Client In the News:

Leadership Oakland presents iDentify Your Dream with $12k donation

By: Andrea Walker-Leidy, October 9, 2022

(Pontiac, MI-) Every year, each Leadership Oakland’s Cornerstone Class works to improve the community through a community service project. This year, Leadership Oakland Class LOXXXII chose to partner, raise funds and give back to local nonprofit iDentify Your Dream (IDYD). IDYD provides grief support, case management and victim advocacy to families and children that have faced or are facing trauma through violence.


Founded in Pontiac, Mich., IDYD helps children with guidance, motivation, emotional support and role modeling. Over the last decade, there have been more than 140 murders in Pontiac, representing the city’s mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and loved ones of the children left behind.

Pastor Aaron J. Robinson, chief operations officer for The Power Company Kids Club and a LOXXXII fellow said, “When we learned about iDentify Your Dream and their mission to provide care and mentorship of children who are facing or have faced trauma, there was no question that this was the cause we wanted to support. IDYD founder, Deleah Sharp, was named among the leaders to address local gun violence after the recent shooting and death of a 7-year-old girl in the city of Pontiac. Our class is honored to ‘fund the front line’ by rallying behind Deleah and the iDYD team, helping to ensure that our children who are in desperate need of healing and support in the wake of trauma, get the care that they need.”

In addition to raising $12,000 to present to the organization, Cornerstone Class LOXXXII partnered with IDYD on the following initiatives throughout 2021-2022

  • The annual Stomp Out Violence March. Since its inception in 2011, the Memorial Day weekend march has helped bring awareness about the effects of violence and connects families with resources – drawing hundreds of participants.
  • Mentoring program. Serving children ages 4-18, the IDYD mentoring program is central to the nonprofit’s mission. More than 50 children have been helped in the bimonthly program.
  • Sweet Dreams toy giveaway. Since 2015, IDYD has distributed toys to children in Pontiac, Southfield and Detroit. More than 450 children have been given toys.

Leadership Oakland Cornerstone Class LOXXXII members met with Sharp and have helped with some key initiatives to further the reach of her organization. They assisted Sharp with strategic planning and training, public education and awareness and grief relief kits.

“We are deeply grateful for Leadership Oakland and their investment in communities and passion for people,” Sharp said. “I honestly did not know what to expect. Even after her explanation, and a few zoom calls with the cohort, I truly underestimated their impact. Leadership Oakland’s involvement in just these few weeks has given us the support we need, introduced us to valuable connections, helped to revamp our approach both digital and in print, and helped us to remove some of the barriers we faced in the past.”

About Leadership Oakland

Established in 1990, Leadership Oakland is a 501 (c)(3) organization focused on business and community leadership development. The organization provides a nine-month Cornerstone Program to participants from businesses, organizations, and governmental agencies that are selected based on an application process. Leadership Oakland graduates are key business and community leaders serving as catalysts on boards of various organizations throughout the region.

About iDentify Your Dream

Your Dream Foundation offers victim advocacy, grief support, and case management to families and children of murdered parents.

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