By Brandon Scarborough
Now that we have completed our Spring Session with our Dreams and Queens Academies — a total of 24 students — I’m looking back with gratitude and a sense of awe. Every youth participant got to experience some amazing, worthwhile things … and we’re all better for it!
A few highlights include:
- Interactions with professionals like Akron Police Lieutenant Mike Miller and local Radiologist Keristen Brantley
- A spring break field trip to Big Shots Golf — the kids had a blast on the driving range together!
- A Mayoral Forum that included six of the candidates running for Mayor of Akron — a truly fantastic event!
One week prior to the Forum, students were able to compose questions they wanted to ask each candidate. Our staff was delighted to see how observant they have been to what goes on in our city.
Their questions included topics such as Jayland Walker, minority-owned businesses, poverty, how each candidate planned to create change in Akron, and more. At the Forum, we grouped the students into five total groups … and they all got to spend eight minutes with each candidate, and then switch — the perfect way to get up close and personal time with them.
Then, after the question-and-answer time, we got to take pictures with the candidates as well … and then our students VOTED. YES! We set up mock voting stations with the real ballot that would be used on election day. Our students voted Tara Mosley in — she was their top choice for Mayor of Akron. She even gave an acceptance speech!
Officially, we want to congratulate Shammas Malik — who won the actual primary on election day. And big thanks to him and to all the candidates who attended. Your gift of time and attention with the students of our Academies is worth more than you know.
THESE are the valuable, deep-rooted, meaningful experiences your support gives the youth in our programs.
We invite your continued generosity to keep this hands-on, hope-giving work going — letting students discover their purpose as they’re provided guidance and mentoring along the way.
Dreams Academy is proud to be newly partnered with Our Lady of Peace School in Canton, which hosted sessions on manhood and leadership for boys there!
We spent six weeks meeting with the 4th and 5th grade young men and have thoroughly enjoyed our connection there.
We have had the opportunity to lead activities and discussions surrounding hygiene, leadership, the Jayland Walker situation, the police, and much more.
Thank you, Dr. Shafer, Mr. Baker, Ms. Allen, and the rest of the Our Lady of Peace staff for welcoming Dreams Academy to your school!
Dreams Academy has had the opportunity to work with the 8th grade boys at East CLC since last summer …
It has not only been an awesome experience, but we just love making an impact each week on them. The lives of these youth are valuable and have so much potential. It’s our honor to speak this message into their hearts on a consistent basis.
We had the great pleasure of working with Mr. Marion Keith Wilson, who was the Aim High Gear Up counselor at East CLC. My staff and I worked directly with him, and he always made sure our young men were present and prepared, and he worked with us to create activities, incentives, and an all-around great experience for everyone involved.
Mr. Wilson passed away suddenly on April 14. Although we only knew him for a short time, he made an immense impact on me personally and embraced Dreams Academy in a profound way. This truly is a tragic loss for the East CLC students and for the entire community.
It is rare to find an African American male who is so passionate about making a difference in the lives of black boys. I will miss him deeply and felt it necessary to honor his memory in some small way. Thank you for your service … and rest in peace, Mr. Wilson.
Interested in signing your child up for Dreams Academy or Queens Academy?
Registration is now open! You can apply today to sign your son or daughter up to attend our summer session.
Just don’t delay — spots are limited. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Your generosity empowers our work with young men and women!
Your support today ensures we can build and provide a network of professional African Americans to mentor, teach, and ultimately positively affect our youth by sowing into their adulthood.
Let’s keep developing the young people of tomorrow, together. Thank you!