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Dreambuilders is a 16-week program that culminates in a graduation ceremony in the presence of coaches, family and friends. Each graduate writes a reflection, which is on display at the celebration and presented below. 

Dreambuilder Rika Cutchin Family_edited.jpg

A few months ago, I really had no sense of where or what I wanted to be doing. I received a paper at my door telling me about the Dreambuilders program. I thought about it, went for it, and got it!


Since being in the program I have learned so much more about parenting, boundaries, and communication skills with my kids. I have also learned how to be calm and how to be more engaging with the schools. I also learned about setting goals, time management, and making time for me.

My goal for the program was to obtain a business license for my own hauling company and enroll in some classes that help put myself forward. I’m currently enrolled for my Medtech program which starts in January. I’m going back to work to continue to be more successful than I was.  


With school and work, I can say it was truly challenging to get all five of my children to be in a room for one hour, but we did it. I enjoyed making sure we got together for our PACT Time meeting. I enjoyed sharing my ideas, listening to their ideas, and hearing about their feelings, goals, and their thoughts about the future.  


I just want to say that I'm so glad that I was able to participate in this program. I’ve been able to learn about others, their daily life, etc. I hope they have more programs like this to help all the moms who just need a little push.


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I am very happy with the progress I have made since completing the Dreambuilders Program. I appreciate this program very much and would love to engage in more programs like Dreambuilders. I now have more confidence when I meet with teachers or attend appointments. I can communicate better with others and can grasp what others are saying to me. I can see myself improving more each day.

I really enjoyed PACT Time and the activities we did as a family during PACT Time. Before Dreambuilders, I often felt frustrated because I couldn’t communicate well in English with my children, and they also grew frustrated with me. PACT Time has allowed us to gain a better understanding of each other and has grown us closer. I also appreciate the coaches that work with my children. I can see progress that my whole family is making. I’m happy because my relationship with my children has improved.

I feel positive about my future. I am currently working on finding employment. I am also studying to get my driver’s license. Getting a job and my driver’s license will help me so much. I will be able to take my children anywhere.

-Paw Meh

This program has been a journey for me. At the beginning of the program, I felt depressed and started to lose focus but with the help of Dawn, I started to understand that I could not give up. We started to brainstorm on alternative things to do. I first wanted to go into the phlebotomy field and was excited to begin my journey. However, I got the door slammed in my face. I was told by PVCC that I could not pursue the class due to my situation as a juvenile.


Despite that I graduated in 1998, the juvenile justice system lost my high school diploma. There is no record of me from 1992-1998. I was sad and depressed because they lost me in the system. I was told I would need to go back to high school or get my GED. Dawn and I continued to brainstorm other options and I continued to get the door slammed in my face. However, I did not give up. We continued to explore and research, and we found the culinary arts program. I applied and got accepted into the program. I was able to recognize my other strengths and was able to take another path where I can utilize my strengths and talents. I have successfully completed the culinary arts course.  I have learned that when one door slams in your face, you don’t have to give up.   I learned that you must keep going and there may be better paths to take.  Through this process, I have grown as a person and rediscovered myself.


I also enjoyed PACT Time. My son was excited to come to PACT Time and we learned more about each other.  I want to instill the value of education to my kids and just how important an education is for their future. In February, I will be taking an entrepreneurship class. I want to gain as much knowledge so I can start my own business.

I feel that this program has been so helpful. I really loved the women’s support group. I can see the progress that has been made and I am ready for the things life has to offer. 


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My life took a terrible turn in July 2021, sitting in the shelter with my three children I felt like the worst mom in the world! My mind was all over the place and I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I felt like it was the end of my world. I just wanted to give up. My kids were hurt and tired of the same cycle. I knew something had to change. Scared and unsure about my next step in life, four months pregnant.


Finally making my way out of the shelter I was uneasy and uncomfortable with life. I knew we needed something better. Ms. Mary from City of Promise reached out to me, and after to talking with her, pointed me in Dawn's direction. That was the day I didn’t know my life would make a great change.


Dawn's support in the Dreambuilders Program helped me mold my life with the accomplishments I have today and I'm forever thankful. Dreambuilders motivated me to push through to my goals, from attending my phlebotomy classes and completing them, down to working a full-time job! 


One of the best things City of Promise could've done was introduce us to Ms. Yolanda Jones. What a beautiful soul.  She was so vigilant in self-esteem building and educating us on bettering our mental health. I needed this type of support the most. She was so uplifting and taught me what I deserve and opened my eyes to taking back my power and the abuse that I had endured was over. It was time to love Ashley!


She was such an inspiration, even down to how I was interacting and dealing with my children. I speak to them with more love and try more uplifting techniques that feed their mind, body and soul, also while being ferocious about the time and love I desperately needed to give myself. She's one of the best things that happened to me.


I thank God for my City of Promise family. Dawn and Ms. Mary, thank you for never giving up on me. 


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I feel that the Dreambuilders Program has been very helpful. I have gained more confidence in myself and am now able to read and speak more comfortably in English. I am able to go into the community independently. Before this program, I felt very frustrated, but I can see myself improving.  

All the coaches are very helpful. I can see my children improving by working with the pathway coaches. I feel that my children and I are both improving together, and I am very happy. I enjoyed PACT Time and the activities I did with my children. I think it helped us to better understand and communicate with each other. 


Currently, I am working on getting my driver’s license and I am working on finding employment. I now feel more confident. In the future, I want to continue to learn and grow, and possibly seek additional education. 


- Ree Mo

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Coming into the Dreambuilders Program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was head strong and so sure that by the end of the program I would know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. This program has been a journey and a learning experience.  Not only that, I fulfilled a goal that I work on every day and that is to get to know and learn more about myself.  Everyone has a story to tell and Dreambuilders came in the midst of my life when I was rewriting mine.

I am at a point in my life where I am re-learning and regrouping myself. Coming out of years of not loving myself, anger, and so many negative thoughts, the path to healing isn’t an easy one. I want to be better for not only myself but for my children. That means finding a good career. Not just any career but a career that I will love so I wouldn’t feel depleted.  While I was in the program, I tried going with a career that that I thought would be fitting with my intuition but as with anyone using their intuition, the planned failed. The career was not a fit for me and the decision set me back.  Negative thoughts arrived and also bad decisions. I almost let this get me down because I had come into the program with the opposite attitude. Once I stood back and reflected on it thoroughly, I realized that I was brave and took chances. I now realize that if I did not take that chance, I would have regretted it.

During this program, I learned patience, and that self-care is the key to a healthy relationship with yourself and your kids. Overall, I got to know myself better which was my ultimate goal.  After doing my exploring, I want to start my own cleaning business. I am planning on taking an entrepreneurship class early next year. I was also connected to a financial coach and working on getting out of some debt. I am super grateful to have been a part of Dreambuilders and have it be a platform for what is yet to come of my rewritten story.


- Ashley

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 At first, I did not feel comfortable speaking to teachers or going to appointments and would feel the need to have someone accompany me to meetings or appointments. Now, I can see a big change in myself. I can speak with teachers by myself and can attend meetings or appointments independently. 

Overall, this program has allowed me to develop confidence in myself and I can see the progress that I have made. I have the confidence to seek employment. I got connected with Network2work and am now searching for employment. I am also driving and able to transport myself around the community. 


I really enjoyed my weekly Friday meetings with Mai and Dawn. The meetings helped me practice speaking in English with the other ladies, and I enjoyed the activities that we did. I also enjoyed PACT Time and felt that it helped improved my relationship with my children. We are now able to communicate better in English. 

- Saw Mo

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Son of a Dreambuilder

When I first went to PACT Time, I thought that I didn’t need it because I spend time with my mom at home. But once I started going and doing the activities with my mom and siblings, I felt like I was just meeting them for the first time. I was learning stuff I didn’t know about them that I didn’t learn while spending time with them at home.


I feel like Pact Time was great because not only did I learn more about my family, but I got to do it through drawing activities and food which are two of my most favorite things. It’s something I hope we keep doing at home more often.

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Dawn Lawson 
Family Empowerment Coach

Each Dreambuilder faced challenges while participating in this program. Despite any barriers they have shown perseverance while displaying a positive attitude. 

The road was bumpy for some, while others had doors slammed in their face. Instead of quitting, they refocused, regrouped, and reset. They have embodied what this program is about by taking risks to achieve goals and owning their success and mistakes.


I have seen growth in each, whether it is gaining more confidence, self-discovery or completing a personal goal. 

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Mai Lahtaw
Immigrant Support Assistant

I first met three families that were from Burma. They did not know how to speak English and were scared/shy to talk to anybody.  I helped them anytime they needed it.

When they attended the Dreambuilders Program, it helped them to grow the confidence to talk to their kids' teachers and make appointments. What helped so much especially was PACT Time. It helped the families have better quality time with their children and improved their relationships with one another. It helps families understand each other and it helps families enjoy their life together.

Dreambuilder Graduation Yolonda_edited.j

Over the course of the 8 weeks I got to witness you show up for yourselves, press through incredible challenges; press through last minute changes to your kids' schedules; navigate getting tough news, stand up to the systems that are not designed to favor you; navigate literal rain storms and flooding to share with me the praise poems you created; work with difficult emotions; hold steady through intensity at work; break through barriers; become ferocious about protecting your peace; connect with yourselves in new ways, connect with your children in new ways, become even more mindful versions of yourselves. It was so, so good!


I am loving getting to hear about how the PACT Time activities impacted you all, deepened and strengthened your relationships at home. I especially love hearing it directly from your beautiful children who I'm getting to see for the first time tonight! It warms my heart to know that when I sat down to design those exercises with you all in mind it was a fruitful endeavor. 

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