The Youth Dreamers started in 2001 as a group of nine middle school students that were part of a Community Action elective course at the Stadium School. As part of their course objective they identified a problem in their community: too many adolescents were involved in negative acts after school because of a lack of organized activities and places to house them. Together they came up with a solution: to create a youth-run youth center that would employ teens and creatively serve children of all ages.
The Dream House became the vision towards which the original nine students and others after them worked to achieve. Continuing as part of the class, the Youth Dreamers selected an abandoned home in Baltimore’s Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello community, petitioned for a zoning change, purchased the house, wrote grants and raised more than $300,000 towards its renovations. Youth were also involved in the architectural design and renovations, guided by a pro bono architect and general contractor. Nine years later, they celebrated the Grand Opening of the Dream House! In 2010, the Youth Dreamers separated itself from the Stadium School to become a stand-alone youth-center that serves all students from the community. Youth Dreamers now offers YD Squared: Youth Dreamers Youth Development Workshops that combine leadership training with community art and service learning for middle and high school students.
BUY OUR BOOK! Baltimore, I Love You!
This book, written entirely by young people in Baltimore City, will engage you with its honesty, humor and photographs. "Baltimore, I Love You!" was the culmination of a five week summer arts program by the Youth Dreamers, during which four high school students taught middle school students writing, interviewing and self expression. Follow Victor VonCardiac as he travels through Baltimore with these young people who share about themselves and their city.
To order your copy from, go to our Youth Dreamer store.
STAY TUNED FOR OUR NEW BOOK:
I am Not a Test Score: Lessons Learned from Dreaming: A collaborative book about what Youth Dreamers and their adult allies learned from dreaming and building Baltimore’s only youth-run youth center—The Dream House.
The book will include lessons learned inside and out of the classroom; classrooms that were not controlled by standardized tests, but were rather focused on real-world, project-based, community-based curriculum.
- Deja Joseph, 10th grade City
- Jessica White, 12th grade Poly
- Iman Cuffie, 10th grade Western
- Waverly Shivers, 12th grade Baltimore School for the Arts
- Keyani Kenny, freshman Salem College
- Stephen Scott, freshman Alleghany College
- Dominique Davis, sophomore Frostburg State University
- Kristina Berdan, Teacher-Director
- Danielle Chi, Community Artist