Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s 11th Annual Dream Makers Celebration was a dream come true! Already we have heard feedback from guests describing the evening as “powerful and inspiring,” “amazing and beautiful,” and “incredibly moving.”

For the 11th Annual Dream Makers Celebration, On October 2, 320 business and education partners, volunteers, donors, students and guests came together to celebrate the success of CYC’s students and support their futures. The 2014 Outstanding Student Award recipients were announced and both students received a $1,000 scholarship for post-secondary pursuits. Master of Ceremonies Clyde Gray led the evening with poise and charisma, while Honorary Chair Kathy Beechem enthusiastically regaled guests with memories of CYC’s early years and praise for how far it has come – just this year, 830 participating seniors graduated from high school!

The highlight of the evening, however, came when the 2014 Outstanding Student Award Recipients shared personal stories of perseverance in the face of extreme obstacles. Alexius Golden recounted her family’s struggles with homelessness and the comfort she found in the steadfast support of her CYC career specialist. She is now attending Berea College on full scholarship. Robert McMurray reflected on his amazement at finding someone who would stand by him in a way his father did not, a mentor who he is “proud to be able to call father.” He is attending Northern Kentucky University with plans to study criminal justice.

Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and thanks to YOU, we did it!  Special events, like the Dream Makers Celebration, allow CYC to raise funds for a critical need in Cincinnati: programs for children and young adults who might otherwise never gain access to positive adult advocates, resources, and opportunities. The evening raised approximately $105,000 for CYC’s programs, which empower students like Robert and Alexius to overcome obstacles and succeed in school and in life. This would not be possible without you and your support! Thank you to everyone who made the evening a dream come true!

CYC's 2014 Outstanding Students Robert McMurray and Alexius Golden
CYC’s 2014 Outstanding Students Robert McMurray and Alexius Golden
CYC mentee Zackary with Master of Ceremonies Clyde Gray
CYC mentee Zackary with Master of Ceremonies Clyde Gray
Honorary Chair Kathy Beechem
Honorary Chair Kathy Beechem
Francie Pepper, Keynote Speaker Travis Lloyd, John Pepper, and Jane Keller
Richard Vance, CYC board member Jim Sowar
Richard Vance, CYC board member Jim Sowar
Robert McMurray, Karen Williams, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell
Robert McMurray, Karen Williams, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell




Photos by Robert White Photography

Special Thanks to our Event Sponsors

Deloitte Logo

Lux_Logo_Color 2014


Crossroads Community Church

Duke Energy

Fifth Third Bank

Sisters of Charity

US Bank

XLC Services

Flower Sponsors: Kroger

Awards Sponsor: Jake Sweeney Auto

Scholarship Sponsors: Cincinnati Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Mentoring Committee & Anonymous Friends of CYC 


Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Medical Center


Coworth Financial Services

Daniel and Laura Keller Family

Endowment Scholarship

Fidelity Investments

The Furnier Muzzo Group, LLC

Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

Hightowers Petroleum Co.

Huntington Bank

John and Francie Pepper

Kathy Beechem


Laufman & Napolitano, LLC

Onyx Sourcing Solutions

Pep Promotions

Robert and Beth Grace


Truepoint Wealth Counsel

University of Cincinnati

Xavier University