Rebecca Spartz joined the Dream Maker Society just over a year ago and has been a longtime supporter of Avenues. Her career working with people facing great challenges, starting as a social worker, has been a significant influence in her life. Rebecca currently holds the position of Director, Behavioral Health with Medica.
How did you become a Dream Maker for Avenues and the youth?
I have appreciated the work of Avenues for so many years, well before I had the income to donate. When I learned about Avenues, I was early in my social work career, and part of my work included supporting young adults who were affected by housing unknowns. The world is painfully unjust in this way and not all of us have safe or able adults to take care of and provide for us, and that was the story of many of my clients. Everyone I worked with had strengths, hopes, and ambitions, so much courage. They had the resilience to keep going day after day. Yet, they were living outside, couch hopping, traveling and taking a sleep spot in places with compromised safety and lots of unknowns. When my vocational life changed, and I had more financial flexibility, I was really thrilled to move from bringing plates of cookies to the Minneapolis house over the holidays, to giving some cash, and eventually, to joining the Dream Maker Society.
What it is about Avenues that inspires you?
Avenues is a place that gives teens and young adults a home. And, with a home, we all have a much better chance of using our strengths and fueling our ambitions to realize those hopes and dreams. I am compelled to contribute to young people who, with a safe place to live and caring adults to champion them, have a real chance to create an adult life that works for them, whatever that looks that. For me, the best way I can do that at this point in my life is through donating to Avenues at the dream maker level.
What would you like to share with your fellow Dream Makers?
Surviving loss and hardship – the unjust and unfair curve balls of life, is an essential skill that each person who calls Avenues home has had to employ. Influencing your own life to create parts that suit you. Those parts that keep you going past survival and through emotional healing, and that allow you to self-determine with intention and choice – that’s a totally different skill and it’s a skill that can be learned and nurtured. That’s what I believe donating to Avenues does. Our donations support an organization to do deeply important work that gives young people, early in their lives, not just housing, but real holistic help that fosters resilience and changes the whole trajectory. It’s an investment in the youth of our community, which means it’s an investment in our whole community, and what better investment is there than that? I’m making a commitment to stretch a little further in my investment in the youth that call Avenues home, and I invite you all to join me!