Our Mission and Program

Our Story

Believe in Dreams was founded in 2014 by Cleveland entrepreneur John DiJulius III and his son Cal. John rose from humble beginnings to successful entrepreneurship with the love and support of his family and community. They instilled in him a drive to believe in himself and make a difference in the world. In 2009, John tragically lost Stacy, his wife and the mother of his three sons. In the years that followed, their middle son, Cal, became acutely aware that the support and opportunities for healing and hope he experienced were very different than for children who go through such hardships without an abundance of resources and support.

From his own life, John knew how poverty and adverse experiences left children with little hope or belief that their dreams were attainable. He understood the value that the power of opportunity – and others believing in him – had on him when he was young, and on his children after their mother passed. He recognized how this, coupled with resilience and hard work towards personal goals, could alter a person’s life path.

From this vision, Believe in Dreams was born. We have fulfilled over 720 individualized local dream experiences since 2014, and continue to increase our impact each year.





To fulfill dreams of youth who are economically disadvantaged and have survived non-medical adversity by providing access to enriching opportunities, connection to community and hope for the future.


Individual Dream Granting

Youth are nominated by professional adults they work with, such as counselors, social workers, or teachers. These individuals have observed the child’s positive qualities and resilience. A Dream Coordinator is then assigned to put together an individualized experience package based on the dreams of each child in 3 main areas:

1. Something they dream of learning that they haven’t had the opportunity to learn.

2. Something they dream of having they haven’t had access to before.

3. Somewhere they dream of going (locally) they’ve never been.

Examples of dream experiences include, but are not limited to: lessons, classes, sporting events, activities, memberships, career shadowing, attending a major event or visiting somewhere for the first time (within Northeast Ohio), coverage of costs to remove barriers from achieving a goal previously unattainable, and much more. We are committed to trauma-informed practices and customize each dream experience to increase the youth’s capacity for resiliency .

Dream Big! Choosing Greatness Seminar Believe in Dreams Founder John DiJulius III is a keynote speaker, internationally-recognized customer experience consultant, and best-selling author of three books. John wants to bring his experience and expertise in motivating others to dream big to our youth. This complimentary seminar, sponsored by Believe in Dreams, is designed for middle and high school students with the objective of sharing the simple, yet effective habits of overachievers. The seminar gives youth the foundation and motivation to dream big and accomplish those dreams. Techniques the audience will learn include:
  • Demanding the most from your life
  • Picturization Process (Goal setting with visual advertisement)
  • Beginning with the end in mind – work backwards from your goals for 5, 10, 20 years from now
  • Perseverance – overcoming past, current and future obstacles
  • How to prevent attitude from becoming a disability
Greatness does not choose you, you choose it. Every choice you make daily is permeating a stronger habit in your life, either taking you closer to your goals or farther away. Choose greatness.”  ~John R. DiJulius III To learn more about how the Choosing Greatness Seminar could benefit the youth in your program please contact us at info@believeindreams.org To book John for a complimentary Choosing Greatness seminar at your school or organization, please email Lindsey, or call 440-443-0028.

Our Commitment

Core Values

Ethical Storytelling

The positive experiences of our Dreamers and families through every touchpoint with Believe in Dreams is our highest priority. As a trauma informed care organization, we are always exploring ways to be as transparent as possible with the community about our work while always making a top priority the importance of dream recipients’ safety, privacy, and ownership of their own stories.

As we work to expand awareness of our mission and work, we are committed to empowering, and never exploiting, the youth we serve. This is why Believe in Dreams committed to the “Ethical Storytelling Pledge” As we navigate our ever evolving digital world, this pledge serves as a guide to ensure we share stories in a way that is appropriate, promotes youth empowerment and highlights the strength and resiliency of our youth, not their trauma. Visit Ethical Storytelling  for more information and to view the pledge.

Key Principals of Trauma Informed Care

  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness & Transparency
  • Peer Support
  • Collaboration & Mutuality
  • Empowerment, Voice & Choice
  • Humility & Responsiveness