August 18, 2015 18:48 Age: 2 yrs

AF in the Community: Ice Cream for a Dream

Category: News, Home

Nick Lebron grew up in Hartford and now works as a community engagement associate for all of Achievement First’s Hartford schools.

Elfrida Debow is an AF parent ambassador whose daughter attends AF Hartford High.

This summer, Achievement First collaborated with the Dream Support Network on their Ice Cream for a Dream program, connecting with over 500 families in the community. Nick and Elfrida worked on this campaign.

As someone who grew up in Hartford, how does your work with AF and our families resonate with you?

Nick: When I went to high school years ago, we had 1,100 freshmen and ended up graduating 275 seniors. Those numbers have always stayed with me. Even as an 18-year-old, I knew it was a problem. What gives me conviction in the work I do now is seeing that we’re making real changes in Hartford. My office is at AF Hartford High, and I recognize a lot of the students from my community. To know that college is in their future and to know that they are potential leaders makes me so proud. I wholeheartedly believe that education is a way to build better communities in Hartford and beyond.

What is the Dream series?

Nick: For this program, we traveled to various community events in an ice cream truck. Anyone could get a free ice cream cone if they shared one of their dreams with us. We wanted to spread the word that Achievement First is a local organization committed to serving students in Hartford. We also wanted to speak to families in the community about what their dreams are for their children, and see how AF can be a part of making that dream a reality.

Elfrida: We wanted to let families know that their dreams can come true, and Achievement First can help. We met one girl who said she wanted to be a doctor, and we discussed how education and college can be a part of her journey to accomplish her dream.

What are you excited about for the rest of the summer and for the upcoming school year?

Nick: I am excited to see that some of the families we have touched through the Dream series will be coming to school at AF for this upcoming year. Last week, I attended an orientation where I met a mom and dad who were so thankful for the support we offered during the school choice process. That is what excites me the most; the fact that I know those kids will attend college in the future, because they are getting a great education.

Elfrida: I am excited to meet more families and make the AF “Team & Family” bigger. I’m also looking forward to seeing my daughter get closer to reaching her goal of attending college.