Photographs by Josh Miller
“It’s life changing,” said Sommer Lally about Neighborhood House’s Dream Academy, a program for 1st through 12th graders sponsored by the Portland Community Center.
Lally, development director, said since the 1960s the Neighborhood House has offered services including job training and an after school program. Youth Development Director William Mack said the program’s mission is to help kids realize at the outset that they can have a dream despite their economic circumstances and to provide them with “the road map to making the dream a reality.”
John and Natalie Bajandas opened their modernized Alta Vista home to a group of supporters in early July to play songs from their band, Union Tree and snack on treats compliments of Edward Lee. Guests gathered in the open redesigned kitchen amidst colorful crayon drawings by Dream Academy children while Mack talked about the Dreamers’ focus on increasing math and reading levels. “We’re committed to helping families and giving them hope,” Mack said. “We’re trying to get them to dream big.” The evening closed with a new Union Tree song, “I Know You Are the Way” . . . may these kids find theirs. www.nhky.org HH