A Note from the Founder
There are numerous reasons why I established D.R.E.A.M.S. I wanted to make society a better place. I wanted to help the younger generations succeed in life and achieve their goals. I wanted to let them know that there are some people in the world that actually care about them. I wanted them to take an active role in improving the community in which they lived. I wanted them to see that it is possible to make a difference.
Several people come into our lives, but only a few get the chance to make lasting impressions. I truly believe that I was very fortunate to meet certain individuals that have had a significant impact on my life in so many different ways. I was motivated to do something to improve society by my parents, my late grandfather, Morris Koretz, Lloyd Gold, Derek Gordon, and my love for children.
My mother and father are very special to me, as other people’s parents are so dear to them. My mom always put everyone’s needs before hers. I know that she would give up everything for her family. I know this because she has proven this to me time and time again. My father has taught me that if a person believes strongly enough in something — anything, no matter how big of a fight you are up against, stick to your beliefs. He has shown me just how true the following quote is… “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
My grandfather was a very giving man. He took an active role in numerous charitable organizations throughout his lifetime. He always made sure that people in need were taken care of. He not only volunteered countless hours of his time, but he did it with such a passion. It wasn’t enough for him to just donate clothes to the Salvation Army. He would put a dollar or two inside each article of clothing. His explanation was that the people that receive the clothes need the money more than he does. Through his actions, I learned that when you give of yourself, you receive more than you give.
Lloyd Gold was an incredible person. Not only was he one of my best friend’s fathers, but he taught me one of the most important lessons I have or will ever learn. He would always tell me to “D…T…R…T…” or “Do The Right Thing!” Despite the simplicity of such a statement, I learned that there lies a deeper meaning in his infamous words. It was up to me to make my own decisions along the pathway of life, but as I make those decisions, I would be responsible for all of my actions. While it is very easy to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment, it is crucial to think things through before jumping the gun. Because of these words, I have and continue to instill this sense of individual responsibility in every one of my students. Lloyd’s legacy continues to live inside of each of these children as they go through life and decide for themselves to “D…T…R…T…”
Derek Gordon has also had a profound effect on my life. He was one of my closest and dearest childhood friends. He showed me the importance of education. From the early grades through high school and college, Derek continuously finished at the very top of his class. He went above and beyond what was asked of him by his teachers. He realized at a very early age the value of a good education. This may seem like a very basic lesson, but it wasn’t until my last year in college that I truly understood this concept. Sure, anyone can get by with a minimal effort as long as they paid their tuition and passed their classes. But it isn’t until a person realizes that the desire for learning should come from within. A person should want to learn about a certain subject because it interests them, not because it will be on the final exam.
Finally, my love for children has created this wild fire inside of me. It is ignited by my desire to help as many children as possible. So many children grow up in broken homes, never getting the opportunity to meet one of their parents. They go to bed hungry, abused, have very little clothing, or on the streets. Some of them do not get the opportunity to receive an education because they are forced to drop out of school to help support their family. Whether it is providing a scholarship so they can further their education, giving them advice on how to survive life’s many twists and turns, or by simply being a role model, I want to help create a better future for them. I realize that D.R.E.A.M.S. won’t be able to reach each and every child that needs help. But I also know that we are trying, and we hopefully will have a positive impact on many of their lives. – Justin Koretz