Greetings, Butterfly Dreamz fam!
It's our pleasure to introduce you to Eva, Mary, Shenea, and Leslie! Together, they make up our inaugural cohort of Community Wellness Coaches, participating in our paid yearlong Community Health Worker (CHW) apprenticeship program.
In their role as Wellness Coaches, they co-facilitate group mentoring programs at our partner schools and provide one-on-one support to youth, including creating individualized care plans and helping students navigate and access health and education systems. This level of support is especially critical for our girls and young women who attend under-resourced public schools.
Why are Community Wellness Coaches needed?
Butterfly Dreamz envisions a world where all girls can live boldly, dream big, and fly high. Yet, the well-being of our girls, particularly our Black girls, is threatened by systemic inequities. Generational poverty, institutional racism, and sexism frequently result in adverse outcomes for girls and young women of color. For example, over 70% of girls in our Butterfly Dreamz communities report being frequently stressed out due to a variety of social challenges, including community violence, racism, chronic health conditions, lack of support, and financial struggles.
When our girls look for support, they often can’t find it because many public schools are significantly understaffed. The school counselor-to-student ratio in Indiana is 694 students to one school counselor. In New Jersey, there are 655 students to one school social worker.
How are we equipping our Community Wellness Coaches to support our girls and partner schools?
Upon successful completion of our rigorous (and fun!) CHW apprenticeship, our Community Wellness Coaches will receive a full-time or part-time employment offer from Butterfly Dreamz, Inc., earning a minimum of $30 an hour.
In addition to their hands-on CHW training, our Community Wellness Coaches complete approximately 230 hours of college-level classroom instruction and receive professional coaching and mentorship from our Butterfly Dreamz staff. Their CHW training is guided by the Butterfly Dreamz IMPACT Framework:
Are you interested in helping us?
Awesome! We need you. Our CHW apprenticeship and youth development programs are funded through the generosity of our donors and corporate sponsors. You can make a donation by visiting butterflydreamz.org/donate or check out our Organizational Overview for sponsorship opportunities.
If you follow us on social media, you may have also seen my latest PhD applications update video, where I share other ways you can help. If you missed it, take a few minutes to watch it now. :-)
As always, we're grateful for each of you! Thank you for being on this journey with us, and when you see our Community Wellness Coaches around Newark, New Jersey, and Gary, Indiana, be sure to welcome them to the Butterfly Dreamz family!
Much love & light,
Joy & Team
From nonprofit leaders to social entrepreneurs, our Founder & CEO, Joy Lindsay, is thrilled to join this group of Social Innovation + Change Initiative Cheng Fellows at Harvard Kennedy School.
This year, Fellows are building healthy communities, reimagining education systems, creating economic security, and advancing climate justice.
Learn more about our work to address social problems in new ways here https://bit.ly/2023ChengFellows.
Hey there, Butterfly Dreamz fam!
Today is special. A decade (yes, 10 years!!!) ago, I sent out my very first Butterfly Dreamz email, announcing the start of my first children's book and the founding of our organization: Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. 🥰
Whether you have been with me on this journey for a season, a reason, or a lifetime, I'm incredibly grateful for you.
This has been more than an entrepreneurship journey—it has been a collective story of healing, hope, faith, and impact. For my family, Butterfly Dreamz continues a legacy of 5 generations of public service, social entrepreneurship, and community leadership.
To reflect on these past 10 years of Butterfly Dreamz, I've asked our Board Chair (my mom, Heather), our Board Secretary (my big sis, Tiffany), and one of our Youth Leaders (my niece, Kayla), to join me for a conversation.
In the video below, you'll hear us reflect on:
With all my heart, I thank each of you. I love you immensely and am honored to be in this together. Here's to 10 years—and many more to go! 💕🦋
Much love & light,
We had an opportunity to join ABC News tonight to talk about our current scholarships and our work with youth leaders in Chicago and Gary!
Greetings, Team Butterfly Dreamz!
We hope you're enjoying this season of love and thanksgiving. At Butterfly Dreamz, we're grateful for quite a bit, including:
Meet Our Growing Team
Check out our team page to meet our staff, volunteers, and interns! Interested in joining us? Apply to be a Volunteer Leadership Coach by November 30th!
Hey there, Butterfly Dreamz tribe! ☀️
We're checking in to see how you're enjoying your Leadership Journal. We may be slightly biased, but so far it's our favorite read of the summer. 🥰 If you're loving the journal as much as we are, please write a review on Amazon!
As we read, write, and color in our Leadership Journals, we often find ourselves reflecting back to last month's virtual book launch and our in-person Books & BBQ event at our new headquarters, Grandma's House, in Gary, Indiana. Such fun and beautiful times! THANK YOU to our entire community for showing up and celebrating with us! WE LOVE YOU ALL!!! ❤️
Have a powerful rest of your week, Butterfly Dreamz tribe!
Much love & light,
The Butterfly Dreamz Team
We had a spectacular time at Grandma's House, celebrating our girls' successes this school year and the launch of our Leadership Journal. The NWI Times featured the event in this beautiful article!
Our Program Director, Kyla Carter, and our High School Community Ambassador, Natalie Henry, have a conversation with ABC News about our work, including the launch of our Leadership Journal and our first annual Butterfly Weekend in Chicago, IL and Gary, IN.
On Sunday, May 1st, many of our seniors shared their college and career decisions for National Decision Day, and we're so proud of them!! ❤️ If you missed our social media posts, here's a quick snapshot of where some of our girls are headed:
Please join us in celebrating our girls!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn, where we'll continue to keep you posted as more of our youth leaders make their college and career decisions.
This blog is updated with love by the Butterfly Dreamz staff to keep you informed about our latest happenings.