The mission of DREAM is to build communities of families and college students that support children from disadvantaged circumstances to recognize opportunities, make informed decisions, and realize their dreams.
Founded in 1999 by Dartmouth College students, DREAM is a non-profit mentoring program that pairs college students and children living in affordable housing developments in Vermont. DREAM stands for Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure and Mentoring.
It is the program’s hope to form and develop genuine connections between SMC students, Franklin Square children, parents, and the greater Burlington community. Through this relationship we seek to empower our mentees through the belief in the power of a loving and understanding committed relationship. Through this connection we DREAM of making a lasting difference in the lives of all touched by the program.
DREAM started at Saint Michael’s in 2003 and has grown annually. There are currently 40 mentors in the program, each assigned to one child for the duration of their college career. The DREAM coordinators plan the weekly activity and volunteers pick up the participating children from Burlington’s North End for a fun Friday afternoon. The activity changes weekly. DREAM facilitates activities such as arts and crafts, sports, apple picking, visits to the Saint Michael’s fire station and rescue station and much, much more.
There are also special events throughout the academic year, including a winter adventure camp and the end of the year trip. Last year, Saint Michael’s students and DREAM children went to Salem and Boston Massachusetts.
This program was awarded the Governor's Award for outstanding community service.
For more information about the Saint Michael's College volunteer program working with DREAM, feel free to contact Julia Phillips '14.