It all started with a dream, and the dream is more important now than ever.
Almost three decades ago, some dedicated parents vowed not to lose a generation of children to the devastating effects of substance abuse.
Although progress has been made in reducing overall drug use, statistics reflect that underage drinking, inhalant use, prescription drug abuse, and methamphetamine use are unacceptably high. Violence is still very prevalent in our communities and critical health issues have emerged such as childhood obesity.
As we reflect on the past 29 years of service, our vision is focused on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It is with faith in our mission and a belief that we can and will make a difference in the lives of children, their families, and communities that we ask you to partner with us for a brighter and healthier future.
It was the faith of those few parents, combined with the support of the community, that began what has been one of the South’s most successful nonprofit organizations. Many things have changed since those days, but one reality has remained steadfast at DREAM, Inc. "our vision is changing lives." Developing Resources for Education in America, Inc., (DREAM) was founded in 1981. Like its symbol, the butterfly, DREAM has metamorphosed from a grassroots Mississippi-based nonprofit organization focusing only on substance abuse issues related to teens, into one of the nation's premier leaders in substance abuse prevention and health promotion.
The organization's birth began when a group of committed volunteers from the Junior League of Jackson teamed with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to form a separate nonprofit organization, the Drug Research and Education Association in Mississippi, Inc. Using the acronym DREAM, the organization began focusing on community mobilization against teen substance abuse throughout Mississippi. Thanks to the nurturing it received from thousands of volunteers, philanthropists, political figures, government agencies, and its board of directors, DREAM grew in size and stature and was soon recognized outside the State for its creative approaches to preventing substance abuse among youth.
In 1991, DREAM emerged from its Mississippi cocoon prompting its official name change to Developing Resources for Education in America, Inc. Retaining its acronym DREAM, the organization broadened its mission to address not only substance abuse, but other inter-related health issues targeting children, youth, and adults. Today, DREAM's programs, products, and services have taken flight into all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and several countries.
Developing Resources for Education in America, (DREAM) was founded in 1981 with its first formal meeting at the Junior League of Jackson House.
First Row: June Milam, the Junior League's Project Development Committee Chair, DREAM's Founder, and CEO for twenty-two years; Dale Danks, Former Mayor of Jackson; Ellen Mitchell, the Junior League's Project Development Committee Co-Chair and DREAM's CFO.
Second Row: Bob DeVos, Executive Director of DREAM; Tom Dial, Former Director of Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; Helen Dalehite, Former President of the Jackson Junior League; Warren Hood, DREAM's Benefactor; Carlton Turner, Office of Drug Policy in Washington.