Welcome to CYC’s 2023 Dream Makers Celebration!  We are thrilled you are joining us to celebrate the inspiring success and hard work of our students and those caring adults who have supported them along the way.     

Tonight, we will showcase the positive impact that can be made for generations to come, when all stakeholders – business, academia, community, and volunteers – come together and focus their efforts on empowering youth to excel in education, career and life. 


5:30 – Registration, Cocktails
and Dinner by the Bite

7:00 – Program:

Welcome with Special Student Performers

Hall of Fame Induction

Live Auction

Student Performance

Outstanding Student Recognition

Paddle Raise

8:00 – Coffee and Desserts

Presenting Sponsor

Outstanding Students

Deanna Smith 

North College Hill High School, 2023

Xavier University 

Nominated by 
Trish Meridy, JCG Career Specialist 

“Despite enduring serious obstacles since elementary school, Deanna has shown incredible resilience and determination to excel in her studies and extracurricular activities. Her ability to stay focused, determined, and resilient in the face of adversity is truly awe-inspiring. “ 

Demontay Campbell

Oyler High School , 2023

The University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Bryan Talber, GRAD Cincinnati

I can’t think of a student who embodies the CYC’s core values more than De’montay. He is passionate about his school and community, giving a voice to people who might feel like they don’t have one, and his influence empowers others to stand up for themselves and fight to make the school and community a better place.”

Mohagany Wooten 

Oyler High School, 2023

The University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Bryan Talbert, GRAD Cincinnati

Mohagany is a charismatic young woman who people are naturally drawn to. In addition to her charisma, she is an incredibly hard worker, has integrity, and she motivates others around her. She is probably the most natural leader I have seen in my time at Oyler. I’ve seen it in action as well. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mohagany possesses all the tools and the grit it takes to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.”

Marquis Barren 

North College Hill High School, 2023

Institute of Advanced Manufacturing, Kroger  

Nominated by
Keya Neeley, JCG Career Specialist

Marquis has grown into an amazing young man. When I met him, he didn’t fully understand his potential or didn’t really believe in himself. I watched him try to give up so many times, but he didn’t. He struggled with his grades but that never stopped him. Marquis embodies Empowerment because he is a role model to the younger kids at NCH High School and he serves his community without having to be asked. Because he committed to a goal he made for himself he has become passionate about his success.” 

Mia Wright  

Shroder High School, 2023 

Northern Kentucky University 

Nominated by
Vanessa Kurtzer, CYC Community Engagement Leader

Life was not easy for Mia as a kid but that did not stop her from believing in herself and staying focused. I am proud of Mia, and I know she will make a difference in so many people’s lives. She was the best guest speaker at Saturday Hoops delivering a message on the importance of not giving up on your dreams by working hard at school, staying out of trouble and knowing that there are people who want to help you.”

Shalyla Elms 

Oyler High School, 2023

Cincinnati State Technical College 

Nominated by
Alexia Zigoris Wellington, Saturday Hoops Mentor

“Shalyla is a hard worker, cheerful giver, and an overcomer who believes she can accomplish anything. She is an excellent student, is good with people, and is always prepared to work hard. She has an uncanny ability to stay positive through even the most challenging times. “

Kaleb Sherrer 

Mt. Healthy High School, 2023 

Centre College

Nominated by
Miguel Garcia, GEARUP Advisor

“Kaleb is a very outgoing student and always ensures those who may not always speak up are included and feel they can speak their mind without judgment. Whether it be on the football field or in the classroom, he looks to push those around him to be the very best version of themselves. Even when that means he must make self-sacrifices, he wants to continue knowing that he’s making a difference. Through more in-depth conversations with Kaleb, he is willing to admit when he is wrong or when he may have not thought thoroughly of everything and come up short.He wants to work in education and help future students that come from similar backgrounds.”

Dylan Cooke

Shroder High School, 2023

Esthetician School

Nominated by
Mike Davis, JCG Career Specialist:

Dylan is a young adult that is on the move and has become very intentional regarding her post secondary plans and ambitions. She has the swagger of an adult that has longevity and veteran status in life. She will go on to do big things and I can’t wait for her phone call when she makes her first million dollars.”

Ke’Orland Harrison 

Western Hills University High School, 2023

University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Warren Weber, PNC Mentor

“Ke’Orland is a natural leader, and his peers gravitate to his quiet confidence and his positive attitude. He is a first-generation college student and embodies the ideal of improving himself and his community. His academic choice of Nursing demonstrates these qualities with a desire to help others especially those most vulnerable.”

Hall of Fame

CYC’s Hall of Fame recognizes groups and individuals who have had sustained, transformational impact for CYC students, CYC programs and the Greater Cincinnati Community.

Miriam West, Retired CYC Mentor Director 

Miriam West embodies the spirit of mentoring in all she does. For over a decade, she served as the Mentor Director for Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. Miriam was the driving force behind the growth and expansion of CYC’s mentoring program. Under her leadership CYC became the premier mentoring organization serving young people in Greater Cincinnati. CYC continues to utilize some of her recruitment and programming principals to this day.

Ed Berg, Founder of Saturday Hoops

In 1984 Ed, with the support of his wife Sally, made a one-year commitment to venture into the inner city of Cincinnati as “urban missionaries” to support a struggling in Over-The-Rhine. Ed and a small but dedicated group of community members developed a strategy to connect with young people in the neighborhood through basketball (a huge passion for Ed). Through this simple concept Saturday Hoops was born. Ed’s passion for sports, the community and serving others was the fuel that turned Hoops into a program now serving over 800 young people across Cincinnati Each year.

Dr. Wan Lim & Dr Charlie Cavallo, UC Med Mentors Founder & Leader

UC Med Mentors is led by Dr. Charles Cavallo, and was founded in 2001 by Dr. Wan Lim as an opportunity for UC medical students, to serve as mentors to the youth of Cincinnati. The program serves as a cultural exchange for the medical students, and provides opportunities for them to gain insight into the lives of children growing up in adverse conditions. The mentoring relationship exposes the mentees to new and different experiences, and provides positive reinforcement and encouragement and focuses on enhancing the mentee’s literacy. In its 22 years, the program has served 564 mentees and 824 mentors.

 Procter & Gamble   

Over 35 years ago, as Cincinnati was facing exceedingly high dropout rates, concerned community and school leaders pioneered the idea of collaboration that created a game-changing model for intervention, and founded the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. These partners were led by then P&G executive John Pepper. John proposed a model where local business leaders would collaborate with educators and community leaders to support young people through the challenges of adolescence.  Since then P&G has provided unwavering and unparalleled support in both time, talent and treasure to CYC. Thousands of P&G staff and alumni have served as volunteers, mentors and funders all working to advance the mission of CYC and to support the young people of Greater Cincinnati.


Susan Johnson, CAI, AARE, BAS, CES is President and Founder of Susan’s Auction Service, she currently has clients in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Michigan. She enjoys consulting with her clients to increase the giving at events while the guests have fun as she entertains them. She appears at over 40 events each year; and over the past 25 years has raised over $2 Billion dollars for her clients.

She is the first woman and currently the only woman to win the Ohio Champion Bid Calling Contest held annually and has done so twice.

Susan continues to invest in herself to better her clients fundraising events. She has received CAI (Certified Auctioneer Institute), BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) from the National Auctioneer’s Association. She is a Lifetime member of the Ohio Auctioneer’s Association where she currently serves as the 2023 President. She is also a member of the Indiana and Kentucky Auctioneer Associations.

Live and Silent Auction

Live Auction

We’re thrilled to announce our exciting live auction items, each one is a unique opportunity to make a difference in our cause. From luxury getaways to exclusive experiences, these items promise unforgettable moments. Let’s make tonight’s auction an unforgettable success! 

  • VIP Concert Package 
  • Florida Family Vacation 
  • Cincinnati State Culinary Experience 
  • Bengals Ultimate Fan Package 
  • Caribbean Getaway 

Silent Auction

Get ready to be amazed! Our online silent auction is packed with treasures waiting for your bids. Dive into a world of stunning art pieces, indulgent spa packages, and much more. Whether you’re seeking a gift, family enjoyment, or a treat for yourself, our silent auction has something for everyone. Bid now, and let the excitement begin as you secure these incredible items while supporting our worthy cause!


Dean's List​

Jack and Kay Geiger

Amy Thompson & Family

Honor Roll

Nina and Edward Paul


Cap & Gown

Kerri and Matthew Finke

Tonight's Impact

What Impact Will You Make Tonight?

Your Impact tonight at Dream Makers matters to so many young people and programs here at CYC

Your gift tonight makes a difference to over #? People

Thanks for being a Dream Maker

  • Change outcomes for FOUR young people by providing life-changing support of CYC’s mentoring programs.
  • Empower a field trip to a college campus for an entire classroom of CYC students.
  • Provide nourishing meals to CYC programs for over 100 young people.
  • Empower career success by providing hands-on field trips to Greater Cincinnati Area Employers.
  • Provide programmatic safety by covering the cost of 10 mentor background checks
  • Text “CYC” @366283 to donate any amount and fund the dreams of CYC’s young people.
Staff and Board
CYC Programs