INSIDERS UPDATE: Realizing DREAMS in Griffin Heights

INSIDERS UPDATE: Free GED program achieves their DREAMS
INSIDERS UPDATE: Free GED program achieves their DREAMS
Posted at 6:13 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-05 16:07:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A new community center opened its doors Monday, encouraging children and adults to dream big and strive for success.

In 2015, an "Insiders" report looked at the Griffin Heights neighborhood and how one pastor was working on helping the community get educated with a free GED program at his church.

Now, Pastor Rudy Ferguson, Sr. has a place for that program and many others to grow.

School might be over, but for about a dozen kids, it's time to learn even more. This year, Chandrea Poole, a Leon County Schools teacher, started a math lab called "Poole's Palace" for students needing additional help.

"It's a challenging subject," Poole explained. "So, any way possible that we can help them master their skills -- that's what we're about."

The kids would go to her house to study but now, the DREAMS Center gives them a solid location.

"It just fell into our laps, and we're very excited about it -- being able to help students reach their goals," Poole said.

DREAMS stands for "Determined to Reach Excellence and Motivated to Succeed." It's a mission Ferguson lives by.

"I'm looking for this place to become a living testimony to what can come out of Griffin Heights and come out of the surrounding areas," said Ferguson, the executive director of The Frontline Project.

Ferguson started a free GED program two years ago that now reaches Frenchtown and Griffin Heights. That program now has a home at the DREAMS Center.

"They have been committed to coming to class, to studying. Some still have a long way to go," Ferguson said. "We're patient."

The center includes different rooms for meetings and activities. Ferguson is working with local stakeholders to provide meals for children, too.

"We can do this together as one community. No chiefs," Ferguson said. "Everybody is working together in concert and in unity to saving our young people."

A community event is planned in two weeks to celebrating the opening of the DREAMS Center.