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‘Strengthening Families, Changing Lives and Restoring Hope’: Frederick Newell of The Dream Center

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

“Our mission is strengthening families, changing lives and restoring hope,” said Frederick Newell, executive director of The Dream Center in Iowa City.

Newell founded The Dream Center in 2012 as a volunteer-driven, youth leadership program focusing on young men of color who have been negatively affected by having an absentee father. His first group of young men, who started as seventh and eighth graders in Iowa City, just completed the program last year. One hundred percent of these students not only graduated from high school, they are currently enrolled in college.

As Newell continued to work with young men in the community, he began to notice that young women were facing the same issues as well. He expanded the program to include all youth struggling with the issues caused by an absentee parent.

The Dream Center not only focuses on academic success, it also provides a performing arts academy that has grown from a dance class to include spoken word, theater and poetry.

Newell’s goal is to provide all youth with the opportunity to have a mentor, but he also knows that sometimes adults need someone to push them to new heights as well.

In 2012, Newell began working with a father, Darin. Newell and Darin focused on improving Darin’s performance in his role as