMNI APPEAL 2010 Give proudly this year!
Imagine you are back in your first year in college, and have just seen a flyer for some program called “DREAM.” Maybe it wasn’t a flyer – maybe it was a bright pink DREAM t-shirt, or a group of kids and mentors doing potato sack races on your campus green. Anyhow, imagine you ignored it. You may have joined other clubs. You may have started reading more books for pleasure, or learned elementary Mandarin, or taken up Telemark skiing. But ask yourself: would any of these activities really have taken the place of DREAM in your life? Would any other activity given you the satisfaction of a great conversation with your mentee; introduced you to the amazing group of peers and children; connected you with your own community and a nearby low-income community; allowed you to be outright silly in the name of public service; the way DREAM did? Would you be who you are today – or know who you know today – without DREAM? Each year we have a great opportunity to give back to DREAM, and last year’s Alumni Appeal shattered our records. We had an anonymous donor match all new donation dollars for a total of $7,827 – the largest single gift ever given in the Alumni Appeal. We had 148 donors give an unprecedented $23,006, with more than half of those donors giving to DREAM for the first time. This year, we have a lot of work to do. We need to increase our number of mentor-mentee pairings, and we need to increase the number of dollars given by Alumni (excluding last year’s match) to support those pairings. We need your help to reach our goal: 250 donors and 20,000 dollars. We can do it! Whether you can give a gift of $5 or $5,000, you will be receiving a call in the next few weeks from a mentor, a board member, a staff member or a fellow Alum. Please take a moment to speak with that person. Reflect on your time in DREAM, and decide what you can give. We hope that you will give proudly, and support the program that gives all of us so much!
STRAIGHT FROM WINOOSKI, VT A message from DREAM’s Executive Director
Greetings from the DREAM Central Office! November 2011 marks the DREAM Program’s tenth year as a Vermont non-profit organization. In November of 2001, what began at Dartmouth as an inspirational and amazing program between Dartmouth students and the children and families of Templeton Court became Vermont’s fastest growing community-based mentoring program. Today, DREAM has programs on eleven college campuses and in thirteen different communities. To celebrate, we are going to DREAM Big! We are going to help plan and hold at least one event each month during 2011 to celebrate and share our success. We are currently planning these events and if you would like to lend a hand, participate in the planning and help make our Ten Year Anniversary a huge success, let us know by emailing email@example.com. We will be putting together a Ten Year planning committee and all are welcome! Thanks so much for your role in making DREAM successful for all these years. Dream, Mike Loner Executive Director
Only in DREAM does this make perfect sense
KEEP ON THE LOOKOUT A message from the Board
Greetings DREAM Alumni! An exciting evaluation is being done by Boston College Graduate Social Work students in the upcoming month! We hope that their investigation will help us understand Alumni perspectives of DREAM, the impact DREAM may have had on your lives, and the future direction of our Alumni Council. Be on the lookout for an email with a survey link. Your feedback is a vital part of our growth and development as an organization, and as always, is greatly appreciated!
A FLIPPIN’ GREAT TIME By Caity Patey, Champlain ‘09
parkour (par-koor) n. 1. the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment 2. a beloved activity of Orchard Gardens DREAMers, guaranteed to leave onlookers jaw dropped, and supervising adults with anxiety, sweaty palms, and nervousness On September 17th, I awoke in South Boston to start what was certain to be a dreamy Friday. Unlike many of my friends, I do not own an iPhone or GPS, so relying solely on hand-drawn maps, addresses, and a few phone numbers I set off to find Roxbury, Massachusetts. I first headed for the bus, which took me to the T, which then took me to Northeastern University. After a cup of coffee I ventured back out onto the streets in search of the Boston DREAM office. I eventually found my way through twists and turns of the city’s streets, to a sign which depicted a familiar yellow T-shirt. I rang the doorbell and was greeted by Josh Warren, and later Chad Butt. After lunch and a tour of the Orchard Gardens community, the school buses began to pass by the office. Seconds later, the sound of children clamoring at the window echoed through the office. Louis, an Orchard Gardens’ DREAMer who comes to the office almost every day after school, needed help covering a new book. After fussing with one of those new fangled stretchy covers, I lent my skills and created an old school paper bag cover, which I then had the honor of decorating. Now, unlike most Vermont programs which meet on Fridays, Orchard Gardens meets on Saturday afternoons. Today was special, however. You see, the city of Boston was hosting The Art of Motion, an international parkour competition and festival, and one thing you should know about the Orchard Gardens program is that Do not try this at home… or anywhere their kids love parkour! At 4:30PM, Josh and I left the DREAM office accompanied by eleven anxious and excited DREAMers, and by five o’clock, we were at the event. There we met Kristin Burdge, Dartmouth ’04 and DREAM Board Member.
A FLIPPINâ€™ GREAT TIME, CONT. In no time at all, DREAMers were running up walls and doing back flips, practicing inverted leaps over stairs, and jumping and flipping off of anything and everything in sight. These kids were awesome! Their talent level was incredible and other people at the event, sponsored athletes included, were very impressed with their skills. I particularly enjoyed when the smallest DREAMer, Louis, said he could flip and then busted out the most amazing moves (click here to see the video!). After an amazing Friday, incomparable to any other Friday Iâ€™d ever experienced, we headed back to Orchard Gardens. I got to spend some quality time with the kids, hanging out in the back of the bus talking about what they could do to hone their parkour skills. When the bus arrived at our stop, Dudley Station, we began the walk back to the DREAM office. I tried one last time to talk to Laquan, a child who had been very quiet all day and had only offered head nods and shakes to anything that I asked. When I asked him if he had fun, I almost fell over in surprise as he blurted out in excitement, "That was the best day ever! That was so cool!" As we parted ways, the kids thanked us for bringing them to the event. So ended my amazing Boston DREAM Friday. Since graduating from Champlain College this past fall, I have been going through somewhat of a DREAM withdrawal. Although my goal for visiting was to help fill this void, it only reinvigorated my love for DREAM and made me want to become more connected. Boston has some incredible programs and some incredible kids. If any alumni are able to spend a Friday or Saturday with these kids, I encourage you to because it may just be the best DREAM ever.
DREAM GOES TO HOGWARTS AKA Harry Potter and the DREAMstock of Awesomeness By Professor Trelawney (AKA Rachel Kauppila, PED)
Mad Eye Moody gruffly greeted the unsuspecting mentors at the front gate and vaguely gestured to the parking lot. Luna Lovegood, wearing her Spectrespecs, handed out copies of The DREAMy Profit, and Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore accompanied the new students to the Great Hall. Is this a scene from the new Harry Potter film? Nay! Read on to learn how Hogwarts hosted this year’s annual DREAMstock mentor retreat!! “Now, we shall begin the sorting!” exclaimed Harry Potter, wand aloft. The sombrero-like Sorting Hat was placed on each student’s head and quickly sorted them into the houses of Recreation, Education, Adventure and Mentoring. Tom Riddle and Ginny Weasley handed out lunches and each House ate together, allowing the young witches and wizards to intermingle and learn about each other’s programs. While the Golden Snitch buzzed around and Nearly Headless Nick drifted among the trees, mentors played games around the campfire, raked leaves, and participated in workshops on High Adventure, Diversity, Behavior Management, Winter Adventure Camp and more! An extremely tall Ernie Prang led a session on Age Specific Programming, and Professor Snape discussed Effective Meetings. For the first time ever, Boston wizards and witches made their way to DREAMstock. The Vermont mentors welcomed them with open arms and they integrated themselves seamlessly, enthusiastically participating in Captain’s Coming and performing in the Amphitheater Show in the Party Host skit. Many old-time DREAMers joined in the fun as well! Guest appearances were made by Beatrix LeStrange (Caity Patey, Birchwood ’10), Cedric Diggory (Phillip Ortego, FrElm ’09), The Daily Prophet (Kristen Burdge, Windsor ’04) and Professor Lupin – with Voldemort in his turban! (Jen Lazar, former staff). Other Alumni Muggles present were JD Mascola (Franklin Square ’09), Katie Rogers (Birchwood ’09), Evan Eckelstein (Riverside ’10), Daniel Shearer (former staff) and Mike Foote (founder). Keep an eye out for your official invite to DREAMstock 2011 in next year’s August issue of The Blue Wagon. The DREAM staff welcomes Alumni attendance at this and other events as an opportunity for you to pass on your knowledge, check out what DREAMers are currently up to, and share your enthusiasm. Thank you so much to all those who came this year.
DREAMSTOCK BY THE NUMBERS DREAMstock by the Numbers: Mentors attending: 45 Hogwarts Professors attending: 5 Alumni attending: 13 (including three current staff) Dogs attending: 2 Total Human Attendance: 66 Injuries: 2 Fatalities: 0 Temperature at night: 36 degrees Games of Quidditch played: 1 Horcruxes found: 20 (disguised as plastic eggs & holding DREAM bumper stickers and 1 small penguin)
CORNY JOKE OF THE MONTH Have you heard all the buzz about corduroy pillows? No? Theyâ€™re making headlines!
-Sandy Mervak, Development Director If you think you have what it takes to tell the corny joke of the month, send your submission to Dylan.firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe see yours in the November newsletter!