“Inspiring Social Entrepreneur”
Joy Lindsay is the Founder and Executive Director of Butterfly Dreamz, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teaches students how to author impactful stories and use their voices to ignite change in their communities. She is the author of the children’s book, When a Butterfly Chooses to Fly and the young adult activity book, The HerStory Journal. Joy has worked in consulting, finance, and public education management. She holds a BBA in Finance from Howard University and an MPA in Nonprofit Management & Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark and is an alumna of the Leadership Newark Fellowship program. Joy is passionate about education and has worked with youth in various capacities, including as a mentor, coach, and facilitator of enrichment programs, for more than eleven years. As she continues her work, Joy hopes to use her diverse skills and background to ensure all children have equitable access to quality education and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Overview of Butterfly Dreamz: Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teaches students how to author impactful stories and use their voices to ignite change in their communities. Through our programs and books, we use the art of storytelling to build literacy and leadership skills in youth. Our goals are to (1) build a strong network of student leaders and authors who are inspired to create, share, and use their stories to change the status quo, (2) Increase the number of relatable and interesting texts used to teach our students, and (3) Encourage and support students in expressing their thoughts, ideas, and stories.
What makes Butterfly Dreamz unique and necessary? “Our commitment to celebrating, supporting, and utilizing student voice is what makes us unique. Although students are affected by many education decisions, their voice is often excluded from the decision-making process. Our approach to programming and curriculum development is different from “the norm” because we start first with students’ stories. We then design literacy and leadership activities around their thoughts, interests, and beliefs. Because of this, their educational experience becomes both personal and relatable.”
Services provided by Butterfly Dreamz: (1) Building E-Books: In this multi-week course, student authors work together in teams, building a web page and writing an e-book to read and discuss with their school community.
(2) I Am an Author: During our I Am an Author workshops and short story competitions, student authors learn to create powerful stories that influence, celebrate, and inspire change in their communities.
(3) HerStory: Through our HerStory community workshops and books, we curate experiences for women and girls to connect, share their stories, and support each other’s dreams.