Club Highlight: DREAMing Big At UVM

One year ago, a small group of students came together to create UVM DREAM, a mentoring program for local children living in low-income housing communities. Their goals were ambitious but simple – to work together, along with members of the community, to give the children access to new opportunities, resources, and experiences. In just one year, DREAM- which stands for Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring- has established itself as a unique and exciting member of the UVM and Burlington communities. Today, 40 hardworking mentors and 35 wonderful children comprise UVM DREAM. The children all live in the same housing development in Winooski, which means that DREAM mentors get to know all of the children and their families. The mentors work together to run every aspect of DREAM, and communicate with schools, parents, and advisors to make the program stronger. DREAM aims to create stable, long-lasting friendships between each child and their mentor. On Fridays, the entire group gets together on campus to share fun activities and one-on-one time with their partners. In addition to the Friday meetings, children and mentors have created many exciting activities. This winter, DREAM participated in Burton’s learn-to-snowboard program, Chill. This summer, a group of children and mentors will spend two weeks exploring the Pacific Northwest- a trip that they imagined, fundraised for, and made a reality all by themselves! DREAM fundraisers, such as last fall’s Chili Cook Off, and last month’s De La Soul concert, have helped build a sense of community on campus. DREAM also has a Homework Helpers program for the kids, a summer internship for mentors, and holds several special events for the kids each month. A UVM senior, Katherine Meyer, devoted her thesis to developing evaluation measures for DREAM. In the future, DREAM will continue to be an active and member of the UVM community. You might be wondering, “How can I help DREAM?” It’s easy! – come to DREAM’s Spring Thing, on April 25th from 4-8pm at Redstone’s CWP Green. It will be a fun afternoon of live music from The Grift and The Flo, a big barbeque, and fun games to play with our kids. You can support the summer trip by coming to a Pancake Brunch at Alpha Chi Omega from 10-1 on Saturday, April 26th (come before Springfest!). DREAM recruits new mentors at the beginning of each semester. DREAM also enjoys partnering with clubs, Greek houses, and other community groups to create fun experiences for the kids. To request information about DREAM or any of its activities, please contact Stephanie Gergely at [email protected]