- About the Dream
- Dream Cities
- Dream Publications
- Join the Dream
Dream Cities | Houston, TX
Foster Elementary School
3919 Ward Street
Houston, TX 77021
3919 Ward Street
Houston, TX 77021
Learning Center DirectorWalter Hull
whullusdreamacademy [dot] org
Mentor CoordinatorJermaine Patterson
jpattersonusdreamacademy [dot] org
There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”. The staff at the Dream Learning Center in Houston took that to heart last year when they implemented the Village Responsibility concept throughout the mentor program.
The plan was to recruit prospective mentors from the staff’s social networks and while they made an agreement to mentor one child, they would collectively mentor all the children in the center. The concept was carried out through weekly group mentoring activities which gave the mentors the opportunity to build a relationship with all the children. In addition, the staff created different events for all the mentors to fellowship, network, and build relationships with one another.
The results of the Village Responsibility were truly inspirational. Not only did the mentors increase the visibility of the program, but they shared their art forms, careers, entrepreneurial practices, and personal stories of struggles not just to their mentee, but to every child in the program. In addition to improving the program, the idea of the Village Responsibility also enhanced the mentor experience. Sharing about the experience, mentor Nsilo Reynolds said, “Having the mentors involved in so many activities throughout the year gave the mentees the sense that we are right there with them in educational programming and community initiatives.”
The Village Responsibility was an attempt to change perspectives on mentoring. Center Director Walther Hull may have stated it best when he said, “What we wanted was a new perspective on how we interpret mentoring in our community. We believe in our hearts that mentoring is an adult responsibility. It’s not a calling or something that ‘some’ people do, it’s what every man and woman should be doing.”
Our History in Houston
With the support and guidance of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and State Senator Rodney Ellis, we established the Houston Dream Center in October 2002. The center relocated to Foster Elementary School in October 2007 to increase our capacity to serve more students in this low-income, high-crime community. The center, which is now able to accomodate 60 students between the ages of 8-13 cultivates a particular excitement to engage in the arts, such as dance, music, and theater.
About Our Staff
Learning Center Director
Walter Hull brings his passion for youth development and artistic expression to his work at Center Director of the Houston Learning Center. Mr. Hull has extensive experience in non-profit leadership having previously served with Helping Hands Inc. and having helped to found the Urban Souls Dance Company. Mr. Hull, who is affectionately known to the kids as “Coach Hull” has been recognized for his leadership skills and ability to forge strong partnerships having earned the “Director of the Year” honor in 2006. Mr. Hull will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in Choreographic Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette fall 2010. Mr. Hull currently works to affect change in the field of juvenile delinquency prevention by representing U.S. Dream Academy on the Harris County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI.)
Jermaine Patterson’s road to the US. Dream Academy began as a student at Xavier University. In addition to working towards his Bachelors degree in Business Marketing, Mr. Patterson became involved in many community activities igniting his passion for youth work. Mr .Patterson, who goes by Mr. P. at the center, has successfully balanced his passion for marketing and working with youth by serving as the Mentor Coordinator in Houston and co-founding his own marketing company. Mr. P’s connection with the U.S. Dream Academy began when he was recruited to be a mentor and had such a transformative experience, that he decided to join the team.
Our Houston Partners in the Dream
2010 Media, LLC
Greater Houston Mentoring Collaborative
Immanuel Educational Services, Inc
National CARES Mentoring Movement-Houston
Texas Southern University-School of Social Work
Women Who Look Ahead
There are no upcoming events scheduled for this learning center at this time. Please check back later.