PCSE Seed Grants in Action: Report #1 from Dream Chasers

It has been a very eventful few months since Dream Chasers was awarded one of the Patricelli Center Seed Grants. As an organization, we had been going through a transformation and rebirth all year with the guidance of mentors and new team members through the Patricelli Center Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship. Through the fellowship, Dream Chasers could strongly redefine what makes us special and completely institute new ways to consistently and accurately measure success. The changes made this year through the fellowship has helped Dream Chasers become more attractive to potential supporters or investors.

This spring after Dream Chasers was awarded the Seed Grant, our team quickly got to work on our new, innovative peer mentorship after school curriculum. Our team wanted to take the methods that have been so successful in Kennesaw Georgia, where we are based and put them into a curriculum that can be implemented anywhere. As Dream Chasers continues to quickly grow and expand its reach, we recognize that our core team will not be able to run every single place where Dream Chasers is. However, our methods and our “magic” that has started a student-led movement in Kennesaw can be transferred to a curriculum that can replicate this success anywhere. Our team is currently hard at work on this curriculum and has plans to have it completed by the end of the summer.

Dream Chasers has also been busy pitching our organization to different investors and securing new partnerships with amazing organizations that are passionate about many of the same things as we are. As a result of our pitch for the Seed Grant, one of the judges named Jonathan Gertler contacted our founder, AJ Wilson and asked him to give his family foundation a needs pitch. A few weeks later, AJ gave the pitch and the Gertler Family Foundation are now proud supporters of Dream Chasers.

Dream Chasers has also recently secured and finalized a partnership with an early childcare educational franchising company called Primrose Schools. There are a little more than 300 schools in 29 different states nationwide. AJ Wilson recently gave a speech about his life story and the story of Dream Chasers at the Primrose National Conference in Jacksonville Florida to officially announce our new partnership. Watch the speech.

This summer is going to be a busy one for Dream Chasers. Even though the kids that we serve are not in schools, we are still very active with the community during the summer. We are currently planning a scholarship workshop for some time in July as well as a community skate night. We are also in the process of planning our biggest fundraising event ever for AJ Wilson’s 21st birthday in November. Instead of gifts, AJ Wilson, our founder wants to raise $21,000 for Dream Chasers. If you would like to contribute to this cause early, please visit our website.

Dream Chasers is extremely excited about this summer and excited that we can keep the wonderful Wesleyan community updated. We look forward to sharing more of our successes, struggles and needs as the summer goes on!


The Dream Team