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DREAM Blog!

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Zoeie is a junior at Middlebury college, majoring in Psychology and Education Studies. In her free time, she loves to read, watch TV, generally work with kids, and ice skate! Zoeie has been an SEC for two summers (2022, 2023), and a Mentor Coordinator at the Middlebury Village Mentoring chapter for two academic years (22-23, 23-24)! 



Summer 2023 Wrapped: 

Zoeie served the Elm Street site in Northern Vermont. She served about 40 youth in the Elm Street community during Summer 2023 with a team of 7 Summer Enrichment Coordinators and their site manager. 

 

What was the highlight of your service?

Going to the beach was a huge highlight for me, the kids really enjoy being in the water and are very interested in learning how to swim. It was a great opportunity to mix fun with learning, and it often turned into a day trip because the kids want to be there for so long! We did that every Friday, and it was their routine to do weekday activities Tuesday-Thursday. The beach trip each week was something that was a great behavioral incentive, and it kept the routine consistent which supported their success in having positive behaviors even further. 


What were the challenges you experienced? 

When we took kids to the Echo Center, they were very excited and with lots of other people around, there was the possibility of some youth running away and creating a game of tag in public, which really isn’t safe. It became a matter of ensuring that we got their attention, grounding them by getting on their level, and setting boundaries by letting them know that it isn’t safe. It was also important for us to collaborate with our mentees’ parents to learn about the strategies they used, and ended up creating behavior plans for the youth who ran and they were pretty effective! 


Are there any notable or special moments you want to share?

We took kids to Winooski Library, which had a play section in the back that they loved! Our group enjoyed playing with the doctor kits and SECs were the patients, it was very engaging for them but it was also just really fun! The kids would check their knee reflexes and use the stethoscope to hear their heartbeats. They managed to work out a system where they could take turns with the kit so there was a rotating group of little doctors at the library! 


How would you describe your DREAM experience in a phrase or a few words?

I would describe it as mutually rewarding - as much as we are there to provide opportunity to the kids, we are also constantly learning so much from them!


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In the vibrant city of Boston, where opportunity abounds, there's a community-driven force working to bridge the gap and open doors for every individual. DREAM, in collaboration with esteemed institutions like Tufts University, is on a mission to use mentoring and social justice to close the opportunity gap. Today, we delve into a core element of our development framework: "Express Care."

Show Me That I Matter to You

At Dream, we understand that genuine connections form the bedrock of personal and academic growth. Every individual we mentor is more than a participant; they're a valued member of our Dream family. We go beyond program objectives to ensure that each person feels seen, heard, and truly matters.

Be Dependable: Be Someone I Can Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any impactful mentoring relationship. Our commitment is unwavering – we strive to be a consistent and reliable presence in the lives of those we mentor. In collaboration with institutions like Tufts, we aim to build trust by being dependable and accountable at every turn.

Listen: Really Pay Attention When We Are Together

Effective communication begins with active listening. In the dynamic landscape of Boston's educational opportunities, we make it a priority to truly listen. Our mentors are attuned to the dreams, challenges, and aspirations of our mentees, creating an environment where voices are not just heard but understood.

Believe in Me: Make Me Feel Known and Valued

In a city rich with academic diversity, DREAM recognizes the uniqueness of each individual. We are dedicated to fostering an environment where every mentee feels known and valued. By believing in their potential, we empower them to navigate the educational landscape with confidence.

Be Warm: Show Me You Enjoy Being With Me

Connection thrives in an atmosphere of warmth and positivity. Our mentors, supported by institutions like Tufts, not only guide but also share in the joy of the educational journey. Through genuine enjoyment, we create a space where relationships flourish, fostering an atmosphere conducive to growth.

Encourage: Praise Me for My Efforts and Achievements

Recognizing and celebrating milestones is pivotal for sustained motivation. DREAM, in collaboration with prestigious partners, places a strong emphasis on encouragement. We acknowledge and praise the efforts and achievements of our mentees, instilling a sense of pride and confidence in their abilities.

In the heart of Boston's educational landscape, DREAM and institutions like Tufts are working together to champion the principles of Express Care. It's not just about closing the opportunity gap; it's about creating a community where mentorship, social justice, and genuine connection empower individuals to dream big and reach new heights. Join us on this transformative journey, where every dream matters and every opportunity is within reach. #Dreamprogram #ExpressCare #MentoringForChange #OpportunityForAll #searchinstitute

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Winter has arrived, and with it comes the promise of snowy adventures and unforgettable memories. But for the youth of Philly DREAM, this winter holds something extra special: a journey to Camp DREAM in Vermont, where the magic of the season truly comes to life.


A Winter Wonderland Awaits

Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of Vermont's snow-covered landscape, Camp DREAM offers a haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. From exhilarating skiing and snowboarding to peaceful snowshoeing treks through pristine forests, there's no shortage of excitement to be found.


For the Philly youth embarking on this journey, the prospect of exploring this winter wonderland is nothing short of thrilling. Many have rarely experienced the joy of playing in the snow or feeling the rush of zooming down a snowy slope. But thanks to this opportunity, they'll not only discover new passions but also forge bonds that will last a lifetime.


The Power of Camp DREAM: Beyond Winter

While the winter adventures at Camp DREAM are undoubtedly a highlight, the benefits of visiting extend far beyond the snowy season. Camp DREAM offers a nurturing environment where youth can disconnect from the pressures of everyday life and reconnect with nature and themselves.


Throughout the year, Camp DREAM provides a range of activities aimed at promoting personal growth, leadership skills, and resilience. From summer enrichment filled with outdoor adventures to year-round retreats focused on team-building and self-discovery, there's something for every young adventurer to explore.


Building Resilience and Community

One of the most significant benefits of visiting Camp DREAM is the sense of community it fosters. Away from the distractions of the city and everyday life, youth have the opportunity to form deep connections with their peers and mentors, creating a support system that extends far beyond their time at camp.


Moreover, the challenges and triumphs experienced during their stay at Camp DREAM help build resilience and confidence, empowering youth to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams with determination.


Join the Adventure

As we eagerly await the arrival of summer and the adventures that await at Camp DREAM, we invite you to join us on this journey. Follow along as Philly youth discover the magic of the snowy season and embrace the transformative power of nature.


Together, let's celebrate the joy of adventure, the beauty of friendship, and the endless possibilities that await when we step outside our comfort zones and into the great unknown. Here's to a winter filled with wonder, discovery, and unforgettable memories at Camp DREAM! 🏔️❄️🌟






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