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
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,
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!
Meet our volunteer Leadership Coaches!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🥰
This school year, we’ll have 43 Leadership Coaches providing one-on-one mentorship to our girls, helping them grow as leaders and achieve their personal, professional, and academic goals.
Our coaches come from a variety of career backgrounds, professions, and cities across the United States. We are ecstatic that they’ve decided to share their wisdom and leadership skills with our girls and we’re so grateful to have them on the team!! 💕🦋
We are pleased to introduce our first cohort of ExCEL Fellows!
ExCEL - Exemplifying Change, Empowerment, and Leadership.
Over the next few months, these young leaders will be learning about gender-based violence and working together to create a community action project that builds community support and protection for girls.
We are honored to facilitate this fellowship in partnership with Rutgers Univerisity, NJ DCF Division on Women, and other regional partners. Stay tuned for future updates about their impactful work! 💕🦋
Happy September, Butterfly Dreamz Tribe!
After a restful summer, we're rejuvenated and ready for a dynamic and impactful new school year. This month we're having authentic back-to-school convos, learning how to make friends in new school environments, exploring The Leadership Journal, Volume 2: Let's Reflect, and beginning our Cocoon Club program for the new school year! Keep reading to learn more.
Hey there, Butterfly Dreamz Tribe!
Are you that person who loves to see your friends winning in life? That's a silly question—of course, you are! So, make sure you share these 3 Money Moves for Young Leaders with your bestie. And if your friend is a teen girl or a woman who mentors teen girls, be sure to invite her to join our Cocoon Club so she'll gain access to all our member benefits!
A New Season
Happy Women's Herstory Month, Butterfly Dreamz Tribe!
March is the month of my grandmother's birthday, the start of spring, and the "beginning of new beginnings" as we get closer to graduations, warm weather, and a new season. Throughout this month, our girls will be preparing for growth and transition.
Starting Thursday, March 11th at 5:30 PM EST, we'll be hosting weekly yoga sessions for teen girls and mentors, in partnership with I'm So Yoga Newark. Attendance is free for Cocoon Club members and non-members can donate to join. We hope to see you there!
For many of us, February is a time of reflection. Although it is not the only time we celebrate Black history, it is certainly a special time—a time of honoring the dreams and the work of our ancestors. We stand proudly and humbly on the sacrifices and commitment of those that came before us.
Earlier this week, we shared 12 Homeschool Activities That Highlight Trailblazing Black Women. In honor of our ancestors, we'll be using these activities to decide which middle and high school girls will receive our $1,000 Live Boldly Book Scholarship.
Cash in "The Cocoon"
Growing up, cash was always my favorite incentive. If you have a convo with my dad, he'll tell you stories about how the kids in our family left him broke by earning A's on our report cards. :-) Well, last month I got a taste of what my dad experienced. We kicked off our Cocoon Club Cash, an incentive that awards girls cash prizes for their leadership achievements.
This blog is updated with love by the Butterfly Dreamz staff to keep you informed about our latest happenings.