In the Press

JUNE

FEATURE ARTICLE

June 16, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INTERVIEW: BEHIND OUR YOGA INSTRUCTOR
ZEN VIBE YOGA’S LAUREN WILSMAN
bloggingwithdop.wordpress.com 

Gainesville, Fla. (written by Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste) – Dream On Purpose (DOP) empowers young girls in the Gainesville community through open and safe conversations.

Hi. My name is Brianna Duncan-Dieujuste, a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Florida. I maintain the DOP Blog. Here, I hope to further the conversations brought forth by girls involved with Dream On Purpose.

This Saturday (June 17), we will celebrate our six month anniversary of Flower Empower Yoga! It’s sure to be a great day full of relaxing yoga and relieving stress in a productive way. Our once-a-month class is taught by Lauren Wilsman. She’s practiced yoga for over 15 years and make’s the experience welcoming to everybody.

I recently sat down with her to talk about the importance of yoga for young girls and being a total #GIRLBOSS! Read more…

Dream On Purpose: What ignited your spark to start Zen Vibe Yoga?
Lauren Wilsman: “Zen Vibe Yoga was started by me to help to fill a niche in the yoga industry that I felt had a void in it and that is making people feel comfortable doing yoga who have no idea what they’re doing, who have never done yoga before. I did that by making my business mobile and going to people into their homes rather than creating a group yoga studio space, which is a traditional route that a lot of yoga instructors take.”

DOP: How did you initially get involved with Dream on Purpose?
LW: “I met Shareen [Baptiste] through AdWerks. My experience was positive and the very least got connected with her. I was looking for opportunities to work specifically with young girls of the Gainesville community; then, I heard of Dream on Purpose, which has the perfect target market, in regards to age and everything. It was just a perfect match.”

DOP: What motivates you personally?
LW: “At this point in my life, I’m motivated by my family. Always having that long-term goal to keep my eyes on the prize and I think that’s important for everyone. It’s good to have short term goals, but ultimately what are those short term goals going to lead up to…that’s what always keep me motivated.”

DOP: Why do you think it’s important for young girls to role models like you making a difference in the local community?
LW: “Well sometimes the role models that we’re born into whether that be mom, dad, family or even schoolmates, don’t suffice being a positive role model unfortunately. With the girls we work with through Dream on Purpose and yoga, we have a role model outside of that realm. It is important to have someone like myself educated in yoga. It makes it a perfect match for a young person who wants to learn more about yoga. Having a role model who’s already experienced and fully immersed in an interest where someone wants to learn more about is really awesome.”

DOP: What has been the most satisfying moment in your business thus far?
LW: “I think the most satisfying moment for me is when people who have tried yoga in the past who are about to give on it and for me to be able to change their perspective of it by doing yoga with them. That is pretty rewarding by being able to hand over that tool to them through yoga to help them improve their overall life.”

DOP: When things don’t go as planned how do you respond to those situations?
LW: “The key word is respond. All of us have moments where we react, including myself. It is really about responding and not overreacting. For me, I always like to do the 5 year test in my mind, if something doesn’t go as plan. I ask myself; is this truly going to matter 5 years from now and usually the answer is ‘no’. That really scales the impact and the magnitude of the issue in that present moment. I’m a big believer in the universe knows more than we do and life flows at the pace the universe wants for us has positive things for everyone.”

DOP: What women in your life or in the media do you look at for inspiration?
LW: “I’m not big into media. For me, I’m really motivated by my circle of friends. A lot of my girlfriends are a little bit older and to see what they’re achieving, a lot of them are nurses saving people’s lives literally and always challenging themselves and growing themselves and not being afraid to be independent. I’m definitely inspired by them.”

DOP: If you could travel back and have 15 minutes with your former self before you started your business, what kind of lessons would you communicate?
LW: “When I was in college, I never thought that I would be running my own business so I think I would have told myself: You’re not going to know all the answers, but they will come with time and as long as I’m taking steps forward in in the right direction it doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you keep on moving.”

For more stories or interviews, visit bloggingwithdop.wordpress.com.


PRESS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 16, 2017

DREAM ON PURPOSE AND ZEN VIBE YOGA CELEBRATES SIX MONTHS OF OFFERING FREE YOGA TO GIRLS IN GREATER GAINESVILLE 

Flower Empower Yoga class will take place on June 17 from 11 to noon at the downtown Alachua County Library. 

Gainesville, Fla. – Dream on Purpose celebrates its six-month anniversary yoga event with Zen Vibe Yoga. Lauren Wilsman, owner of Zen Vibe Yoga, and Dream on Purpose have partnered to bring young girls monthly, free-of-charge yoga classes, Flower Empower Yoga. The class will take place Saturday from 11 to noon at the Alachua County Public Library (Headquarters), 401 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601.

Girls between the ages of 11 and 18 from Gainesville and surrounding communities are encouraged to attend. The class focuses on improving girls’ physical health and well-being, strengthening their mental health and providing stress relief, while encouraging them to make new friends.

Lauren Wilsman serves as the instructor for each class and Dream on Purpose (DOP) as the event host. Dream on Purpose is an empowerment movement specifically designed for young girls. For more information about Zen Vibe Yoga, visit www.zenvibeyoga.com and visit www.dreamonpurpose.org for more information about Dream on Purpose.


PRESS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 5, 2017

FREE event to empower young girls to end bullying, prevent suicide attempts and improve mental health 

Quarterly Cupcakes & Conversations: “Living My Life Like It’s Golden” will take place on June 10 from 2 to 4 PM at Cone Park Library

GAINESVILLE, FL, June 5, 2017 – One in five girls is statistically destined to have a mental illness. As a result, suicide has become the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. Dream on Purpose sets out to change this course of history for young girls within the Greater Gainesville community on June 10.

Dream on Purpose is hosting its next installment of Cupcakes & Conversations, an open forum for girls ages 11-18, at the Cone Park Library (2801 E. University Ave.) 2 – 4 p.m. “Living My Life Like It’s Golden,” the mantra for this quarter’s workshop, encourages girls to learn more on ways to handle issues related to mental health and the importance of self-love. This event will feature a series of distinguished community speakers who will discuss the importance of ending the stigma on mental illnesses.

The keynote speaker for Cupcakes & Conversations: Living My Life Like It’s Golden is Laurel Nesbit. Nesbit is currently the Outreach Coordinator at the Alachua County Crisis Center. In this role, she works with volunteers, clients, and community organizations to foster understanding and connection, providing training in crisis and suicide intervention.

Nesbit received her Master of Education and Educational Specialist degrees in Counselor Education from the University of Florida, is a certified instructor of Youth Mental Health First Aid, and is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern with the state of Florida.

“Life is difficult and complex at times. Growing up in this digital age with increased accessibility and coping with the pressures associated with school, home and social life can be overwhelming at times; however, Dream on Purpose is here to remind our young girls that they are not alone and there are resources located within their own backyard – just for THEM,” says President and Cofounder Shareen Baptiste. “That is why we do what we do here at Dream on Purpose. We are hoping that Cupcakes & Conversations: Living Life Like It’s Golden will remind our girls that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. We’ve invited local experts and community resources to show them how to do just that – take care and love their selves.”

Additional community resources include Tatila Brock, Princella Thorpe and Acacia Douglas from The Education Foundation of Alachua County – Take Stock in Children, who will serve as table discussion leaders. Representatives from Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. was also attend.

Dream on Purpose, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young girls to actualize her dreams. For more information, visit www.dreamonpurpose.org.

All girls between the ages of 11 and 18 are encouraged to attend Cupcakes & Conversations on June 10. There will be fun activities, prizes and giveaways. There is no cost to attend. To register, visit www.candclivinglife.eventbrite.com.

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FEBRUARY 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2017

Dream On Purpose Launches First Cupcakes & Conversations of 2017 in Ocala, Fla.

The girl empowerment movement is highlighting etiquette and fashion with lady leaders

Alicia McCord and Dr. Anntwanique Edwards

Ocala, Fla. – On Saturday, Feb. 18, Dream on Purpose, the Gainesville-based empowerment movement specifically designed for girls aged 11-18, is hosting its next installment of Cupcakes & Conversations. Cupcakes & Conversations is a free forum bringing lady leaders and young girls together to collaborate on female themes of the generation. Deemed Classy vs. Sassy, this Cupcakes & Conversations will focus on lady etiquette, dressing for success and powerful personal branding tactics.

Kicking off at 11 a.m., Cupcakes & Conversations: Classy vs. Sassy will feature Alicia McCord, who will present on a variety of topics relating to female branding. Conversations will touch on building an appropriate personal brand using elements from proper etiquette, personal hygiene and modest fashion to a respectable online presence and tools for professional success. This guided discussion will give young girls the opportunity to engage in positive dialogue as well as a multi-tiered system of resources to create a thriving personal brand.

Following the main Classy vs. Sassy chat, Dream on Purpose will entertain a mini fashion show. Moderated by Dr. Anntwanique Edwards, renowned local philanthropist and education specialist, the runway will feature modest, yet trendy, fashion finds for young girls seeking success in life.

To participate in Cupcakes & Conversations: Classy vs. Sassy, please register at Eventbrite.

Cupcakes & Conversations: Classy vs. Sassy will be located at Unity Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 7901 NW 40th Terrace, Ocala, Fla. 34482. This event is sponsored by Trinity Assembly Dream Center Church of God in Christ.


Website: dreamonpurpose.org | Facebook: /dreamonpurpose | Instagram: @dreamonpurpose


ABOUT DREAM ON PURPOSE:

Dream On Purpose, Inc. is an empowerment movement specifically designed for young girls aged 11-18. Headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, Dream on Purpose connects young girls with local resources through interactive workshops and promotes positive socialization through structured forums. The movement strives to strengthen female empowerment and familial relationships by  fostering mentorship relationships, incorporating discussions about safe and healthy choices, and serving as a conduit for higher education and scholarship opportunities.

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JANUARY 

Free yoga classes to teach young girls empowerment

The Alligator, Katie Schmidt

January 22, 2017

A semicircle of young girls formed around Lauren MacKay on Saturday, intently following the yoga instructor’s every move as best they could.

The girls stretched out their limbs, closed their eyes and learned basic techniques in an effort by MacKay, the 27-year-old owner of Zen Vibe Yoga, to teach them how to deal with daily stressors through yoga. She taught the inaugural Flower Empower Yoga class, held at the Headquarters branch of the Alachua County Library District, as a way to teach young girls about empowerment and coping.

“Raise your hand if you’re nervous,” MacKay said at the beginning of class. “Now raise your hand if you’re excited.”

For most girls, it was their first yoga class.

Flower Empower Yoga is a monthly, free-of-charge class offered to girls 11 to 18 years old. The class will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the downtown library, located at 401 E. University Ave.

MacKay said she partnered with local nonprofit Dream on Purpose to hold the classes because she was looking for some outreach opportunities to teach free yoga.

Read more


PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2017

GIRLS FIND THEIR ZEN AT INAUGURAL EVENT, FLOWER EMPOWER YOGA – JUST FOR THEM.

Inaugural class takes place Jan. 21 from 11 to noon at downtown public library!

When Lauren MacKay was a little girl, her mother introduced her to what became the passion of her life – yoga. Bonding over yoga, MacKay’s mother instilled in her balance, discipline and Zen. Today, MacKay plants these same seeds into the lives of young girls.

Zen Vibe Yoga, MacKay’s mobile yoga business, and a local non-profit Dream on Purpose have partnered to bring young girls monthly, free-of-charge yoga classes, Flower Empower Yoga. Flower Empower Yoga is scheduled to take place on every third Saturday of the month at the Alachua County Public Library (Headquarters), 401 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601. The inaugural class will take place on Jan. 21 from 11 to noon.

Girls between the ages of 11 and 18 from Gainesville and the surrounding communities are encouraged to attend to focus on their health and wellbeing and decompress from the daily stresses of life, while making new friends. Lauren MacKay will serve as the instructor for each class and Dream on Purpose (DOP) as the event host. DOP is an empowerment movement specifically designed for young girls.

Future dates and times for Flower Empower Yoga are as follows: Feb. 18 from 10:30 – 11:30am and Mar. 18 from 11am to noon. Click here to RSVP for January.

For more information about Zen Vibe Yoga, visit www.zenvibeyoga.com and visit www.dreamonpurpose.org for more information about Dream on Purpose.

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MAY

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 23, 2016

DREAM ON PURPOSE HOSTS AN OPEN FORUM MAY 28, SPOTLIGHTING SEX EDUCATION FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS

Gainesville, Fla. – Dream on Purpose, Inc. (DOP) is hosting its second quarter Cupcakes & Conversations on Sat. May 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.  This event gives young girls a structured voice, a collective forum for positive dialogue and an opportunity to engage in a multi-tiered system of resources, made just for them. Cupcakes & Conversations will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, 1028 NE 14 St.

This quarter’s Cupcakes & Conversations: Netflix & Chill edition will feature movie clips encouraging small group discussions on dating and presentations facilitated by licensed professionals on the topics of sex education, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Girls will have the opportunity to interact with professional women by asking questions and uncovering myths related to dating, sex and related topics. DOP’s Financial Affairs Intern Francesca Badoino said, “we want our girls to know how to be safe by educating them on making healthy decisions as they mature into adulthood. These young girls are at a pivotal stage in their lives, where their decisions can profoundly impact their quality of life and that of others, that’s why we believe what we are doing is so important.”

“I wish I had Dream on Purpose when I was growing up. I am sure I would have made different choices”, says Vice-President JoAnne Karagnara. DOP was established in January 2015 in the heart of Gainesville, FL by a group of seasoned, professional women looking to connect young girls to community resources. “We want to give these girls options and show them there is a big world of opportunities available to them,” says Karagnara.

DOP’s primary focus is to organize forums, seminars, and programs that facilitate mentorships and education for girls. “We pride ourselves in connecting leading women from various industries to young girls,” says DOP President Shareen Baptiste. “DOP strives to empower young women to follow their dreams with confidence.”

Dream on Purpose is excited to host an audience of young girls with a wide range of interests and backgrounds again. The organization hosted its inaugural Cupcakes & Conversations in February, where a panel of leading professional women spoke and interacted with more than three-dozen attendees about real life scenarios via group discussions.

“I am excited to attend Cupcakes & Conversations because I get to hang out with people my age and I can’t wait to see the ways the topics are discussed and conversations are handled,” says Julia Fletcher, 15, an attendee of the last Cupcakes & Conversations. She eagerly awaits Saturday’s event by adding,  “I also can’t wait for the cupcakes.”

This event is free and open to girls between the ages of 11-18 and their parents/guardians. This event is sponsored by the City of Gainesville, Williams & Co. Events, LYFEhouse and Joshua Joel SMA Life, Inc. For more information, visit www.dreamonpurpose.org.

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MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 23, 2016

DREAM ON PURPOSE HOSTS AN OPEN FORUM MAY 28SPOTLIGHTING SEX EDUCATION FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS

What: Dream on Purpose, Inc. (DOP) is hosting its second quarter Cupcakes & Conversations. This quarter’s Cupcakes & Conversations: Netflix & Chill edition will feature movie clips encouraging small group discussions on dating and presentations facilitated by licensed professionals on the topics of sex education, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Girls will have the opportunity to interact with professional women by asking questions and uncovering myths related to dating, sex and related topics.

This event gives young girls a structured voice, a collective forum for positive dialogue and an opportunity to engage in a multi-tiered system of resources, made just for them.

When: Sat. May 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, 1028 NE 14 St.

Who: This event is free and open to girls between the ages of 11-18 and their parents/guardians. Cupcakes & Conversations is hosted by Dream on Purpose, Inc. Dream on Purpose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, empowers every young girl to actualize their dreams by connecting them with local resources through interactive workshops and promoting positive socialization through structured forums.

The featured speakers for this upcoming Cupcakes & Conversations, include:

  • Dr. Tanya Anim, Family Medicine Doctor, University of Florida Health
  • Francesca Badoino, Financial Affairs Intern, Dream on Purpose, Inc.
  • Ty Livingston, Outreach Youth Advocate, Peaceful Paths
  • Dr. Kandra Albury, Published Author and Owner, Kandra Albury Enterprises

This event is sponsored by the City of Gainesville, Williams & Co. Events, LYFEhouse and Joshua Joel SMA Life, Inc. For more information, visit dreamonpurpose.org.


FEBRUARY

Event empowers teen girls to succeed

Gainesville Guardian, Aida Mallard

February 17, 2016

“Thought-provoking,” “exceeded expectations” and “addressed real life issues” were some of the comments participants used to describe the Inaugural Cupcakes & Conversations, an empowering event for girls ages 11 to 18.

The event, which was held Saturday at the A. Quinn Jones Center, was sponsored by Dream on Purpose, a non-profit organization that empowers girls through interactive events and workshops to provide resources specifically designed for girls of color.

Everyone enjoyed cupcakes and refreshments. 

Read more


February 9, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
 
Young Girls (11-18) Chat It Up at Inaugural Cupcakes & Conversations, connecting them to local resources and the movers-and-shakers of Gainesville
 
Who: Dream on Purpose is an empowerment movement, culminating in an interactive showcase and workshop filled with resources and positive socialization, specifically designed for young girls. Dream on Purpose is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit dreamonpurpose.org.
What: Dream on Purpose is hosting its very first, Cupcakes and Conversations, in Gainesville, Florida targeting girls between the ages of 11-18. “Cupcakes and Conversations” gives young girls a structured voice, a collective forum for positive dialogue and an opportunity to engage in a multi-tiered system of resources – just for them. We have lined up a panel of successful women of all ages ready to speak about their stories and provide a roadmap to local resources. We will provide light refreshments, beverages and of course, CUPCAKES!
 
Featured speakers, include:
– Deborah Bowie
    – President & Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of North Central Florida
– Anntwanique Edwards, Ph.D.
    – Assistant Principal at A. Quinn Jones Center
– Kandra Albury, Ph.D.
    – Published Author and Owner of Kandra Albury Enterprises
– Katie Fields
    – Managing Director of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding
– Kelly Belanger
    – Founder, CEO of Project Total Girl, Inc.
– Tatila (Tia) Brock
    – Program Coordinator for The Education Foundation of Alachua County
When: Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 2 to 4 pm
Where: A. Quinn Jones Center – 1108 NW 7th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601.
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