Over seven years ago, Dawn McDougall saw an advertisement on the Sask Jobs website for a position with the Dream Brokers Program. Since then, she’s been connecting youth at Prince Albert’s St. John Community School and St. Catherine Community School with sport, culture and recreation programming.
What is the greatest impact that the Dream Brokers Program has on children, youth, families, communities, etc.?
The Dream Brokers program allows all children the opportunity to enroll in activities. The program helps families reduce any barriers they are facing when enrolling their children in activities. It helps to level the playing field so all families can be included. The program helps the family to be involved in the community and to build positive relationships with new role models and mentors.
Describe a memorable moment during your experience as a Dream Broker.
One of my most memorable moments was getting new shoes for a boy to take part in ball hockey and seeing his smile while we picked out shoes. After every ball hockey game, he would come and tell me a play by play. I would also hear him telling other staff members his stories. It seems like a small memory, but it is one that has stuck in my mind.
What have you learned as a Dream Broker?
I have learned that building positive relationships is very important. Students and their families need to feel comfortable and safe in a non-judgmental environment. Children thrive when they feel like they are an equal member of their peer group.
What difference do you think a Dream Broker can make?
A Dream Broker can help reduce the stress of children wanting to take part in activities. We can be a positive relationship for children as well as parents. We can also inform students and families of the various opportunities and activities that are available and act as the middle person to help all sides work together.
How do you think children/youth benefit from participation in sport, culture and recreation?
Children learn how to become a team player; they learn about acceptance and perseverance, and they can thrive in a place that they are comfortable in and can be successful at.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Dream Broker?
The most rewarding part about being a Dream Broker is seeing the smile on the families’ faces when they can participate in a program barrier free.