East Harlem’s DREAM Creates More Direct Pathways To Classroom Leadership With Innovative Fellowship

June 15, 2022

 DREAM today launched the DREAM Teaching Fellowship, an initiative that will create more direct pathways to classroom leadership and kick-start the teaching careers of DREAM alumni and part-time staff.

Today, as the education field grapples with so many unforeseen obstacles, the DREAM Teaching Fellowship, a 12-month, full-time role, will support each participant as they earn a Master’s Degree and teaching certification while getting first-hand experience in a DREAM classroom.

Cohort 1 begins in July 2022 and ends in June 2023.

“The importance of developing teachers and leaders that look like our students and come from their communities cannot be overstated,” said DREAM co-Chief Executive Officer Eve Colavito. “At a time when education is facing so many unprecedented challenges, we want to give our students the best environments to learn and grow and give them role models they can look to for inspiration. In addition, we want to give our alumni and staff members the opportunities to reach their own dreams, and develop into the leaders we all know they can be. The DREAM Teaching Fellowship is an initiative that will impact so many lives and help us continue to drive DREAM’s work forward.”

DREAM Teaching Fellows earn a competitive salary and benefits and are awarded a generous scholarship to Relay Graduate School of Education. The Fellowship is designed to invest in future educators from DREAM’s own communities, and Teaching Fellows commit to teaching at DREAM for at least three years after program completion.

During the program, each Teaching Fellow works in a classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher, participates in a cohort experience to support and propel their growth, and works toward New York State teaching certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Fellows receive regular feedback and coaching, all while building the skills necessary to manage a classroom, lead instruction, and meaningfully engage students and families.

The first five DREAM Teaching Fellows are: Kim Crawford, Nicholas Feliz, Brandon Gordon, Jenia Reyes, and Matthew Sierra.

Crawford is a former REAL Kids staff member at DREAM Mott Haven Elementary School and will remain at the school to work alongside mentor teacher Aminata Waggeh in the second grade.

Feliz is a DREAM Legend, a DREAM alumnus, who has served as a substitute teacher at DREAM Mott Haven Middle School. Feliz will work alongside DREAM Mott Haven mentor teacher Antione Boardraye, teaching Social Studies.

Gordon is a former DREAM REAL Kids staff member. Gordon will be placed at DREAM East Harlem Middle School with mentor teacher Quioni Phillips, teaching Social Studies and ELA.

Reyes is a DREAM Legend who worked with the REAL Kids program for four summers. Reyes will be placed at DREAM East Harlem Elementary School with mentor teacher Jennifer Negron, teaching fifth grade.

Sierra is a DREAM Legend who worked part-time with a number of DREAM programs from 2014-2018. Sierra will be placed at DREAM Charter High School with mentor teacher Adrian Lopez, teaching Living Environment and Global History.

“We are so proud to launch this new initiative for DREAM, which increases our commitment to serving not only our students, but also our larger community,” said Ana Rader, DREAM’s Senior Manager of Seasonal & Fellowship Recruitment who oversees and helped create the Teaching Fellowship. “The Teaching Fellowship speaks to so many of DREAM’s organizational priorities, including workforce diversity, leadership development, mentorship, and increased professional opportunities, all while contributing to our mission of educational equity.”


Originally founded as Harlem RBI, DREAM traces its beginnings to 1991, when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem.

Thirty years later, the organization serves thousands of children across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a network of free, extended-day, extended-year DREAM Charter Schools and community sports-based youth development programs.

By developing a whole child model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success.

For more information on DREAM and its mission, visit www.wearedream.org.

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