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Dreamstarter Academy: Year 2

April 10-14 we hosted the 2016 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 Sunday, 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.

The American Indian Society of Washington D.C. also presented us with a Distinguished Service Award and we were very humbled and honored to accept.

We were also joined by three Dreamstarter alumni from last year: Breanna, Sam and Darius! They will be helping out with Dreamstarter Academy this year as interns!

All of the new 2016 Dreamstarters recieved tablets to help them report on their projects. They can use the tablet to take photos, write blog posts, and more! On Monday morning, they will be given the opportunity to go through a training on how to use their new tablets, which will provide them the skills needed to finish their projects.



On Monday morning, the Dreamstarters and mentors participated in training that took place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.

Morning breakout sessions included Running Strong 101 and Spokesperson training. The first training provided information on Running Strong for American Indian Youth such as what we do and our programs. Spokesperson training included tips on how to represent yourself and your organization.

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 Tuesday the Dreamstarters and mentors visited the Smithsonian Cultural Resource Center, where the museum has objects that are not currently on display at the National Museum of the American Indian.

They each had their formal portrait taken wearing something that represented their tribe.

Then we heard more about the museums work with objects, including their efforts to return items to tribes and families. After that all of the Dreamstarters, Mentors and Year 1 Dreamstarters were able to see items from their tribes.



On Wednesday 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 at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, 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 2 grants! Learn more about these 10 amazing people’s dreams.

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