Our goal for the Dream Catchers Project is to engage youth in strengthening their neighborhood in ways that lead to lasting impact.  We partner with civic groups, congregations and youth groups who share our mission of strengthening neighborhoods from the inside out.   Youth are teamed up with adults from the partnering organization and conduct interviews to identify and document neighborhood dreams, stories, and gifts.


Once a week, the youth participate in a processing and sharing session.  During this session, the youth share what they have discovered about their neighbors, their neighborhood, and themselves. Information obtained during the interview process is captured in a neighbor profile and shared through a public display at local libraries, community centers, and churches.

At the conclusion of the listening phase, the youth host an end of project celebration and share what they have learned with community members.   The youth then invite their neighbors to work together to help make the dreams they discovered a reality in their community by joining community action teams.  Our hope is that each neighborhood Dream Catchers project will launch or strengthen community action teams.

As a member of the Dream Catchers Project, youth receive these SLIDE into summer benefits:

  • Serve: They have an opportunity to serve their community and gain community service hours.
  • Learn: Youth will learn interviewing, presentation, and organizational skills.  They will also gain proficiency in PowerPoint and Excel computer programs.  They will have an opportunity to build relationships with caring adults, neighbors, and peers.
  • Intern: Participants who successfully complete the summer project, will be eligible for year-long internships as young leaders serving on neighborhood action teams.  Through this internship, youth will gain valuable work experience, build their resume, and be eligible for a letter of recommendation from Embrace staff and/or partner organizations.
  • Discern: Through this process, the youth will discern their own gifts, talents, and calling as they hear the hopes and dreams of their peers and neighbors.  Our weekly processing time is designed to help youth use this experience as a tool for their own personal vocational discernment process.
  • Earn: Each neighborhood team will earn $5 per completed interview to use toward a community strengthening project of their choice up to $500. These funds are distributed at the conclusion of the project.


Most importantly, participants will have fun while making a difference in the community!

If you are a community-based organization, church, or civic group we would love to partner with you to bring the Dream Catchers project to your neighborhood!


We want to thank our Summer 2015 partners:

Chester United Methodist Church

The Broadwater Townhomes Management

The Hillside Court Partnership

Brandermill Church

All Souls Presbyterian Church

The Northside Library

Better Housing Coalition

The Northside Outreach Center

Jesus Shining Stars Youth Group

If you have questions about the Dream Catchers Project, please contact Wendy McCaig at wendy@embracerichmond.org or via phone at (804) 404-3610.