To whom It may Concern,

 

I am writing on behalf of Men with Dreams.

I currently, work for Lincoln Public Schools, at Clinton Elementary School. We are a high needs school, and our children are always looking for positive role models. Every Wednesday, Brandon and Preston, along with other Men with Dreams volunteers, would show up at Clinton and volunteer their time and support to our students. This group of volunteers would show up at 9 am and assist with reading. Brandon and Preston would then return to lead an after school club called “Wreck It Reading”. This club encourages reading and offers support to those who may be struggling.

Men with Dreams has also, been a motivating force in my life as well. My children really look up to and admire Brandon and Preston. They strive to do their best work, to not only make me proud, but Brandon and Preston as well.

I have a daughter entering 11th grade this year. There were many times throughout the previous school year that were challenging for her. She is in the gifted program, and was taking AP classes as well. There were times where my advice wasn’t enough, and we would reach out to Preston. He encouraged, supported and believed in my daughter. He also set her up with a tutor for the areas that she struggled in the most. For these reasons, it meant a lot to her to look up and see him standing at her Honor Roll recognition assembly.

I also have a 9 year old son. He’s an athlete and not as in to school as my oldest. However, since meeting Brandon and Preston, he has tried harder to succeed. He looks forward to earning good grades, so he can share his success stories with them. His face lights up whenever he sees them, and is always up to the many challenges Preston throws his way.

Men with Dreams allowed my kids the opportunity to pledge to be Drug Free, and allowed my family to attend the Nebraska Football Spring game. This is an opportunity that we may otherwise not been able to have. They pour so much in to our youth, and make each teachable moment, so fun and engaging that it hardly feels like work.

Men with Dreams has also showed my children the importance of giving back. My children were recently allowed to volunteer at a Men with Dreams event in our local downtown area. My son helped take photos with a photographer, on set. My daughter helped sell tickets. This opportunity made them feel helpful and proud to serve.

As a professional in school system, and as a single mother in the community, I am very thankful and appreciative for all that Men with Dreams has done. I look forward to partnering with them in the future on any endeavors they have planned, and I would recommend their organization in any involvement with supporting our youth.

 

Thank You For Your Time,

LaFaya Helmstadter