Sat | May 30, 2020

Dream Jamaica continues drive to foster academic excellence

Published:Monday | July 1, 2019 | 12:36 AM
The 2018 Dream Jamaica participants on a trip to Dunn’s River Falls.
The 2018 Dream Jamaica participants on a trip to Dunn’s River Falls.

Dream Jamaica has sustained its mandate to mentor Jamaican high-school students on their journey to tertiary-level education. Launched in 2008, the organisation aims to provide meaningful mentorship relationships, along with educational and professional opportunities that inspire and empower young people to pursue their dreams.

Founded by Shemiele Da’Briel, an alumnus of St Jago High School, the initiative is a multi-year college-preparation programme for students throughout their years in high school. A major accomplishment of the organisation is that it mentored more than 400 students over the past 10 years. Statistically, twice as many Dream Jamaica participants go on to college compared to the national average.

Former participants have also been successful in matriculating to prestigious universities worldwide, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Howard University, Morehouse College, Sciences Po Bordeaux and York University.

The programme also facilitates annual all-expense-paid trips for ambassadors to visit Seattle to represent the organisation. Moreover, community-based projects and mentorship relationships are also implemented throughout the year. These include endeavours such as beach clean-ups and children’s homes visits.

However, the organisation’s flagship activity is its annual summer programme, where over 50 students participate in an intensive exercise of self-discovery. Slated to be held between July 1-26 under the theme ‘One Love’, the organisation hosts its camp free of cost to participants.

HELPFUL ACTIVITIES

It is subdivided into activities tailored to the respective age of the participants, including sessions for seventh- and eighth-graders interested in achieving success in high school; career ­discovery, tailored for ninth- to 10th-graders that allows them to network with professionals and visit different work environments; and ­college preparation for 11th- and 12th-graders, where participants do SAT and ACT workshops, tour local colleges and do résumé-building exercises. Additionally, the programmes run concurrently with internships and other projects.

Also, the participants go on an excursion every Friday to explore different sites across Jamaica such as Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountains, Green Grotto Caves, Margaritaville, and Blue Hole.

Trevon Fletcher, marketing and communications manager for Dream Jamaica, encourages even more companies and organisations to invest in this successful youth-led initiative. He explains that investment in this organisation would significantly contribute to overall youth development.

To those interested in joining the programme, Fletcher adds that this year, “Participants can expect fun and excitement, insightful panel discussions, different presenters, exhilarating excursions and a summer that will change their lives”.

For further information, Dream Jamaica can be contacted via their email: summer2019@dreamjamaica.org, phone number 876-553-8091, their website www.dreamjamaica.org, Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DreamJamaica: on Instagram: @dreamer_ ja or on Twitter: @dreamjamaica.