Black History Month was a time to not only educate ourselves but also to celebrate the black men and women of history and today. Dreams Academy did both with our We Smile campaign — using the hashtag #blackmensmile!

If you follow our social media accounts — FacebookInstagram — you got to see photos of the men we celebrated all month long. Plus, we got such an awesome response, we want to keep the smiles going!

Post your own smiling photo on Facebook and Instagram and tag Dreams Academy with #blackmensmile.

Thanks for participating!

The programs of Dreams Academy and Queens Academy were on the move last fall!  

Our goal was to expose our youth to minority-owned businesses as well as other local resources they may not have known about — all while teaching them the fundamental principles of character, integrity, and responsibility.  

Our young men went on a real estate adventure with Mr. Devin Clark, a young investor from the Akron area. He allowed us to tour one of his just-finished, recently rehabbed properties while sharing lessons of real estate principles like assets, liabilities, and return on investments.

They also made stops at the Main Library, learning about the tech division … and at the 10 Spot, owned by Mr. Andre Evans, where they got to paint their own masterpiece. 

Our young ladies visited the 1474 Art Inc Gallery, owned by Ms. Sekoya Kendrick, where she exhibits and sells artwork by local artists. She spoke to the girls about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, stepping out in faith, and being a woman in business. 

They also visited the Oh Snap Selfie Studio, owned by Mrs. Tiffany Roper, where they learned about self-confidence … then had the opportunity to snap away in a variety of backgrounds and settings.

In addition, they continued learning about the importance of journaling and new yoga techniques with Ms. Nicole Chavers. 

We ended our fall semester with a Christmas gathering at Color Me Mine — where our students and parents painted their choice of pottery, and then enjoyed some great food afterward! 

Our fall sessions went really well, and we look forward to beginning again this spring! Thank you for making encouraging, enlightening experiences like these possible for our young men and women!

This month we’re pleased to highlight staff member Paris Owens …

She serves as Executive Assistant, but we all know her unofficial title is “The Boss’s Boss” [wink!].

Paris has a heart for working with youth and helping them thrive. She loves seeing students develop … “to see that shy person speak up more, or even when the most playful person learns when to stop and listen.”

In addition, she says, “The thing I enjoy most about working at Dreams Academy is being around like-minded individuals who dedicate their time and efforts to making our youth a priority.”

What’s one unique thing about Paris that many people don’t know? “I love being creative,” she told us. In fact, she recently launched her own event design business: Celebrate Every Occasion!

Dreams Academy and Queens Academy are stronger because of dedicated staff like Paris … and our students are better for it!

City-wide …

That’s our vision, in one word, for 2022!

The goal at Dreams Academy this year is to spread our work all over the city of Akron. 

Since our inception, we have been stationed primarily on the west side … but we’re looking to extend our programming to reach north, south, and east as well. 

Transportation is often an issue for students and families, so we want to make sure we can have program offerings within reach of those who may not be able to always make it to one side of town or the other.  

The plan for Queens Academy is to keep developing and growing it at our west side location for now, as it is still a new program and we want to make sure the curriculum is at its best for our young ladies before pursuing an expansion.

In addition, The Change Experiment (formerly known as Bridges Academy) will take a cohort of high school juniors through a year’s worth of programming focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

We look forward to making an even bigger impact in communities around Akron through our various programs and for even more students this year! We’re so grateful you’re on this journey with us.

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 young black lives by sowing into their adulthood. 

Let’s keep developing the young people of tomorrow, together. Thank you!

Introduce Boys and Girls to Greatness!

When you give your year-end gift by Dec 31st, you will empower more kids in our community to know their worth and pursue true strength!