When it comes to that familiar UB epigram “reaching others,” no one does it better, in more immediate ways and with an eye to expanding at the limits of its capacity than the School of Social Work’s DREAM Program.
In a few short years, the DREAM program (short for Developing Relationships through Empowerment, Advocacy and Motivation) has gone from a single community-based program that makes a concrete, hands-on difference in people’s lives to three.
“Our first two years of volunteering was at Gerard Place in Buffalo,” which offers transitional housing for parents and children, says Susan A. Green, clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work who established the program in 2004 within the social work’s community concentration. “The UB DREAM Team held ‘DREAM Night’ every Saturday evening, sharing movies, games, food and warm conversation with residents.”
Phase 2 began in 2006. “Reaching others” became a bi-weekly education enrichment program at Gerard Place designed to assist residents with GED attainment and other educational goals. While the Gerard Place program is no longer active, the DREAM program continued moving forward in 2007 by developing a partnership with the Girls Sports Foundation, a community group based in the Edward Saunders Community Center on Buffalo’s East Side.