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LYAC announces The Dream Project

LEWISTON, ME —  The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) announced today their latest project entitled, “The Dream Project . . . You Can Reach Your Dreams Not Only in Your Sleep.” It is a multi-faceted project to encourage local youth to develop goals, aspirations, and dreams for their future.  

LYAC, now in its 22nd year, was established by the Lewiston City Council in 2001 to provide a means for youth to learn about municipal government, become engaged in their community, undertake projects to enhance the City of Lewiston, and to represent Lewiston youth.

 The Dream Project was born after members expressed concern that some community youth face challenges that make the future seem bleak. “We want youth to know they are not alone in this world. We also want them to understand that they have value,” said Zara Bimbi, LYAC Secretary. 

To start their efforts, LYAC members have discussed their personal definitions of the word success, with LYAC Treasurer Fadumo Ahmed describing it as, “Success for me means learning from my mistakes, good and bad experiences, and being able to help others because of what I have experienced.  It also means being happy and putting a smile on other people’s faces because you never know what someone else is going through, and a small action like a smile could mean a lot to someone.”

 LYAC will shortly begin sharing their definitions of success on Lewiston’s social media, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 In addition, to hear directly from other Lewiston youth, LYAC has composed a survey for Lewiston middle and high school students asking questions such as, What do you see your life looking like in ten years; what do you think you need to succeed; do you have struggles that cause anxiety about your future; do you know what future career options are available to you; do you feel valued in school; what are you really interested in; do you have a support system?

 Lewiston School Superintendent Jake Langlais approved in-school distribution of the survey, and so far, 55 responses have been received by LYAC. According to LYAC, answers to the survey are helpful as they develop content for an upcoming Dream Project youth forum. Concerns expressed in the surveys thus far include student debt and self-doubt about being able to accomplish what they want to do. Other themes that stand out in the survey will be shared at the upcoming Dream Project youth forum.

 The forum (date TBD) will focus on various careers and interactive ways to engage youth in thinking about their future, as well as helpful resources like College Board online. 

 “It’s OK to not immediately know what you want for your future, but it’s important that you end up loving what you do,” said Saida Abdisamed, LYAC Vice-Chair. 

Another aspect of LYAC’s outreach is The Dream Project pin, designed by Abdisamed, that Lewiston school employees may volunteer to wear. So far, a total of 89 Lewiston school employees have expressed their desire to wear The Dream Project pin. 

If a student sees someone wearing a pin, the student will know that person, while on school grounds, is available to discuss dreams for the future, post-secondary goals, and resources they might not be aware of. 

“We’re excited about school employees wearing The Dream Project pin, as thinking about the future and what to do after high school can seem very overwhelming,” said Corinne Rosario, LYAC member. 

To learn more about LYAC, interested individuals may visit

(left – right): Chair Ava Golder, Vice Chair Saida Abdisamed, Treasurer Fadumo Ahmed, and member Tartila Naser work on an interactive exercise for an upcoming Dream Project youth forum

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