Dream Catalyst is an organization founded on the guiding principle that all dreams matter!  We are committed to looking at social challenges including homelessness through lenses of abundance rather than those of scarcity. Our mission is to launch the dreams and celebrate the birthdays of youth facing challenges including homelessness. Our volunteers who serve as mentors will get to leave their legacy by sharing their gifts, wisdom and passion with children who are ready to manifest their dreams. We learn as much as we can about our volunteers and the youth we serve, so that we can create the best possible mentoring partnerships.

We also get to celebrate birthdays! We make certain that the celebration is “youth-centric” down to the last detail. We understand that birthdays contain transformational magic, and we create experiences that allow for that magic to flow, so the birthday girl or boy knows just how special and essential they are. It is my firm belief that a birthday is one of the most transformational days available in the life of any young person. This is even more the case in the lives of children living in shelters. When a birthday is celebrated within a community of caring people, we build each other’s hope in humanity for the coming year. If a birthday is spent in isolation, then loneliness rather than hope may prevail and serve as the grey cloud that may forever change the life course of that child as they enter into adulthood.

Dream Catalyst is here to insure that our participants are celebrated for who they are born to be. In partnership and collaboration with many local, regional, and national organizations, Dream Catalyst has the opportunity to create immediate impact in the lives of children facing challenges.

Ultimately, research on resilience challenges the field to build this connectedness, this sense of belonging, by transforming our families, schools, and communities to become "psychological homes" wherein youth can find mutually caring and respectful relationships and opportunities for meaningful involvement. Ex-gang member Tito sums up most insightfully the message of resiliency research: "Kids can walk around trouble, if there is some place to walk to, and someone to walk with" (McLaughlin et al, 1994).

It is our promise to foster relationships so that the children we serve can have someone to walk with who can transform their lives and launch their dreams into an atmosphere of support, encouragement and belief!

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Website: http://www.dream-catalyt.org
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Ithaca, NY
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