DreamSA: Teen ambassadors help local youth achieve their dreams

Dream SA: Teens ambassadors help other teens find resources for a better life.

SAN ANTONIO - Many teenagers might be reluctant to ask for help when it comes to their future.

One local initiative aims to help more of San Antonio's youth to follow their dreams.

It's called DreamSA.

"The inspiration came out of conversation between MetroHealth and SA 2020. About a year and a half ago they were talking about doing something for youth and providing them with the guidance for their future," Mario Martinez Project Worth program manager said

Networking in the city might be a foreign concept to teenagers, but DreamSA by MetroHealth's Project Worth makes it easy.

"Doing this, it opens you to a lot more things and you get to know a lot more people, so you get more connected," Elise Fernandez, a teen ambassador for DreamSA said.

Elise, 14, and her sister Reiana ,18, are both teen ambassadors.

"Teen ambassadors are these positive role models," Martinez said. "Through their friends, family members, and friends at school, they'll talk about DreamSA as a tool that was made for them."

Teen ambassadors help local youth find the resources they need in five categories:

  • higher education
  • career
  • volunteering
  • health and well-being  
  • arts

"Teens don't really go around, like, 'Let's go around town and learn about stuff!'" Reiana said. "But when you're involved with the city, you get to go around and go talk to people around the city, learn new things and get new connections."

"I like to connect with the youth on a musical level because I feel like it grabs their attention and they love music," Reiana said.

DreamSA has a free app teens can download onto their cell phones. The app just launched an events page, where teen ambassadors can inform their peers about what's coming up in their community.

If teens need service hours, the app is also a tool to help them find a place to volunteer.

It's simply a helping hand for teenagers to kick-start a pathway toward their dreams.

"What I want to do is model, acting, so that will open more doors," Elise said.

Elise said she encourages her own friends to join DreamSA.

"So they come and they keep wanting to come back because it's really fun," Elise said.

If it's not guidance in the five core areas, teen ambassadors also offer support and personal advice.

"What most teens are curious about would be how to stand up to people who are bullying them," Reiana said. "As a role model I want to be there and give them accurate information and tell them, 'Listen, don't let the bully affect you. You got it! 

Teens today, bosses tomorrow.

"The kids and the teens of San Antonio are our future," Elise said. 

If you'd like your teen to get involved in the DreamSA initiative call 207-8850 or visit idreamsa.com.

Reiana is also a rising star in San Antonio! If you'd like to follow her success, search for "Simply Rayne Official" on social media.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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