Phree to Plan for the Dream

One of the things I have always appreciated about social services is the opportunity to network. When I worked more closely with individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS I was a part of a planning group for the city that addressed challenges specific to this population. I worked on subcommittees that specifically addressed the needs of adolescents infected and affected by the virus as well as a research committee that helped to keep the larger committee of new trends policies, interventions, and treatments. Being a part of these committees helped fuel my passion and helped me to better help those with whom I worked back at my office. Being a part of these subcommittees in particular helped me to remember the mission and the vision of the larger committee to which I was a part, but also my place of employment. We worked together as a collective as well as in our smaller groups with the single goal of decreasing rates of infection and re-infection in the city. We were committed to that. That was and still is our dream for Philadelphia.

As I continue to work in the field of social services I continue to seize the opportunity to network via participation in paraprofessional committees and associations. Currently I am a part of one such group that is committed to the welfare of victims of crimes in Philadelphia. In the past several months we have looked at the structure of the association and realized we needed to review the ways in which we are trying to fulfill the vision and mission of the association. We needed to make sure we strategically planned to fulfill the dream.

As I continue in the work I do as a budding entrepreneur as well as a clinical counselor I am continually reminded of not only the importance of having a dream, but ensuring that there is a plan to actualize the dream. Dreams are delicate and if there are not steps taken to plan for the careful execution of them and protect the marvel of their delicacy then they dissipate into mere ideas and sometimes disappointments.

In his poem A Dream Deferred, Langston Hughes asks “What happens to a dream differed?”

It’s a powerful 11 line poem, but it asks a question that we at Phreedum never want to know the answer to. That’s part of why we plan not only for our own success but how we can help ensure the success of those who are a part of the Phreedum community.
We work really hard to fulfill our vision and mission and we also work really hard to help assist others in making their dreams realities. We revel in the opportunity to make a difference, whether that is raising awareness about an organization, creating apparel that people can where confidently and boldly, creating designs that initiate conversation and inspires action, or raising money to continue to fuel the mission and vision of local non profit organizations.

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
- Langston Hughes

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