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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jacoby Barry

Nov 27, 2018

By Joan Cronson

An only child and a smart, well-rounded student growing up in New Orleans, Jacoby Barry developed important life skills that helped him thrive inside and outside the classroom. He excelled academically in math and science, completed AP and honor classes, but also had a passion for playing basketball and was a team captain.

“Playing basketball taught me resilience, toughness, dedication, and teamwork,” said Jacoby. “It takes practice to improve and compete. Math came easy for...

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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jacqueline (Jackie) Vela

Oct 30, 2018

By Joan Cronson

Born and raised in the United States to Mexican immigrant parents, Jacqueline (Jackie) Vela has often served as a translator.

Her father works in an industrial metal lab while her mother, despite suffering from chronic back pain, works at home raising their three children. As the eldest child, Jackie grew up helping with housework and caring for her younger sisters—including her youngest sibling, who has autism and does not speak. Throughout Jackie’s youth, she was also the...

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jaquaious Little

Sep 13, 2018

By Joan Cronson

Growing up in a small town in Mississippi in a single-parent household, Jaquaious (Jay) Little had limited access to resources and experienced lots of change. His mother and father broke up very early on in his life. His mother later married and divorced his stepfather when he was in first grade. She completed college with a degree in education and became a preschool teacher to support their family.

“My mother told me that education is a great equalizer,” Jay said. “Her...

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Chantel Lewis-Cummings

Aug 30, 2018

By Emilee Tullar

It is a long road from a rough neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia to the executive suite, but that’s Chantel Lewis-Cummings’ path. 

When she was just two years old, Chantel's father was killed. She moved in with her grandmother in Savannah. A few years later her grandmother's health began to decline and she lost her job. With no income, they were evicted and had to move into Chantel's great-aunt's basement. That was when Chantel's mother, who had been away at school, moved...

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Denis Cruz

Aug 10, 2018

By Emilee Tullar

The saying "nothing is impossible" characterizes Denis Cruz and his philosophy on life. Born in Honduras, Denis spent his childhood in a small village with his mother. The entire village lived in poverty, but Denis's family was among the poorest of the poor. In order to provide for her family, Denis's mother took a job in Spain, leaving him to live with his grandmother.

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Rachel Muir

Jul 27, 2018

By Emilee Tullar

Our circumstances—where we’re born, our family’s history, our economic status—play an outsized role in shaping our identity in the world. For Rachel Muir, those circumstances weren’t the ones that usually lead to higher education.

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