Jason McKay Arrington received his Master’s in Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Business Management, a Minor in African Studies, and a Criminology certification from Rutgers University. Mr. Arrington is certified as an Elementary School Teacher (K-8) and a School Social Worker. He began servicing the New Brunswick, NJ, community in 1993 as the Community Service Coordinator for his fraternal organization, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Jason continued his services as a substitute teacher, Title-I Basic Skills teacher, and also taught Science/Social Studies at the elementary level. After his tenure as a teacher, Mr. Arrington became the Assistant Director of the Youth Services System in New Brunswick, NJ, and was Co-Chairperson of two organizations within the city (Get Fit Coalition and the New Brunswick Council for Youth). Mr. Arrington's passion for assisting youth continued by working for New Jersey's Department of Children and Families as a Family Service Specialist, then as a Program Director in a transitional living program for the non-profit agency, Center for Family Services.
Alicia is excited to work with the US Dream Academy doing what she loves. Originally from Georgia but a Philly native for at least two decades, Alicia attended Bloomsburg University in PA. She has worked with children, youth and families in numerous settings throughout her career. Working with the youth has always given her the opportunity to give back to others. Outside of work, she enjoys photography, arts & crafts, and cooking. Alicia is a sports fanatic and very excited to work with the US Dream Academy family.
University of the Arts, based in Philadelphia, has been an outstanding partner of the Dream Academy for the past 3 years. Established in 1876, the University of the Arts is one of the nation's only universities dedicated solely to educating students in the visual and performing arts and design. As part of their courses each semester, 18 UARTS undergraduate students teach various electives to our DreamKids in different forms of art. These electives have included Animation, Photography, Drama, Dancing, Drawing, Writing, Public Speaking, Clay Making, Painting, and many more. Recently, UARTS (teachers) and DreamKids transformed everyday items like buckets and pots into a drumline, and they then produced wonderful music.
After completing the teaching of their courses, some UARTS students have returned to the Learning Center as mentors – both as one-on-one mentors and as group mentors – further cementing partnerships that outlast the scope of a single course project. (clearly the UARTS students get something from their courses) DreamKids first get their artistic tickle on, and then they get to enjoy long-term mentoring with artistic (mentors) who can assist them in (furthering) their artistic visions as well as paint a (something) future for themselves. Thank you for your continued support, UARTS!
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) made a visit to the Dream Academy to instruct DreamKids on how to build electric motors! It was a fun and engaging activity that allowed DreamKids to utilize their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. Building an electric motor first seemed impossible to many students, but as the lesson continued and they began to make progress in their experiment, DreamKids were filled with excitement as the electric motors started working. It was an exciting activity and a great way to learn how science is so intricate to our lives. The experiment prompted many questions and kindled a desire in DreamKids to undertake another STEM activity.
NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. We have started our very own NSBE Jr. Chapter! NSBE Jr. Chapters provide students in grades 6–12 with fun, educational STEM activities and events through NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative (PCI) program. In PCI, students discover firsthand how engineering and technology relate to the world around them and discover the excitement of academic excellence, leadership, technical development and teamwork. We are joining NSBE in their pledge to help graduate 10,000 Black engineers by 2025.
Recognized as “Center of the Year” in 2008, the Philadelphia Learning Center helps students at G.W. Childs Elementary School develop useful skills, positive characters, and attainable dreams, despite negative circumstances.
Located in an economically and culturally diverse community in South Philadelphia, the Learning Center provides mentoring and tutoring to students who are falling behind academically or who have a parent or family member who is currently incarcerated.
The Philadelphia Learning Center also provides a six-week summer program that offers golf lessons, photography, dance, and music programming in addition to Dream Academy program components: skill, character, and dream-building activities.
Aberdeen Asset Management
Board of Pensions for Presbyterian Church
Duane Morris Law Firm
National Society of Black Engineers - Greater Philadelphia Alumni Chapter and Drexel University Chapter
Rock Reach Dance School
Tools for Success
University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School of Business
University of the Arts