IBOs gather to support the US Dream Academy

May 21, 2010

One of the best parts of my twelve-month assignment working in the US office is getting close to IBOs and seeing what programs they support.

There are some One by One campaigns that we organize at the headquarters level, and invite IBOs to participate. But there are many campaigns that they already have in place and are actively giving and volunteering to improve the lives of children locally, and around the world.

This week, I attended a gala for the US Dream Academy, an organization supported by a number of IBO leaders. The US Dream Academy provides mentoring programs for at-risk children and youth whose parents are incarcerated. At ten centers around the country, they provide skills-training, character development, and help children dream what their future will be – then they help them go out and accomplish it.

Jodi and Kathy Victor, IBO leaders from Ohio, have been longtime supporters of US Dream Academy. In fact, they have been involved since the organization was launched nine years ago by gospel singer Wintley Phipps.

They have brought other IBOs to the cause, and introduced it to our One by One Campaign for Children about five years ago. Our combined efforts will raise more than $173,000 for the cause this year.

At the event, we saw a host of superstars who support US Dream Academy, including Angela Basset, Charles Dutton, Dan Rather, Louis Gosset Jr and young pop singer Charise.

The most moving part of the night was when about 50 kids from the Dream Academies performed “We are the World.” We repeatedly heard that night how important it is to foster these kids, who are the next world leaders.

In the flurry of building new One by One programs from the top down, it was refreshing to be reminded that many of our best programs begin with IBO involvement, from the ground up.

Dream Academy Welcome

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