DREAM Scholars Visit Homeboy Industries

Achieving the Dream’s DREAM Student Scholars program is a student engagement and professional development opportunity for students from active Achieving the Dream Network institutions. The DREAM Student Scholars program is a robust learning experience for student leaders looking to make a difference on their campus and in their communities. In addition to the learning experience provided to students, the DREAM Scholars program integrates student voice and student experience into Achieving the Dream’s annual DREAM conference.

Achieving the Dream’s DREAM Scholars were given the opportunity to tour Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, an organization that provides support for people who were formerly involved in gangs and previously incarcerated as they transition to becoming contributing members of their community.  Each year, Homeboy Industries accepts 10,000 former gang members as “clients” from Los Angeles alone.  Our DREAM Scholars began their visit by having a meal at Homegirl Café, which provides a supportive environment for Homeboy Industries clients to gain hands on work experience at what may be their first “real” job.

During their time at Homeboy Industries the Scholars were able to gain knowledge of the different services offered to clients. Homeboy’s Workforce Development service provides clients with job training, job placement services, and job seeker workshops. The Educational Services team serves more than 3000 clients with 40 weekly courses. In adjacent to providing clients with traditional education, Homeboy Industries offers anger management and parenting classes. The Mental Health Department provides clinical services that are uniquely designed to meet the needs of each client. Clients are offered a safe and comforting space that focuses on healing from a lifetime of traumas. Clients can also benefit from tattoo removal, legal services, case management, and substance abuse support.

At the core of Homeboy Industries’ work are their social enterprises. In conjunction to the Workforce Development services, clients are given the opportunity to join a variety of enterprises that not only provide them with work experience, but also provides a revenue to support Homeboy’s. Through these enterprises they have proven that people can overcome their past and become empowered employees and business leaders. Our scholars supported these enterprises first hand by enjoying a meal at Homegirl Café and purchasing Homeboy Gear at the giftshop.

The trip to Homeboy Industries was thought provoking and insightful, especially for our Scholar Raymond Powers, who was formally incarcerated himself. At the end of the tour Raymond made plans to travel back to Homeboy Industries to have his own tattoos removed as he continues the next chapter in his life.

Learn more about Raymond as well as the other 2019 DREAM Scholars here.
Learn more about Homeboy Industries and their ongoing mission here.

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