Making American Dreams Come True

Posted on Jul 8, 2012

Cello and American FlagImagine a 13 year-old young lady with aspirations of being a professional cellist. After hearing her play, you know she has the chops for it. What steps would you recommend for her to achieve this dream? Most of us would suggest regular practice and a commitment to great grades so she could gain entry into a top music program for college. We may even suggest she reach out to professional cellists to gather their advice.

Now consider that this talented girl has been struggling with the loss of her Special Forces father and that to this point her grades haven’t been at the level required to get into the best programs. Telling her she needs to get her grades up to accomplish her goals won’t help heal the underlying cause of her poor grades. Children who have lost a parent already have a dream they know will not come true, and unfortunately many feel that none of their dreams can come true. Knowing this, what would you do to help her achieve her dream?

Children of Fallen Soldiers, an non-profit organization Broadlook has partnered with, has a vision of making dreams come true for kids just like this young lady. “After all,” explains COFS founder and director Chaplain TIG, “these kids are the ones living with the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms you and I enjoy every day. They deserve the best this country has to offer.” When COFS thought about how to go about making dreams come true for the children they serve, COFS knew that it had to fill a support role. They wanted to do something big for the kids like Make a Wish foundation offers, and at the same time, they wanted to provide a consistent mentorship similar to Big Brothers, Big Sisters but one that would take into account all the hopes and dreams the lost parent had for that child. Out of this desire, The America’s Dream Mentorship was born.

So how do you help that 13 year-old cellist make it to Carnegie Hall? The America’s Dream Mentorship offers a path. As one of the participants in the America’s Dream Mentorship, she and her mother with be flown to Julliard this year. She will get a private tour from the dean and have the chance to meet with three professional cellists so she can learn first-hand about the costs and benefits of pursing that dream. She will then be taken to the Hollywood Bowl where she will sit in the pit with the musicians and experience the emotional side of living this dream. If she decides that playing the cello really is the dream she wants to pursue, she will meet with coaches that will take into consideration her strengths as well as the major facets of life to create a strategic plan. “Boots on the ground mentors” will then work with the child regularly while reporting progress to the team at COFS so adjustments can be made along the way.

Currently, the program is limited to five children because COFS has made a commitment that they would not promise a 10 year mentorship program unless it was fully funded. Included in the pilot program are families that have been working with COFS for years. The America’s Dream Mentorship commits 10K per year to each child in order to fund any excursions or regular activities they require in order to make their dreams a reality.

To get involved in making dreams come true, please visit Children of Fallen Soldiers. On their website you can learn how to create your own Expression of Appreciation, volunteer to introduce the program to your community as an Ambassador, or donate money to fund the America’s Dream Mentorship Program.