“….Through encouragement and support from their team members, those that were reluctant slowly allowed themselves to try. You could see a smile on their faces after they participated. The importance of team support, working with others to develop a strategy, and being needed by others seemed to be a new concept. Once the students saw that that idea worked, the idea was quickly accepted. It appeared to me that the students would need constant reminders to help them keep the life changes that we were trying to teach”

Dr. Keith Sehon (Mentor)

“The program has had an impact on student’s self-esteem and confidence. Many of the students are more confident in their approach toward their peers. Several of them have become more social and caring in their mannerisms. Even the most shy students come out of their shells when they are around others.
When I see any of them doing something that he/she should not be doing, I just have to say “Is this an action of a DREAMS participant.” The student will readily answer in the negative and will change in his/her behavior. I can only answer for their change at school, not any of the other.”

Janet Breard (Assistant Principal, Ouachita Junior High School, Monroe, LA)

“Being that my children are home schooled, I feel that the program has provided them an opportunity to be exposed to situations they may not otherwise have been exposed to. For example, group discussions on suicide, bullying, peer pressure etc. Things my children do not face on a day to day basis. Also, I like the leadership aspect that is encouraged throughout the program. I think the program has also helped them see the importance of setting goals and having purpose. We discuss these as a family, but the program helped to make it real to them”.

Pam Charrior (Parent)

Each student came to the program with different needs, as well as different backgrounds. However, what was the same in each student was some level of growth in motivation, confidence in personal ability, self esteem, importance of team work,etc. The degree of growth may have been different, but evidence of a positive change was apparent in each and every student in my group. One student missed much of the week this past summer. I am not confident she was able to experience the benefits of the program. I was privileged to be outside each morning to greet every student as they arrived for the program. It was an incredible experience for me to watch the changes and growth as the week progressed. The students demonstrated cheery dispositions and happy anticipation to see each other, in most cases, as the week continued! Some students offered there delight in being there and desire to keep coming back!

My experience demonstrated to me a truly positive change had occurred in each and every student, some to a greater degree than others. As the week concluded, students were demonstrating attempts at problem solving solutions, confidence and respect between each other and with team leaders, a truly team work attitude, and the importance of setting goals for a successful future. There were 2-3 students I wasn’t confident would allow themselves to progress. These students were the ones that surprised me the most!

Robin Sehon (Mentor)

“From the beginning of my involvement with the D.R.E.A.M.S. program, to the last follow-up retreat, I witnessed an evolution of totally, different, individuals! Members of my group have shown me varying levels of maturity since I first met them. Motivation has never been lacking in my group, but confidence and self-esteem has sky-rocketed in each individual. I can only attest this to their hearing the classroom talks from their mentors, fellow-shipping with each other for the entire day of each retreat, and beginning to experience the peace that God can always provide them. I believe that there is room for improvements in each student pertaining to life/goal orientation. This program has allowed their minds to open, and similar, positive, life-oriented programs will help them master their goals. . I’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in many of the students’ interpersonal and social skills”.

Prof. Anthony Walker PhD. (University of Louisiana, Monroe)

“I was organizing my closet and came across my DREAMS tshirt.  This reminded me of how much fun I had with your students and how your volunteer team made me feel extremely welcome”.
“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the DREAMS”.

Hope LeNoir (www.riseandfly.net)