I first found out about Day Dreams Foundation after Ellen asked me if I could include scholarship applications in the resources I give to families at work. After hearing about this wonderful organization I was thrilled when Ellen asked if I was interested in joining the board. Upon leaving my first board meeting I was nothing short of inspired. Inspired by the other people on the board. Inspired by the Day Dreams Foundation’s mission. Most of all, inspired by the stories I heard about the kids and families. During my first meeting to hand out a scholarship I met an amazing family. This little girl and her mother were fun, enthusiastic and motivated. It was impossible not to leave with that same attitude. She told me that acting classes would not only help her do well in the upcoming play, but also help her to make friends and be more social. I give my time to being a board member because in the short time I have been involved I have seen the impact these scholarships have on kids and their families.
Donating money to Day Dreams Foundation doesn’t just help children participate in an extracurricular activities, it gives them the opportunity to learn about themselves, accomplish goals, and work towards their dreams! #donate4dreams
My involvement in the Day Dreams Foundation comes from simple reasons. I like giving back, so that of course made it an easy choice. But on a more personal level, it presented me an opportunity to be apart of something that I would have needed as a young man. There were many times growing up where my mother, mostly raising two boys on her own,couldn’t afford to pay for us to do the things we wanted, both in and out of school. When a scholarship application is read during our board meetings, I feel a subdued-but-sharp twinge of familiarity as we hear about the desperate circumstances that lead families to reach out to us. I know those situations all too well. But that’s why I know it’s imperative that I do what I can to help now that I’m blessed to have the chance to help. I couldn’t accept Joe’s invitation to join the foundation fast enough.
On this Giving Tuesday, I implore those of you with the means to do so to make a charitable donation because extracurriculars are things that many of us take for granted every day, but for hundreds of kids in just Columbia, it’s not as easily accessible. Think back to what you wanted to do after school in your formative years; now think about those options, for reasons outside of your own control, suddenly not being on the table. That’s the harsh reality facing so many children in Columbia today. But if you give, that could very well mean one less family in that position. When put that way to me, the choice to serve was unquestionably easy.
Ellen Huch — Secretary
I started taking piano lesson’s in 3rd grade. I wasn’t so sure about the idea, but my dad had taken them as a kid and insisted I at least give it a shot. My teacher was a recommendation from a neighbor who my parents had never met before signing me up for lessons. From my first lesson I knew I would like her. She has a way about her that makes you feel important. When she listens to you, it’s easy to tell that she truly cares what you have to say. She lights up the room with her smile and infectious laugh and is easily on of the most vivacious people I have ever met. I took piano lessons from that first lesson in 3rd grade, all the way until I graduated high school. Over the years, she became so much more than a piano teacher to my family and I.
Beverly makes all of her students feel like part of the family. She hosts annual Halloween and Christmas parties, filled with piano performances, but also filled with laughter and a sense of belonging. She encourages her students to get to know one another by having us participate in duets, and even quartets. Every year, all the high-schoolers are invited to “piano camp” at her lake house with a little bit of piano, and a lot of tubing, swimming, and fun.
Beverly is an expert at helping her students reach their full potential. She chooses pieces for them that are within their skill level, but always just a little harder than the last piece. More than that, she truly believes you can do it. She knows just how to console you after you blew a performance or competition, and no one is prouder when you go home with a trophy or a blue ribbon.
I looked forward to my lesson with Beverly every week, and it had nothing to do with playing piano. Beverly was someone to talk to, someone who I knew would listen to me without judgment, and offer truly heartfelt advice and love. When my father passed away suddenly, it was speaking with Beverly every week that I remember as being one of the most helpful ways of dealing with my grief.
Beverly taught me how to play piano, but she also taught me how to embrace what life throws at you and make the best of it. She taught me how to read music, but she also taught me that your relationships with others are what are truly important. She taught me that practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. She taught me to use the acronym, “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” to remember the lines on a treble clef, but she also taught me to work hard and not to use shortcuts. She taught me to make a plan and set goals, but also to go with the flow when your plans fell through. She taught me that my best is good enough.
I am a better person today because of Beverly. I can only hope that all children have the opportunity to have a mentor like her, whether it’s through piano lessons, a sport, or another extracurricular activity. The Day Dream Foundation works to ensure that all children have that chance, and that’s why I am honored to serve on it’s board of directors. Please consider making a donation today in honor of an important mentor in your life!
Eugenia Nathan, Board Member
I absolutely love being involved with Day Dreams because it means another child gets to smile. I get to work with a lot of students in an academic setting, but seeing the positive impacts of participation in an extra-curricular have shown me what a stepping stone of opportunity a scholarship can be. I have had the blessing of meeting with a Day Dreams scholarship recipient and seeing how she is growing as a leader and a talented artist. This is just one part of Day Dreams that makes my heart happy.
Another part is you! The community involvement and support to make more and more dreams possible always blows me away. When so many people rally around something that builds so much good it reminds me what a wonderful world we live in.