For over a decade, Laura Dyck has been helping Saskatchewan youth pursue interests in sport, culture and recreation programming as a Dream Broker.
Dyck got involved with Dream Brokers after working alongside the program when she was a youth worker at Saskatoon’s White Buffalo Youth Lodge. She’s now in her 11th year as a Dream Broker, operating out of St. Frances Cree Bilingual School.
What is the greatest impact that the Dream Brokers program has on children, youth, families, communities, etc.
I believe the greatest impact the program has on children is the way it helps grow confidence. When a child is a part of the program, a sense of belonging is fostered. You can see a change in the students from the first time trying a new activity. The kids come out of their shell, and you can sense the pride and confidence begin to grow. Seeing a child in the program who positively experiences a sense of belonging that directly contributes to the confidence in themselves is remarkable.
Describe a memorable moment from your time as a Dream Broker…
Honestly, the best moments are the little moments. Having a student wave enthusiastically to you from the soccer field or ice surface when you come to cheer the kids on. Having a student give you a handmade drawing or painting made for you the night before. When kids pop by my office and tell me how much fun was had at their program, the new friends made and about the great instructors. The huge smiles on the kid’s face and the spring in their step. These small moments make every day special.
The first year we had a Dream Broker summer music camp was another memorable moment for me. We brought in a group of 60 Dream Broker students to the University of Saskatchewan campus for a week-long summer music camp. The kids were so nervous because most had little to no musical experience. Each student got to sample all different kinds of instruments the first couple days and by the third day, had the ability to select an instrument to focus on for the rest of the week. The instructors worked so hard with the groups, and the kids learned so much in such a short time. At the end of the week, there was a performance in the grand auditorium. The performance was nothing short of amazing! Each group had a turn to perform and allowed the participants to show family and friends what had been learned. The finale was a group performance of two songs. It brought the house down! It was the most incredible performance. This camp fostered a love of music in many of my students who continued to take music lessons for years after.
What have you learned as a Dream Broker?
I have learned that every student I meet is passionate about something. From lacrosse to dance, pottery to triathlon, every single person has that one thing the kids are truly enthusiastic about and something that brings personal joy. You don’t necessarily have to be the best or excel at it, for it to make you happy.
What difference do you think a Dream Broker can make?
A Dream Broker can assist a student with being successful. We work behind the scenes to advocate for the students and families. We often act as a liaison between service providers and the families. Basically, we want to help make sure everything runs smoothly for the student so they can focus on enjoying their activity. The less we as Dream Brokers are noticed in this process, the better. We want to be an invisible support so our students can participate among peers without prejudice.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Dream Broker?
The best part about being a Dream Broker is the connections with the students and families. It’s rewarding when you build a relationship and can become another caring adult in the student’s life. I also like to have fun and joke around with the kids; humour is a great ice breaker. Helping kids do what makes them happy and seeing that happiness spill over into other areas of the kids life is very rewarding.