About Own Your Dream
In 2007, Laniesha Merritt combined her love of photography, event coordination, and music to create her first business, MyTru Productions. Three years later, using the profits from MyTru Productions, Merritt started the nonprofit Own Your Dream, an organization that produces talent and fashion shows for youth ages 6-17 years old. After working with the youth through this organization, Merritt soon realized that many lacked a safe space to talk about the obstacles and hard issues that life threw at them, which often held these young individuals back from chasing their dreams. To help the youth achieve their dreams, Merritt created the Dream Catchers program which works to create opportunities for those who need empowerment the most. In addition, Own Your Dream provides academic help such as tutoring, STEM programs, and homework assistance. They also provide outreach programs like Mind Over Melodies (teen summits), where they address problems such as drug use, sexual violence, gang involvement, and risk of HIV/STDs or unwanted pregnancies so that the youth have a comfortable and safe environment to discuss such topics.
If you want to learn more about their outreach programs, click this link: https://www.ownyourdreamnc.org/materials-for-learning
At Own Your Dream, Merritt has recruited people who experienced similar situations to the youth in this program, but went on to lead more successful lives.
The Dream Catchers program helps youth cultivate their interests in either cooking, photography, dance, production, or STEM. The courses are offered for six weeks, for two days each week for an hour. For each course, the youth learn all aspects of the subject and have a fun final project related to the field that they normally present to their friends and family.
If you want to learn more about their Dream Catchers program, click this link: https://www.ownyourdreamnc.org/dream-catchers-program
Volunteers can help out with instructing the extra-curricular activities, such as fitness and cooking classes; help out with academic support such as tutoring, STEM based classes, or the Literacy program; serve in a clerical role; or provide photography and videography services. To volunteer, you must be at least fifteen years old. Volunteering at Own Your Dream is a great opportunity to help the youth in your community achieve their dreams.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Own Your Dream through this link: https://www.ownyourdreamnc.org/contact-us
Jordan Hannan and Jordan Lappin