Denver Kids Educational SEL Counselor (ESC), Millie, began her journey with Dreann when Dreann was in 5th grade. Over the years, their bond grew through the trials and triumphs of Dreann's life. In particular, Millie remembers when Dreann lost her father in 8th grade but persevered despite her tragic loss. "Dreann was sad but truly fought to finish middle school and stay strong for her siblings, mother, and family," said Millie.
Millie was there for Dreann for the big and small moments of her life. The support she provided Dreann through Denver Kids included meeting with her teachers and school counselors, helping with financial aid applications, attending birthday celebrations and Denver Kids team events, spending time together hiking at Red Rocks, and exploring many different college and career paths. Whether it was giving Dreann rides when her family needed the support, ensuring she had a backpack and school supplies throughout each school year, or proudly attending Dreann’s high school graduation, Millie’s dedication to consistently showing up made all the difference.
A 2023 high school graduate, Dreann will attend Emily Griffith Technical College's esthetician program in the fall. When asked what advice Millie would give Dreann for this next stage of life, she said, "Dream big and continue to be the amazing young lady you are. You have defied the odds that most would not have surpassed. Straighten your crown, love. Keep pushing, young lady, because this is only the beginning."
Dreann's resiliency, growth, and development deeply affected Millie as an ESC. "I truly appreciated her trusting me with such important information, things I knew were difficult to tell her mother or family," shared Millie. Even when Millie knew Dreann wanted to give up at times, she kept going. Over the years, Millie said witnessing Dreann blossom into "an amazing butterfly" was inspiring and gave her strength and encouragement as an adult.
Millie shared, “Dreann is the epitome of strength and what it looks like to have an ESC, a school community, and family and friends who support you through thick and thin despite the ups and downs." She continued, "This is why the journey is important. My role as an ESC is so important. I wouldn't change it for the world."
Through Millie's guidance and Dreann's indomitable spirit, together they navigated the challenges that life threw their way. As Dreann takes her next steps into a bright future, Millie's words of wisdom and unwavering belief in Dreann's potential will continue to echo, inspiring her to reach for the stars.