The Dream Academy has a great record of success!

We make dreams a reality….


Success Stories


Meet: Sarah Naylyanya 


The College Planning Program was a huge help for me during  my junior/senior year of high school. The workshops showed a group of students and me how to apply to different schools, grants, how to sign up for EOP, financial aid, and the college life advice from Ms. Garcia in the workshops even guided helped me plan to maneuver through my college years in the smartest ways. With her having many degrees’ and having the experience of being in college, she shared the reality of what college is really like and helped us develop success strategies. For example, she said the first year will be tough but she advised me to sit in the front of the class, make sure the professor knows my name and most importantly GO TO OFFICE HOURS.  As graduation from Sac State draws near I can honestly say that these strategies have contributed to my collegiate success.

As graduation from Sac State draws near I can honestly say that these strategies have contributed to my collegiate success.

The college program extended past high school graduation and Mrs. Garcia was still available to the students to assist with issues and concerns that came up as we transitioned into our first full year of collegiate matriculation. With FAFSA being brand new to me as an incoming freshman, she was very knowledgeable and I was comfortable asking her any questions I did not know. She was so welcoming that even my mom was able to ask questions and leave the workshops feeling empowered.

“....even my mom was able to ask questions and left the workshop feeling empowered.”

—  Sara Naylyanya - CSU Sacramento, 3rd year undergraduate 


Meet: Savannah Ignot 


Before University of California applications were due, I knew to call my The Dream Academy's founder, Kennedy Garcia who is affectionately known as Auntie K to all of the girls she so carefully takes under her wings. I needed to get her opinion on which UC’s I should  apply to. I knew I wanted to apply to UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Davis but I couldn’t decide on whether to apply to UC San Diego or UC Riverside or UC Santa Barbara. Aunt Kennedy highly recommended UC Santa Barbara to me and promised me if I got in she would take me to see the campus. Fast forward to April 2017, I got into UC Santa Barbara and I remembered what Aunt Kennedy promised, so I brought it up. I texted her saying, “remember a couple months ago when you told me to apply to UC Santa Barbara and if I got in you would take me? Well I got in and I really want to go see the campus.” Thankfully, but not surprising as it is in her character to keep her word, two days later Aunt Kennedy texted me with flight times and hotel information. We were going to Santa Barbara.

When we got there the first day we toured the campus ourselves and I was amazed by the beautiful weather and the beaches. There were so many students on campus up and doing things. Students were protesting, going to class, relaxing at cafe’s, riding bikes, studying in the libraries and more. I was in love because this was my first time seeing college life up close. The second day we had a tour guide who took us around campus, into the dorms, and gave me really good information about UC Santa Barbara. It was then I noticed a lack of African American students on UC Santa Barbara's campus. I voiced this observation to Aunt Kennedy and she made it a goal to find the African American student headquarters so I could hear directly from African American students. There I met 6 female African American students. 

t was so nice to hear from them and they made me feel a lot better about the lack of Black faces I saw on campus. Those 6 girls really made me feel comfortable acknowledging the fact that yes there aren’t a lot of people on campus that look like me, but this campus is still for me regardless. It was impactful for Aunt Kennedy to take me to the AA student building because it was something I needed to hear. On the third day Aunt Kennedy introduced me to two students she knew who attended UC Santa Barbara and they gave me great advice as well. They all loved the school and it made me feel both comfortable and excited because now I knew two more people, in addition to the friends I made at the African American Student building. It let me know I wouldn’t be starting college all alone.

My trip to UC Santa Barbara was very impactful in my college decision because I had yet to visit any college campus I applied to. This trip really showed me what I wanted on a college campus for  myself and made me really excited for my future after high school. If it wasn’t for my Aunt Kennedy following through with her word and taking me to UC Santa Barbara, I would have been more nervous and less focused on my final college decision. She helped me come to terms with what I wanted and helped guide me in the right direction. It was so nice to have another adult other than my mother support me and show me the importance of college.

Even to this day she is helping me by sending my scholarship information anytime she gets it. One thing that will never go unnoted is what she has done for me out of the kindness of her heart.



“....My trip to UC Santa Barbara was very impactful.... The trip really showed me what I wanted in a college campus for myself and made me really excited for my future after high school.”

—  Savannah Ignot -UC Berkeley, Molecular Environmental Biology Major. 2nd, yr undergraduate