When she was an infant, Dreama S. had to endure chemotherapy for a rare blood disorder and suffered complications for many years. As a toddler, she grieved the loss of her sister and a few years later her family was homeless for a time. Today she is healthy, her home life is stable, and reflects, “From that experience I learned how important family is and how to survive with barely having anything and it kept me humble.”

She liked school and was determined to work hard. Starting in 8th grade, she did all online learning and was eager to participate in dual enrollment at Columbus State Community College. At first, she managed both, but it quickly became difficult to get to college classes and do online high school full time. Her aunt is the principal of Flex High School and encouraged her to enroll. While at first reluctant to be at the same school as her aunt, she finally agreed it would be a good move.

“The program at Flex allowed me to do my college work and high school work without the extra stress like being late to school or missing work,” she said. “Many teachers and staff gave me direction when it came to life. There were times when I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t focus on my course work.  I would talk to Mrs. Harris and just let her know what I’m thinking. She would talk to me about putting different points of views on the issue, making me feel better and helping me focus better. “

Dreama is proud that she was able to enroll in college at an early age while earning her high school diploma. She graduated from Flex in August and applied to Denison University, where her aunt and sister had attended, but was rejected. Then she applied to Kent State and was again turned down. But Dreama has been building resilience her whole life and just kept trying. After doing a virtual college visit to Central State University, she loved the atmosphere and everything about it. Not only was she accepted, she was awarded an 1890s scholarship at Central State, a Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) school.

Dreama’s goal is to earn her bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology for children and teens. She is passionate about helping people in her community with mental health issues.

Written By:
Ann Abajian