A Dream Maker Perspective
How did you become a Dream Maker for Avenues and the youth?
I became a Dream Maker over three years ago once I started working at Avenues as the Director of Development. But the Dream Maker Society sparked my interest long before that as I was learning about the organization. It was one of the reasons that I decided to apply for the position. I’ve seen firsthand, working within nonprofits over more than 23 years, how multi-year giving commitments can be transformative for nonprofits. Being able to rely on a steady stream of giving makes it possible for organizations to better plan for the future. And better planning has a cascading effect. Ultimately, it ensures programs are fully resourced so that young people have the best possible experiences while they are with us.
Why do you continue to renew your support as a Dream Maker for Avenues?
The young people are my “why.” I continue to be a Dream Maker because I feel a personal responsibility to the young people who live in our community. I believe that every youth should have the opportunity to reach for their dreams and have their basic needs met, including safe housing. Growing up is hard and there are so many barriers and structural inequities in our world that make life difficult for so many youth. But, with a little effort and a lot of love and support, we can bring ease to the transition into adulthood. I know this from working with young people. I spent the first 10+ years after college leading out-of-school-time programs and supporting youth workers. During this time, I witnessed the life changing impact of caring adults in the lives of youth. Youth occasionally find me and share their stories of what they’ve learned and achieved along the way. Usually, they note that it was the caring people in their lives who took the time to help them get to their next milestone. My interactions with young people have shaped my own worldview and give me hope for the future.
What would you like to share with your fellow Dream Makers?
Thank you for your continued commitment to Avenues over two years or more! Giving in this way centers young people and their needs for support over time. It’s such a privilege to be able to plan ahead with the resources we have to reach for our own goals and dreams in life. As a Dream Maker, you are offering this opportunity to others. You are helping Avenues to use our resources as efficiently as possible so that more youth can dream and thrive.