Dreamroot Leadership Institute

Dreamroot is catalyzing dreams, unleashing potential, and accelerating transformation, one leader at

DreamRoot exists to reverse cycles of poverty in underserved communities where people dream of a life that is free of hunger, despair and suffering. We do this by strengthening local leaders and providing training, resources and networks to help launch local initiatives that transform their communities and lead to sustainable social and economic growth.

Operating as usual


We are delighted to share the release of DreamRoot's 2023 Annual Impact Report!

Check it out here:https://ea80fb52-0520-42ec-ba9a-c67129244a35.usrfiles.com/ugd/ea80fb_6b344a3848054c1bb6a8422513f04443.pdf

DreamRoot experienced a truly remarkable year, elevating our impact, breaking ground with new programming, while strengthening current partnerships and forging new ones with exceptional local leaders and community members.

This document showcases that dreams nurtured can bloom into life-altering outcomes. It serves as a living testimony, remining us that genuine growth, development, and progress are rooted in our commitment to show up, connect, and sow the seeds of hope.

Thank you to all who have supported and invested in this mission. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve.


We're excited to share that our Haiti schoolyard buildout is complete!

Seventeen local workers were employed to bring this vision to life.

What was once an unusable space filled with rocks is now a vibrant area for over 200 elementary and middle school students, as well as community members, to run and play. We can now incorporate sports into the school programming and host events, including graduations, teacher's appreciation celebrations, community training events, and more.
The success of this project is a testament to the positive impact that local leadership and community involvement can bring to educational spaces, fostering a more conducive and engaging environment for all.

A huge thank you to our DreamRoot investors for making this dream a reality!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 01/22/2024

We are honored to welcome two new members to DreamRoot's Board of Directors, André Galvão and Rebecca Bahlo, bringing immense talent and experience.

André has achieved success at the highest level of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a professional athlete, coach and has built numerous business ventures. He brings a strong entrepreneurial mindset and understands the reality of the work on the ground in which DreamRoot operates.

Becca is a Clinical Social Worker, specializing in working with clients with trauma, especially children and youth. She received her master's in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BA in Urban Ministry from Gordon College. Becca has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, ranging from both US based non-profits to global non-profits. She has experience in local and global community outreach, clinical social work, adoption, and education.

Please join us in welcoming André Galvão and Rebecca Bahlo.


Witness the transformation!

At the Arte Suave DreamRoot Training Center, all 120 jiu-jitsu program students advanced to the next grade last year without needing "recuperação," akin to summer school—an improvement from the previous year when 63 attended recuperação during winter break.

The notable 100% pass rate highlights the commitment and effectiveness of the coaching team and program in providing crucial support. The team consistently checks in with students, monitors homework, and proactively helps those in need, fostering a culture of excellence and accountability.

Great work, team! We are so proud of you!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 12/30/2023

Swift progress happening with the schoolyard buildout in Haiti!

We’ve employed 17 local workers who are working with a high level of excellence and heart. Super grateful to collaborate with this - a strong finish to the year.


We’re coaching local leaders on some key year-end framing and wanted to share these golden nuggets with you too!

With just over a week left in the year, closing it out strongly isn’t about rushing to finish everything – that ship has sailed.

Instead, focus on reflection, envisioning, strategizing, and planning. These will bring you the biggest return on investment.


REFLECTION (this is where the learning happens):

🔸What went well this year? Your biggest gains to build on in the coming year.
🔸Identify growth opportunities left on the table due to lack of focus, structure, or alignment.
🔸 Were you putting in endless hours without investing in building others up to participate and contribute?


🔸Where do you see your life and organization in one, three, and ten years?
🔸Reflect on what brought you the most joy. What to incorporate, reintroduce, or stop?
🔸Beyond what you want/don’t want to DO, focus on who you want to BECOME. What attributes or characteristics do you value?


🔸Determine your main focus. What are the one to three key activities/projects that will truly move the needle in your organization? Focus on those!
🔸Develop a structure and system to set up fulfilling the vision.


🔸 Your next five moves based on your focus.
🔸Outline tasks for the next 12 months, breaking them down quarterly and finding your weekly rhythm.

Set yourself and your team up to finish the year strong by work by working smart for even more success in the new year.

Enjoy the journey!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 12/22/2023

A huge shout out to our sponsors for their commitment and generous support in furthering DreamRoot's mission!

Armezzani Jiu Jitsu Academy
Team Passos Jiu Jitsu Headquarters
Infinite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The Blessing Projects
Lion Heart Jiu Jitsu
Center Ave Slice
Jiu Jitsu Mentor
Phalanx Facilities Management
Kitchen Craft Cabinets and Counters
Data Machines
Ariake Sushi Reston
Onda Jiu Jitsu

To all of our supporters, you are making a tremendous impact in the lives of many.


Education is a great equalizer.

Education is the starting point for reaching other development goals. It is one of the best investments we can make.

This is why DreamRoot is committed to addressing barriers to access to education and promotes quality programming by working with local leaders to launch, strengthen and expand educational programming to underprivileged students.


A small local initiative can grow into a global solution.


We are grateful to everyone who's joined in supporting DreamRoot's mission! Your support brings opportunities to overlooked communities, impacting lives, families, communities, and even generations. Make no mistake, what we do wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you for being a crucial part of our community and for making a difference in the lives of those we serve.


Happy GivingTuesday!

Together, let's make opportunities accessible to those who need it the most! Would you stand with us through financially supporting DreamRootl?

Investing in DreamRoot releases the potential of leaders in underserved communities, breaking the cycles of poverty, and promoting the well-being of every society member.

Here's how you can make a difference:

🌟Shop our merchandise at our online store
🌟Workplace Giving: Check if your employer supports giving programs and include DreamRoot on the list.
🌟 Spread the Word: Help us expand our reach online by liking and sharing these posts.
🌟 Make an Introduction: Your network is powerful! Introduce us to potential partners who share our vision.
🌟 Leave a Review: Share your experience and inspire others.
🌟 Volunteer: Invest your time and talents in creating positive change—let's talk!
🌟 Make a Tax-Deductible Donation: Your investment yields exponential returns in transforming lives!

Let's create ripple effects of change and empower the next generation of leaders.


So far this year we have been able to provide over 300 hours of training and coaching to 160 local leaders collectively impacting more than 20 underserved communities impacting well over 1,000 students, their families and community members.

For early 2024, we plan to build on these successes and expand the impact. We’ll be focusing on specific projects that infrastructure development, training workshops and strengthening our network and support services to local leaders and their communities.

To highlight a few upcoming projects:
✨ Schoolyard in Haiti: Creating a safe space for children to run and play.
✨ In-Person Leadership Training Events: Gathering leaders for hands-on training and collaboration in Brazil, featuring a three-day conflict resolution workshop in Recife and a conference fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among indigenous leaders in the Amazon region.
✨ Educational and Community-Capacity Building Events: Student tutoring programs, teacher training workshops, and children's summer camps are complemented by year-round capacity-building events. These include vocational training, life skills workshops, career fairs, and neighborhood gatherings fostering community connections.


Happy Thanksgiving!

During this season of gratitude, may we reflect on the giants whose shoulders we stand on today and those we're paving the way for in future generations.

Enjoy the holiday!


Check out what one of the participants from our recent Cross-Cultural Exchange trip to Brazil had to say about the experience!

"I have seen firsthand the positive impact that DreamRoot has on people's lives in Brazil during the cross-cultural exchange. A group of jiu jitsu students from Virginia come to Brazil each year to hang out with local communities, be immersed in Brazilian culture, and get to know one another and bond as human beings through the art of jiu jitsu.

DreamRoot's approach is very clearly rooted in a deep respect and understanding of the communities it serves. They identify the local leaders already doing the work in their communities and empower them to continue doing so and support them in the ways they need. It was truly amazing to train jiu jitsu with the local communities and feel the energy of such an incredible project." - Lexi


During our recent jiu jitsu seminar and training in Brazil, we delved into the topic of ethical leadership, a concept that extends far beyond the mat.

The key takeaway? Do what's right, not just what "works."

Is there something you're engaged in, that deep down doesn't sit right with your values? Maybe it's going unnoticed, maybe it's even benefiting you in the short term. But here's the hard truth: sooner or later, it'll catch up with you.

Just like in Jiu-Jitsu, cutting corners might seem to give you an advantage momentarily, but one day, that fragile structure will crumble.

Success isn’t just about the destination; it's about the journey and how we get there. Let’s commit to doing what's right, on and off the mats, and build a foundation that can withstand any challenge that comes your way

🎥 cred:

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 10/23/2023

Cross-Cultural Exchange in Brazil! 🇧🇷🇺🇸✈️🌟

What a fantastic week it's been as we wrapped up our unforgettable cross-cultural exchange in beautiful Brazil!

11 participants from the US set out on an adventure to Recife, and it's been an incredible journey of connection, exploration, and community building!

We had the pleasure of immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture, experiencing the warmth of the locals, and creating lifelong memories together. From exploring the breathtaking sights, visiting DreamRoot local leader programs, training jiu-jitsu, and of course, indulging in Brazilian cuisine – we did it all!

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the amazing DreamRoot local leaders who came from across three states and nine different community initiatives to join in the festivities and networking.

These trips never disappoint. More than just a sightseeing trip or jiu jitsu camp, it is about building bridges of friendship, understanding and collaboration.

We're looking forward to next year's cross-cultural and jiu jitsu exchange trip. Contact us if you are interested in joining!


Team Passos Brazil Camp participants are landing in Recife this week for a week-long cross-cultural exchange filled with BJJ training, sightseeing, delicious food, and beaches with the locals.

Thanks to your incredible support, our gi/Jiu Jitsu uniform drive was a success, and we’ve collected a ton of uniforms. Each camp participant is bringing an extra suitcase filled with gis to distribute to those in need across Brazil. 🙌🇧🇷

During the camp, we’ll also celebrate Children’s Day with a community block party at Projeto Arte Suave DreamRoot Training Center. This will be an afternoon of jiu jitsu, games, cotton candy, trampolines, and toys. It’s a chance to make lasting connections and create a sense of community.

Let’s make this Children’s Day unforgettable for these amazing kids!


🌟📚 Education Matters! 🌟📚

As the new school year kicks off in Haiti, our DreamRoot tutoring program in Les Cayes is in full swing. Meet one of our incredible tutors, Raymond Andy! 🎓

Raymond Andy, a recent graduate from the community, who is now employed through the DreamRoot program serving his community by providing essential tutoring support. He understands the significance of access to quality education in shaping a brighter future for the next generation.

Let's celebrate Raymond Andy and all our dedicated tutors who are making a difference in the lives of Haitian students! 🇭🇹📖


During the conference in the Amazon, participants broke off into small groups to discuss communication for effective leadership. One of the local leaders shared his excitement for how the tools he was learning in the conference would help him lead not just his team but his family better.

As he was sharing, he began to cry. It was at that moment he understood how it would help him become a better husband and father. He explained that he always thought that many of the challenges he faced were a lack of discipline or willingness of others.

He learned that improving his own communication skills would set everyone up for success and have a larger collective impact.


We are excited to announce the four-year anniversary of DreamRoot Leadership Institute! 🥳

Through your partnership, we've strengthened high-impact local leaders around the world to launch and grow community development initiatives that break the cycles of poverty and promote the well-being of all members of society. THANK YOU! 🎉🎉🎉

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 07/29/2023

Movie night at the Sertão DreamRoot Training Center.


Tomorrow is the day! We're excited to chat with local DreamRoot Leaders, Rose and David about the state of education in Haiti, hear about lessons learned and the impact they are making in their community.

Join us tomorrow/Friday, July 28th 12:00-1:00 pm EST for a virtual live discussion and Q&A. Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqf-mrqz0jGtd9kPNRJReUEYbMMoKJOeUa

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As One Individual Rises, We All Rise

Dreamroot is a global initiative that serves to equip leaders in underserved communities to transform their own lives, their communities and generation to come.

Many people around the world, due to the consequences of poverty and broken systems, have been unable to realize their dreams. Being stunted and paralyzed by their current situations, their lives are a struggle just to survive. Consequently, their dreams become forgotten or buried. But when given the permission to dream again, coupled with training and a conducive environment, amazing things begin to happen. This is where Dreamroot comes in. We are catalyzing dreams, unleashing potential, and accelerating transformation, one leader at a time.

DreamRoot works to combat poverty, underdevelopment and the travesties that come with it by collaborating with a network of partners and local leaders. We come along side with those in under-resourced communities who are working to effect change by serving their neighborhoods and cities through social initiatives like sports programs, after school tutoring and college prep, the arts, music, life skills classes, and coming up with solutions to meet dire basic needs.

We help to equip these proven local leaders by offering further leadership training from a dedicated team of coaches. They learn the hard and soft skills required to successfully launch and run a social initiative whether it be a volunteer outreach program or a social business as an entrepreneur. DreamRoot collaborates with trained and vetted local leaders on the design, implementation and running of their social initiatives. They have access to a DreamRoot support network and mentors and are also eligible to receive seed investment and sponsorship.

Videos (show all)

We're excited to share that our Haiti schoolyard buildout is complete!Seventeen local workers were employed to bring thi...
We’ve already begun the first phase of the schoolyard buildout in Haiti! The students are having a blast taking part to ...
Let the festivities begin! Christmas celebration is in full swing at the DreamRoot Sertao Training Center with lots of j...
Extending our gratitude
Happy GivingTuesday! Together, let's make opportunities accessible to those who need it the most! Would you stand with u...
So far this year we have been able to provide over 300 hours of training and coaching to 160 local leaders collectively ...
Empowering Women & Girls!More milestones in community-capacity building and leader development. This week, local DreamRo...
During our recent jiu jitsu seminar and training in Brazil, we delved into the topic of ethical leadership,  a concept t...
During our cross-cultural exchange trip, participants were able to bring a total of143 donated jiu jitsu uniforms!   We ...
Team Passos Brazil Camp participants are landing in Recife this week for a week-long cross-cultural exchange filled with...
We are pleased to share that DreamRoot was able to provide seed funding to finalize the development of the @projetoesper...
A small local initiative can grow into a global solution. #permissiontodream #dreamroot #leadershipdevelopment #internat...





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