Posted April 14, 2018 in Articles
CLEVELAND - Investing in the future one young life at a time is what a local woman has made into her life's mission, and she's doing it in a unique way.
Making an impact on the lives of students like 10th grader Antonio Bridget.
“I like to have fun, but I take school serious," he said.
Attending Saint Martin De Porres High School, Bridget’s mom Tanesha Hall says her son has kept his focus on his future.
“He's always wanted to go to college because his grades have always been good," she said.
A future that's made brighter thanks to Mim Conway, a retired social worker who received a large family inheritance.
“The kids got to know that there are people there for them,” Conway said.
"It's my joy and my purpose yes," she said.
That purpose propelled her a decade ago to choose 25 random first-grade students whom she now calls her Dream On kids, through her Dream On Kids Foundation, inspiring them to focus on school and more.
“Along the way I’ve met people, other kids' parents, and we’ve formed a bond,” said Hall.
Conway provides programs throughout the year for both the students and parents, and in the end she’s made each student a deal.
"If the Dream On kids graduate on time, that's the year 2020, they will qualify for scholarships," said Conway.
Those scholarships will help to get a college degree. If they keep their commitment, she’ll stick to hers.
“It's been a little easier knowing that we don't have the weight of trying to figure out the financial side of college," Hall said.
Bridget says he’s thankful for having more options now than he would have had before.
“Say for colleges, I've got more of a wider variety,” he said.
But the program doesn’t just focus on academics. It expands social opportunities through programs like a jazz band, one where Bridget plays the trumpet and the drums.
"When I played in the band, we actually played in New Orleans and we played down there," he said.
Conway is holding a special fundraiser Saturday night at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., where Bridget and the other Dream On Kids jazz band will perform, to raise more money for scholarships.