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2017 Dreamstarter Academy

April 22-25 we hosted the 2017 Dreamstarters and their mentors in Washington, D.C. for Dreamstarter Academy.

We had a fantastic week of trainings, touring the city, and getting to know each other!


On Saturday, the Dreamstarters and mentors arrived in Washington, D.C. and we got to know each other on a meet-and-greet in the evening. At the meet-and-greet, the Dreamstarters made signs describing their dreams.

We were also joined by three Dreamstarter alumni from previous classes of Dreamstarters: Rob, Cristin and Jeremy! They helped out with Dreamstarter Academy this year as interns!

All of the new 2017 Dreamstarters recieved tablets to help them report on their projects. They can use the tablet to take photos, write blog posts, and more! The week included a number of trainings on how to use these new tools for their projects.



On Sunday morning, the Dreamstarters and mentors participated in trainings that took place at the Wonderbread Factory WeWork space.

We were joined by Sharon Goldtzvik of Uprise Communications and Tracy Rector, Justin Deegan, and Steve Hyde of Longhouse Media. In the morning, Sharon conducted a spokesperson training, and Longhouse Media conducted an iPad Media Making Intensive.

Spokesperson training included tips on how to represent yourself and your organization. The iPad Media Making Intensive taught the Dreamstarters how to use their iPads to shoot quality video of their projects, and included hands on practice time.

After lunch, training commenced with breakout sessions focusing on Fine Tuning Grants and Boss Pitch. Fine Tuning Grants included discussing each Dreamstarters grant and what to expect this upcoming year. Boss pitch included the Dreamstarters working on and presenting their pitches.

After a day of training, the Dreamstarters, their mentors, and Running Strong staff participated in a guided evening tour of Washington D.C. monuments. The Dreamstarters enjoying seeing the sites of D.C. and learning some of its history!



On Monday the Dreamstarters were greeted by our board members Emil Her Many Horses and Elayne Silversmith at the National Museum of the American Indian. Emil works as a curator at the museum, and Elayne is a resource librarian at the NMAI Cultural Resource Center’s library.

Each Dreamstarter then had their formal portrait taken wearing something that represented their tribe, and alongside their mentor.

Later Monday evening, the Dreamstarters bonded over dinner with Billy Mills!



On Tuesday we started the morning off with Running Strong 102 and a self care workshop. In Running Strong 102 the Dreamstarters learned about other opportunities they have as a Dreamstarter, such as the chance to visit other Dreamstarter projects. Then Steve Hill led a self care workshop, sharing strategies to handle stress and whatever may happen in a good way.

After the workshops, the Dreamstarters practiced their pitches one more time, and then each sat down with Billy Mills to discuss their dreams. After they were all done, and had some free time to explore the city, we had the Dreamstarter Closing Ceremony on Wednesday night.

We all gathered, along with friends & supporters, and the Dreamstarters shared about their dreams and our week together. Then each Dreamstarter received a Pendleton blanket, and we got some photos together before we said our goodbyes.

But the end of the week together is just the beginning of the Dreamstarter Year 3 grants! Learn more about these 10 amazing people’s dreams.

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