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 250 individualized local dream experiences since 2014 and continue to increase our dream fulfillment capacity each year.

Our Mission

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

Our Programs

Individual Dream Granting
Children are nominated by professional adults they come into contact with (counselors, social workers, teachers, etc.) who have observed the child’s positive qualities and resilience. A Dream coordinator is then assigned to coordinate an individualized experience based on the specific wishes of each child. Examples of dream experiences include, but are not limited to: sporting events, lessons, classes, activities, memberships, amusement parks, career shadowing, material items of a hobby or interest, attending a major event or visiting somewhere for the first time (within Northeast Ohio), meeting or shadowing someone who inspires, or coverage of costs to remove barriers from achieving a goal previously unattainable. We are committed to trauma informed practices and customize each dream experience to help increase capacity for resiliency.

Do you work with a child who is economically disadvantaged and has endured one or more adverse childhood experiences? A child who has impressed you with his or her resilience and drive to reach for their dreams? Nominate them today!

What is the impact of a Dream experience?

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:  Katie@anthonym11.sg-host.com or 440-484-2376

To book John for a complimentary Choosing Greatness seminar at your school or program, please contact: Nicole@thedijuliusgroup.com or 440-443-0028

Our Core Values

Our Commitment

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 Principles of Trauma Informed Care

  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness & Transparency
  • Peer Support
  • Collaboration & Mutuality
  • Empowerment, Voice, & Choice
  • Cultural, Historic, & Gender Issues