Tamira Dunn, founder of Dream Girls Mentoring Mentoring Program, Inc. is an extraordinary woman! She and I met a few years back through social media, but got better acquainted when I became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated last year.
She’s so sweet and passionate about what she does. I love her spirit because in comparison to mine, she cares about young people and will make every sacrifice necessary to make sure they reach their fullest potential.
If it’s through her mentoring program or summer camp, Tamira is working hard on perfecting her programs so that everyone who needs a little more, can have it.
I was really happy when she decided to grant me this one-on-one because I feel she has a special story to tell. Read it for yourself:
How did you get started with this project?
Teen pregnancy was something that was affecting my peers and friends in high school. I never knew I wanted to directly work with young mothers until the issue affected me personally. A friend of mine asked me to be the godmother of her daughter and at 17, little did I know, I would play a much bigger role in her life. I had full responsibility of my goddaughter for five years. At 19, I had no idea what it meant to be a parent or that being a godmother could be so intense.
Why did you think it was important to start up this particular program?
My senior year at Morgan State University, I thought it was important to start the Dream Girls Mentoring Program because there were no resources or support for teenage mothers. When I decided to help my friend out with my goddaughter, I received majority of the support from my friends and family. I couldn’t find any programs that helped young mothers.
What’s been the biggest response from people who have children participate in your program?
I have noticed that most of the participants need housing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do for a 16 year old. We have resources for housing; however, if they were still a minor, they would not qualify for any housing.
Why do you think it’s important to have programs like this?
I think it’s important to have a mentoring program for young mothers because they need support. Often times, they enter our program and have no one in their family that will help them with anything. Their perception on life and people change when they feel like there is no one they can depend on. With the help of this program, we can work on helping them see what life can be like with the help of others and if they continue to stay focus and positive, the outcomes are much more rewarding.
Tell me the most touching story that inspired you to continue on.
A few weeks ago I would’ve answered this question a little differently. I would’ve said that when I see a young mom graduate high school and enter college, it inspires me to continue. But on October 15, 2014, my life drastically changed and I think that’s what’s motivating me to keep going. I loss my first pregnancy, my son and I was heartbroken. I thought why did I lose the only thing that mattered the most to me. Initially I didn’t want to continue with Dream Girls. It wasn’t until my son’s father and I decided to start a support group (Sweet Dreamz) under Dream Girls Mentoring Program for women who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss that I realized I had to keep going for my son.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself and your organization?
In 5 years, I see myself with my doctorate degree, married with children, and have written at least two books (lol). I see Dream Girls Mentoring Program servicing not just teen moms but young women in general. I see the organization in at least two different states, with at least two day care centers, secured partnerships with Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore City Department of Social Services, and continuing to do phenomenal work in the community.
How can people reach out to you?
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dream Girls website at www.dreamgirlsmentoring.org
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