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BDC D.R.E.A.M. Program on a college tour!

Binghampton Dreams Big For Their Students

The BDC is a nonprofit community-develop corporation working to improve the quality of life in one of Memphis’ most historic neighborhoods, Binghampton. 

Binghampton is located in the geographic center of Memphis. It began as an independent and racially integrated rural Memphis town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

As the population of Memphis started to grow, the community shifted as people moved east and manufacturing jobs left the neighborhood. This change led to poverty, population flight, and various stages of racial segregation. 

In 2001, The BDC was founded to revitalize the community through housing and economic development programs and empower the individuals that live within the community. 

One way they empower is through the D.R.E.A.M Program.

A group of people sitting on a bench in front of an aquarium in Binghampton.
BDC Students on a field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga on their Spring Break Exposure Trip

D.R.E.A.M. (or as it is formally known Student Outreach) began at the BDC back in 2011. The BDC recognized that to be an organization with a holistic mission, there was a need for a level of programming with the youth in Binghampton.

Within the last few months, the student outreach program underwent a rebrand to D.R.E.A.M. Each letter represents a core value of the program: discipleship, responsibility, engagement, accountability, and mentorship. 

This new name enhances the hope that students feel the ability to dream about whatever future they want to pursue and that the BDC helps provide as many opportunities for them as possible. 

At its core, D.R.E.A.M. is a mentoring program.

Outside of mentorship, the program focuses on exposing the kids from Binghampton to new opportunities and experiences.

The three programs of D.R.E.A.M. are Wildfire, Huddle, and ACE

ACE is the newest addition focused on exposure to experiences within the arts, the Binghampton community, and education.

ACE introduces opportunities, encourages our students to try new things, and exposes them to different paths.

A group of children from Binghampton posing in front of a sps store.
ACE students on a field trip to SOS to hear about their builds program

"Our students are all within pivotal, developmental ages. We believe exposure to any type of career realm is important, in hopes that one day, they see that there is a path for everyone and it could be something they are passionate about."

As a community-oriented and faith-backed entity, the BDC works as an instrument of God’s love to reach those in economic oppression.

The D.R.E.A.M. program can eliminate post-secondary education barriers by developing long-lasting relationships through mentorship and exposing students to opportunities.

“Parents know we care deeply, and they can call us whenever they need something,” Rachel Mackie, the D.R.E.A.M. Program Manager, stated. “Whether that is transportation instability or helping provide a connection to a different resource fitting the current need.”

The BDC takes middle and high school students on a Spring Break Exposure Trip each year. This trip encompasses college visits and encourages them to think about their future. 

The D.R.E.A.M. program is just starting point for all the work the BDC does for the community.

They have an affordable housing program, alongside running an 82,000 warehouse job-training program where we work towards sustainability. Additionally, the BDC has a youth employment program that aims to teach high schoolers hard and soft skills throughout the summer.

Learn more about the BDC here

On the other hand, there is something for everyone at the BDC. If you’d like to volunteer, the D.R.E.A.M. program is looking for mentors.

 If you enjoy hanging out with students and are passionate about helping them learn and grow, the BDC would love to have you! 

If you have a special talent or skill that you would like to share with our students, Contact Rachel Mackie. 

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