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Dream Center sees first-generation college students prepare for class

July 2, 2024

Dream Center Academy is celebrating the graduation of its first […]

Dream Center sees first-generation college students prepare for class

Dream Center Academy is celebrating the graduation of its first group of students.

The academy opened its doors in 2017 with a group of 33 children preparing to enter sixth grade and a plan to prepare the kids living in the Hunter Huss area for success and high school graduation. The approach provides summer and afterschool programs to support students.

Twenty kids from the original group have remained with the academy for nearly a decade, and will now leave for college after graduating high school last month.

2024 Dream Center Academy Graduating Class

According to Executive Director Roxann Jimison, the academy does not plan to let the distance impact the sense of community they have created.

“They might be going away, but they’re not leaving us,” she said. “We’re going to be that family that stays in touch.”

Last year the board of directors held a meeting to discuss ways in which the academy could keep up with students once they have graduated, so the team plans to remain a support for students even as they navigate college, Jimison added.

Eighteen of the students will start college courses this fall, 85% of whom are first-generation college students, and two are going into trades.

Jimison said all of the kids are excited for what comes next and are mainly nervous about financial aid packages.

DCA will award each of the graduates with a $500 scholarship toward their trade school or university, and eight of the college-bound students will also receive outside scholarships including the Albert G. Myers Scholarship, the George & Patricia Barnard Scholarship, the Rotary 4-Way-Test Challenge Scholarship, the NC Next Scholarship, the Pay It Forward Scholarship, the GCS Paul Fuller for Mentored Students Scholarship, and the Wayne Kenneth Ratchford Scholarship, she added.