Meet Butterfly Dreamz!

Life is all about transformation and shedding from one life phase to the next while discovering your hidden strength, beauty + power! Butterfly Dreamz has created the perfect outlet for youth to spread their wings and fly. Through their storytelling services, they inspire individuals to live their lives like BUTTERFLIES: flying fearlessly and pursuing DREAMS boldly, beautifully, and uniquely while inspiring others on the way!

Founder Joy Lindsay launched her organization in July 2013, a year after her younger sister, Kimberly Anyce Lindsay, transitioned into her life in heaven. After Kim’s passing, she had a desire to keep her story alive.

Joy began on a journey to preserve Kim’s story through the children’s book, When a Butterfly Chooses to Fly. Writing and storytelling became therapy for her, helping her to remain strong and pursue her dreams despite the unexpected setback of her sister’s passing. After seeing the impact of storytelling and literary arts had in her own life and the lives of others she shared her story with, Joy decided to explore the art forms more. She began to incorporate storytelling in her work of developing professionals and educating youth. Soon with the help of colleagues Butterfly Dreamz was created!

Through Butterfly Dreamz storytelling services and innovative curricula, they continue to build a universe of social leaders that are inspired to create, share, and use their stories to overcome life obstacles and change the status quo.

Let’s get to know Butterfly Dreamz a little better…

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Butterfly Dreamz uses the art of storytelling to develop literacy and leadership skills in youth and adults, what made you launch this powerful organization?

I launched Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. after the death of my little sister, Kimberly Anyce Lindsay. Storytelling was and still is a huge part of my healing process. I found that telling stories about Kim helped keep her spirit alive; the stories were a much needed reminder of her beauty, boldness, and love for life when I needed it the most. Also, I found healing in sharing my story with others and listening to their stories. I’ve met many people who have transformed pain into purpose, and their stories inspired me to do the same. I soon realized that sharing my story was bigger than me; it empowered and encouraged so many other people to keep pushing despite life’s setbacks. This experience gave me a new purpose; a reason to live despite the death around me. With this new purpose, Butterfly Dreamz was born. At our core, we are an organization that uses stories to change lives.

Being a voice in the community motivates others to be great, what type of events and courses does Butterfly Dreamz host?

We host events and courses that help people: 1.) Build community, 2.) Discover their voice and creativity and 3.) Realize their dreams. In 2016, you can expect to see the following events and courses:

  • HerStory: A monthly workshop series that seeks to convene, celebrate, and build sisterhood. Each month, women and girls of all ages and backgrounds come together to share their stories and learn to create fun DIY projects.
  • Building E-books: A six-week course where students and parents learn to design and publish an e-book of their own!
  • Launching Dreamz: A six-week course for adults interested in launching a youth development program or event. This course guides participants through the process of launching their idea and awards $1,000 to help fund their dream.
  • Books and Burgers: Summer literacy workshops for kids and families. Participants come together to read books and write stories, while enjoying delicious burgers!

We also host online story competitions that are open to all students in NJ. Winners receive $100 and publication in our next e-book. More info about our competitions, events, and courses can be found on our website: www.butterflydreamz.org.

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We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

My mother. She is and will always be my role model, my first teacher, my friend and my biggest cheerleader. Just by being who she is, she has taught me how to love (myself and others), how to forgive, and how to keep going, regardless of the obstacles that may get in the way. She has both deliberately and unconsciously instilled the essence of womanhood in meand my sisters. I am beyond blessed to be her daughter. <3

If you had to give one piece of advice to teen girls who are struggling with being comfortable in their own skin, what would it be?

Don’t let others define beauty and success for you; create your own definitions and be open to changing them whenever you see fit. How you define success and beauty may look different today than it looked 5 or even 2 years ago. That’s OK; we will and should evolve as women. The important thing is that as you evolve, you are in the driver’s seat. You are defining what beauty means, what success means, what your dreams are and how you will make them happen.

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Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with girls?

Through my work with girls, I have learned to always be a scholar. By “scholar” I mean to always be inquisitive and interested in learning more, to always have a thirst for knowledge and growth. As I work with youth, I am constantly reminded that we do not just wear one hat (me as “teacher” and them as “scholar”), but we all wear both hats. We teach and learn from each other.

We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you + your organization?

For me personally, l would define empowerment as a discovery of the inner strength that drives someone to make his/her dream a reality. For Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. empowerment is when our participants create, share, and use their stories to change the status quo.

Fun Faves! Song? Food? Artist? Celeb Crush?

•Song- “You Bring Me Joy” by Anita Baker
•Food- anything chocolate
•Artist- Tupac
•Celeb Crush- He’s not a celeb yet but my forever MCM is my boyfriend 🙂

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