It was a bit of a reunion on January 19, as DREAM leadership, staff, alumni, friends, and longtime supporters packed the Arts Wing of the organization’s new home at 20 Bruckner Boulevard to officially open the building and further solidify DREAM’s roots in the South Bronx. Joining together to celebrate DREAM’s evolution from the first abandoned lot in East Harlem to today, those gathered for the ribbon-cutting focused on what it means for DREAM to invest so deeply in its communities, and the life-changing impact that investment can have on a child’s future.
“We must remind our young people, in all the work we do, that their block should never block their blessing, and their zip code should never deny their destiny,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson at the ceremony. “That’s what today is all about.”
In addition to Gibson, Elsie Encarnacion, Chief of Staff for New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo, and New York State Assemblymember John Zaccaro, Jr. all joined in the morning’s celebration to share a few words about DREAM’s impact. Following the speaking program in the Arts Wing, guests then joined DREAM co-Chief Executive Officers Richard Berlin and Eve Colavito to cut the ribbon in front of the building’s Bruckner Boulevard entrance, officially opening 20 Bruckner and marking the next generation of DREAM’s work in Mott Haven.
“Today, as we officially open this beautiful new school, I want to recognize that impact and how it can transform a life, a family, and a community. I know it did for me and mine.”
Alex Ruiz, Jr., DREAM Legend and Postsecondary Success Coordinator
Designed by world-renowned architect Sir. David Adjaye, 20 Bruckner is a 120-year-old former ice house transformed into a state-of-the-art school for DREAM students, featuring a full-court gymnasium, cathedral-style library, STEAM quad, and rooftop play space. In addition, the building has two dining halls and a fully equipped kitchen that will support a scratch-cooking meal program.
While DREAM Charter High School students moved into the building earlier this month, DREAM Mott Haven Elementary and Middle Schools will call the building home in the fall of 2023. Eventually, 20 Bruckner will serve approximately 1,300 New York City students and their families.
“DREAM has been around for 31 years, and its generational impact is part of what makes it so special,” said Alex Ruiz, Jr., a DREAM Legend who now works as the organization’s Postsecondary Success Coordinator. “You have alumni who grow up and send their kids to DREAM Charter School, or who, like me, come back and work here. So today, as we officially open this beautiful new school, I want to recognize that impact and how it can transform a life, a family, and a community. I know it did for me and mine.”
You can view more about DREAM’s 20 Bruckner Ribbon Cutting in the following press clips, and watch the recap video below.
In the News:
- NY1 Noticias, “DREAM Charter School opens in the Bronx” (January 19, 2023)
- News12 The Bronx, “State of Our Schools” (January 19, 2023)
- amny, “New school on a South Bronx block: DREAM Charter School unveils K-12 campus expansion in Mott Haven” (January 20, 2023)
- NBC New York, “Learning in New State-Of-The-Art School” (January 20, 2023)
- News12 The Bronx, DREAM co-CEO Richard Berlin joins “State of Our Schools” (January 25, 2023, clip begins at 9:24)
- National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Blog, “Moving In: Dreams Turned Into Reality” (January 27, 2023)
- The Bronx Free Press, “Our children deserve this space” (January 28, 2023)
- BronxNet, “DREAM Charter School Ribbon Cutting” (January 31, 2023)