A Path to the Classroom: DREAM’s New Teaching Fellowship

by | Jun 9, 2022 | 0 comments

In more than 30 years as an organization, DREAM’s goal has always remained the same: to find the best ways to support the children and communities we serve. Whether through our network of public charter schools, our afterschool and summer programs, or our post-secondary programming for DREAM graduates, DREAM constantly innovates to meet the most pressing needs of our communities.

Today, as the education field grapples with so many unforeseen obstacles, DREAM is once again adapting and expanding to launch the DREAM Teaching Fellowship, an initiative that will kick-start the teaching careers of DREAM alumni (called Legends) and seasonal, youth-facing staff, while creating leadership and development opportunities within the classroom for highly effective teachers.

A 12-month, full-time paid position, the Teaching Fellowship will not only expand DREAM’s intergenerational investment in the communities we serve, but will also increase DREAM’s ability to provide pathways to success for those already part of the DREAM family.

“The importance of developing teachers and leaders that look like our students and come from their communities cannot be overstated,” said DREAM co-Chief Executive Officer Eve Colavito. “At a time when education is facing so many unprecedented challenges, we want to give our students the best environments to learn and grow, and give them role models they can look to for inspiration. In addition, we want to give our alumni and staff members the opportunities to reach their own dreams, and develop into the leaders we all know they can be. The DREAM Teaching Fellowship is an initiative that will impact so many lives and help us continue to drive DREAM’s work forward.”

As part of the Fellowship, Teaching Fellows will work in a DREAM classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher, while participating in a cohort experience to support and propel their growth. Teaching Fellows will receive regular feedback and coaching, all while building the skills necessary to manage a classroom, lead instruction, and meaningfully engage students and families.

“Our inaugural Teaching Fellows were inspired to become teachers because of their experience with DREAM, and their desire to give back and make an impact in their communities, at a time when many are leaving the classroom.”

Ana Rader, Senior Manager of Seasonal & Fellowship Recruitment

Supported by a generous scholarship from DREAM, Teaching Fellows will also work toward earning New York State teaching certification and a master’s degree in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. And because the initiative is designed to create a pathway into DREAM classrooms for future educators from the communities DREAM serves, all Teaching Fellows commit to teaching at DREAM for at least three years after completion of the Fellowship.

“We are so proud to launch this new initiative for DREAM, which increases our commitment to serving not only our students, but also our larger community,” said Ana Rader, DREAM’s Senior Manager of Seasonal & Fellowship Recruitment who oversees and helped create the Teaching Fellowship. “The Teaching Fellowship speaks to so many of DREAM’s organizational priorities, including workforce diversity, leadership development, mentorship, and increased professional opportunities, all while contributing to our mission of educational equity.”

The launch of the DREAM Teaching Fellowship is a core tenant of the organization’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which is comprised of three focus areas: maintaining a level playing field, growing and developing a diverse staff, and strengthening the student experience. While increasing the number of opportunities available for DREAM’s alumni and part-time staff, it also creates a structured pathway for them to attain full-time teaching roles at DREAM, as well as additional leadership opportunities for mentor teachers.

“Our inaugural Teaching Fellows were inspired to become teachers because of their experience with DREAM, and their desire to give back and make an impact in their communities, at a time when many are leaving the classroom,” said Rader. “DREAM is acutely aware of how many doors this is opening and the ripple effect it will have on the organization as it grows.”

The first DREAM Teaching Fellowship cohort will officially start this July with coursework at Relay. Fellows will begin work in their assigned classrooms at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

DREAM’s 2022-23 Teaching Fellowship Cohort

Kim Crawford (Former part-time REAL Kids & Athletics, Health and Wellness program staff)
Fellowship placement site: DREAM Mott Haven Elementary School
Mentor Teacher: Aminata Waggeh, 2nd grade

Nicholas Feliz (DREAM Legend and DREAM Mott Haven permanent substitute)
Fellowship placement site: DREAM Mott Haven Middle School
Mentor Teacher: Antione Boardraye, Social Studies

Brandon Gordon (Former part-time REAL Kids program staff)
Fellowship placement site: DREAM East Harlem Middle School
Mentor Teacher: Quioni Phillips, Social Studies & ELA Learning Specialist

Jenia Reyes (DREAM Legend and former part-time program staff)
Fellowship placement site: DREAM East Harlem Elementary School
Mentor Teacher: Jennifer Negron, 5th grade

Matthew Sierra (DREAM Legend and former part-time program staff)
Fellowship placement site: DREAM Charter High School
Mentor Teacher: Adrian Lopez, Living Environment & Global History Learning Specialist

<a href="https://blog.wearedream.org/author/liz_white/" target="_self">DREAM</a>


DREAM started in 1991 as Harlem RBI, a volunteer-run Little League for 75 kids in East Harlem. Three decades later, the organization serves 2,500 youth across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a growing network of inclusive, extended-day, extended-year charter schools and community sports-based youth development programs. By developing an education model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success.

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