Today’s teens face extraordinary challenges with lifelong consequences before they’ve fully developed the skills to cope with them. No young person should be alone in managing these challenges, from processing everyday stresses to facing homelessness.
For nearly 20 years, Journey to Dream has offered comprehensive services for youth navigating the tough teen years.
It all started with school programs and escalated from there. “Each time we go into schools we’re like ‘ok now we need to add this component’ because schools just don’t have the bandwidth,” says CEO Nesa Grider. “Every time we dig in, we find that in the 14-19 age range there’s a huge gap in services.”
The organization has grown to reach 15,000 young people annually and includes residential and school programs.
For teens experiencing homelessness and trauma, Kyle’s Place is a residential campus that offers the essential elements of “home”: stability and guidance.
The only youth residential campus in Denton County for teens ages 14-19, Kyle’s Place provides stability and a family-like experience where youth can cultivate a positive identity, discover the life skills necessary to thrive in adulthood, and take ownership and plan their future.
Kyle’s place provides a safe, caring place to live, clothing and nutritious meals, and life skills training including counseling and academic support, as well as medical and mental health care.
Knowing your true self and believing in your ability to achieve a goal are two crucial, yet sometimes difficult, lessons of adolescence. Journey to Dream’s in-school programming helps students explore their strengths and identity, preparing them to become confident, productive adults who can give back to the community.
The Dream Initiative teaches social and emotional skills, problem solving and communication skills, and mental health awareness and coping skills, as well as strong study and healthy eating habits.
What’s Next for Journey to Dream?
They’re launching Pathways for ages 19-25. “Just because you turn 19 doesn’t mean you’re an adult,” explains Grider, who’s always had a heart for empowering youth. “This independent living program will provide assistance with budgeting, resumes, and finding jobs. It will give teens that little extra launching pad they need.”
How to Get Involved
Donate: “Imagine you had 19 teenagers living at home and those are the type of donations we need!” laughs Grider. The organization is currently preparing for the upcoming school year and appreciates monetary donations, gift cards, and clothing items such as jeans, shirts, shoes, jackets, and undergarments.
Attend: Eat, Drink and Be Giving is a free event on November 4. This elaborate party provided by a donor is held in an airplane hangar in Addison and is all about amplifying the mission.
For more information visit journeytodream.com/get-involved