WASHINGTON — The U.S. Dream Academy has a lofty goal: Help young people achieve their dreams. But it takes time, effort and support to realize those aims.
That’s why Monarch Magazine CEO Will Walters partnered with Dianne Wallace Booker, U.S. Dream Academy vice president, and music mogul Percy Miller (Master P) for Dream Builders’ youth-empowerment program.
The trio wants to help younger people find their way, via the foundation, and become better, more responsible adults.
Dream Builders mission is to provide kids early exposure to professionals from all walks of life, thereby increasing their financial literacy. Master P provides a real-life rags-to-riches story that is a key motivator for the program.
Zenger talked to Will Walters about the importance of the Dream Builders program.
Zenger: How did Monarch Magazine and U.S. Dream Academy connect for this Dream Builders project?
Walters: The director, Diane Wallace Booker, and I met years back. I was passionate about the children she represents and what she’s done. We have done a few off-shoots, and talked about how we can do something more formalized. We wanted to put the steps in place to create opportunities for the children she represents that will provide them with relatable individuals. Also, we want to supply the skills they can utilize: accounting, marketing, creating their own content, and making their own product.
Percy Miller… AKA Master P and I are doing some partnerships. When I understood his message and what he’s doing with the youth, everything aligned. It was God’s will. Percy has donated his time, as well as new products he’s rolling out. We’re providing things that you may not get in school — such as individuals who have been successful in their careers.
Zenger: Do you feel there is a void in this space?
Walters: Every organization has its own way of uplifting the community. The void is this audience seems to be left out of opportunities. We’re coming together to fill that void. If we want humanity to improve, we can start here, with everyone offering their time and skill sets. The youth, God willing, will become adults one day and will lead us to the future.
Zenger: How important is it for young kids to be exposed to this type of information?
Walters: Tremendously important. The information, as well as the individuals providing the information, show them what they can be. I don’t think it’s cliché to say, if you can see it, you can be it. Being able to bring someone like Percy Miller to them does more than give them hope. It lets them know that someone cares.
To surround them with the Dream Academy, it gives them stability and a foundation to know that nothing is impossible. All things are possible through God and God is aligning all things.
Zenger: How fulfilling is this mission for you?
Walters: It’s an honor and a privilege to take experiences we’ve had and use them to enhance those who are coming after us. Whether they become more business savvy or more family oriented. Whatever path they choose, to play a positive role in their life is a blessing for me, and I’m sure for Percy and Dianne.
Zenger: Is this in-house or an outreach program?
Walters: This will be activated at the various branches the U.S. Dream Academy has in place. First activation is in Houston, Texas, then it’s going to San Bernardino, Calif., Washington, D.C., Orlando, and one more city. After this, it will become open to everyone. This is the partnership rhe three of us have begun. In May 2023, we plan to open it up to more applicants.
Zenger: You seem to have a hands-on approach.
Walters: One of the things that makes it unique is being able to relate to the individual, like Percy. If he or she comes from the background that you come from, that seals the deal. In your mind, you can do it. They will stop creating excuses and start being inspired and empowered.
For more information: www.usdreamacademy.org