Dreamroot Leadership Institute

Dreamroot is catalyzing dreams, unleashing potential, and accelerating transformation, one leader at

DreamRoot exists to reverse cycles of poverty in underserved communities where people dream of a life that is free of hunger, despair and suffering. We do this by strengthening local leaders and providing training, resources and networks to help launch local initiatives that transform their communities and lead to sustainable social and economic growth.

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 03/25/2024

That’s a wrap! We finished another successful leadership workshop. with 34 amazing local leaders who are running life-changing social initiatives with their teams in over 10 communities serving well over 600 students and community members across the northeast of Brazil. We shared a lot of laughs, enjoyed learning together, and connecting over games, storytelling, and shared meals.

We’re looking forward to continuing the conversations and connections through our online platform, virtual monthly meetings and one-on-one coaching calls.

Over the weekend, we dug into the topics of conflict resolution, values mining, and team building, which set the local leaders up for ever further success and impact not just in the initiatives they lead but their families and every other area of their life. This is what having generational impact looks like.

We were privileged to have a highly sought-after leadership training expert from the US joining us to help facilitate a couple of the sessions. She helped to prepare amazing content that we collaborated with her to tailor to the local context and culture.

We can’t wait to do this again!


Just four days left until the start of our 3-day transformative leadership workshop in Recife, Brazil! We're thrilled to welcome thirty local leaders from underserved communities across northeast Brazil for this empowering event.

This is going to be an unforgettable experience filled with interactive sessions on conflict resolution skills, values mining, and ample networking opportunities.

Want to be a part of this inspiring journey? You can help make dreams a reality by sponsoring a leader or contributing to the event today!

Visit our site to invest in leaders today: https://www.dreamrootinstitute.org/donate

Let's create change together!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 03/18/2024

Big congratulations to Professor Keyla for earning her Jiu Jitsu black belt!

She’s not just a instructor but a true inspiration and role model to all her students. We had a great time, celebrating her promotion with all of her students, while honoring each of the women for International Women’s Day.

We’re proud to celebrate Keyla as the second female black belt at the Arte Suave DreamRoot Training Center. Here’s to breaking barriers and paving the way for more women in BJJ!


DreamRoot is preparing for a three-day leadership workshop, and you can join the cause!

Sponsor an out-of-town leader to attend or sponsor this special event.

We'll be hosting thirty local leaders from underserved communities from across northeast Brazil in Recife for a three-day leadership workshop and networking event at the end of this month.

For many of the participants, this is their first time taking part in an event like this. For others, it is a rare occurrence.

During the event, these leaders gain coaching and training skills, invaluable network connections, and returned to their communities with a renewed vision so they can return home to help reverse the cycles of poverty and promote the well-being of members in their community.

The workshop will feature interactive sessions on key topics such as conflict resolution and values mining, along with fun celebrations, enjoying meals together, and insights shared by local leaders.

Join us in hosting this event and empowering local leaders! Sponsor a leader or the event today and help dreams take root in their communities. Every contribution counts!



During our visit to Arcoverde in Pernambuco, it was truly an honor to connect with the i35 Institute team! We introduced some fun tools to help them dream with greater clarity in various areas of their lives. We then explored a plan and system for casting vision and achieving both personal and team “rocks” while setting up a rhythm that creates momentum toward achieving their vision.

Thanks, i35 for hosting us. We’re looking forward to continuing this journey of dreaming high and reaching new heights, together.


Today and every day, we celebrate women and their invaluable contributions to building thriving, engaged, and resilient communities. We’re deeply grateful for the countless strong women working alongside us in this mission. It’s an honor and privilege.

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 03/08/2024

Members of our leadership team had the pleasure of visiting the Sertão DreamRoot Training Center in Alagoas, where they connected with leaders and students, and led a jiu-jitsu workshop. The local leaders are doing such beautiful and life-changing work at the center!

This weekend, we're off to the Sertão region of Pernambuco to connect with the leadership team of the i35 Institute and conduct a training event. We'll be focusing on strategic vision, personal and team alignment, and providing tools for setting and measuring goals that truly move the needle.

In between the events over the next month, we're having a blast meeting one-on-one with leaders and community members as we connect and dreaming together. We're excited for this new season that we are collectively stepping into.


Our hearts grieve witnessing the worsening situation in Haiti. We're in touch with our partners, Rose and David in Les Cayes, who confirm the extreme situation across the country.

Haiti, already facing immense challenges as a failed state, exacerbated by escalating violence as the government has struggled to operate and is facing a potential coup. Gangs wield significant influence throughout the country, currently control up to 80% of the capital.

Throughout the past year, gang leaders have repeatedly cautioned citizens against sending their children to school. However, despite previous disruptions due to gang violence, local DreamRoot leaders Rose and David, who operate a school just outside Port-au-Prince, have not ceased classes. We're pleased to share that the school remains open, offering stability for the children, and making progress amidst the chaos.

Rose, David, their team and the community members’ courage and resilience in the face of such violence, turmoil and uncertainty is sobering. We refuse to give up on Haiti and its people. Now, more than ever, action is crucial.

Haiti isn't just a nation; it's home to people. People facing dire circumstances today and whose lives are on the line.

Now, more than ever, action is needed. We stand with our support of Haiti’s people through this crisis. Together, we'll continue investing in education and the next generation for a brighter future.


Our leadership team is back in Brazil, ready to connect with local DreamRoot leaders and community members!

We're thrilled to visit their programs and kickstart an exciting lineup of leadership training events across the northeast. One of the highlights includes hosting DreamRoot local leaders and teams in Recife for a three-day leadership workshop and networking event later this month!

An open invite for those wanting to join in on the training event. Drop us a line if you are the leader of a social initiative and will be in the greater Recife area the weekend of the 22nd.


The new schoolyard in Haiti just got a vibrant coat of paint, setting the stage for the new sports pavilion.

The schoolyard buildout comes at a perfect time as the Ministry of Education recently mandated including basketball, volleyball, and football (a.k.a soccer) in school curriculums beginning this year.

Let's continue to empower our students with the space they deserve for active play and learning!


Let's celebrate! At the Sertao DreamRoot Training Center, every month is filled with moments of joy celebrating all the students who have birthdays in that month.

Sitting side by side with local leader Ingrid, one of our beloved students shares what she loves the most about coming to the center to play with the local leaders and other students. She is strengthening her reading and writing while enjoying painting and drawing the most.

It's more than just about cake, candles, and games here; it's about community, connection, growth, and celebrating the unique journey of each individual. It's moments like these that remind us of the power of togetherness and the strength found in doing life together and honoring one another's milestones.


We are delighted to share the release of DreamRoot's 2023 Annual Impact Report!

Check it out here:https://ea80fb52-0520-42ec-ba9a-c67129244a35.usrfiles.com/ugd/ea80fb_6b344a3848054c1bb6a8422513f04443.pdf

DreamRoot experienced a truly remarkable year, elevating our impact, breaking ground with new programming, while strengthening current partnerships and forging new ones with exceptional local leaders and community members.

This document showcases that dreams nurtured can bloom into life-altering outcomes. It serves as a living testimony, remining us that genuine growth, development, and progress are rooted in our commitment to show up, connect, and sow the seeds of hope.

Thank you to all who have supported and invested in this mission. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve.


We're excited to share that our Haiti schoolyard buildout is complete!

Seventeen local workers were employed to bring this vision to life.

What was once an unusable space filled with rocks is now a vibrant area for over 200 elementary and middle school students, as well as community members, to run and play. We can now incorporate sports into the school programming and host events, including graduations, teacher's appreciation celebrations, community training events, and more.
The success of this project is a testament to the positive impact that local leadership and community involvement can bring to educational spaces, fostering a more conducive and engaging environment for all.

A huge thank you to our DreamRoot investors for making this dream a reality!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 01/22/2024

We are honored to welcome two new members to DreamRoot's Board of Directors, André Galvão and Rebecca Bahlo, bringing immense talent and experience.

André has achieved success at the highest level of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a professional athlete, coach and has built numerous business ventures. He brings a strong entrepreneurial mindset and understands the reality of the work on the ground in which DreamRoot operates.

Becca is a Clinical Social Worker, specializing in working with clients with trauma, especially children and youth. She received her master's in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BA in Urban Ministry from Gordon College. Becca has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, ranging from both US based non-profits to global non-profits. She has experience in local and global community outreach, clinical social work, adoption, and education.

Please join us in welcoming André Galvão and Rebecca Bahlo.


Witness the transformation!

At the Arte Suave DreamRoot Training Center, all 120 jiu-jitsu program students advanced to the next grade last year without needing "recuperação," akin to summer school—an improvement from the previous year when 63 attended recuperação during winter break.

The notable 100% pass rate highlights the commitment and effectiveness of the coaching team and program in providing crucial support. The team consistently checks in with students, monitors homework, and proactively helps those in need, fostering a culture of excellence and accountability.

Great work, team! We are so proud of you!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 12/30/2023

Swift progress happening with the schoolyard buildout in Haiti!

We’ve employed 17 local workers who are working with a high level of excellence and heart. Super grateful to collaborate with this - a strong finish to the year.


We’ve already begun the first phase of the schoolyard buildout in Haiti! The students are having a blast taking part to make this dream a reality by helping to level the yard and fill in holes. We’ll be ready to pour the concrete in no time!

This infrastructure development project will provide a safe and vibrant space for over 200 elementary students and the wider community to run, play and connect throughout the week. Currently, the schoolyard is filled with rocks that inhibits the children from many games and is ruining their shoes.

The new space will allow the addition of sports programs, providing a space to hold events including graduations, teacher’s appreciation celebrations and many more.

The impact on their lives promises to be significant, and we can’t wait to share the testimonials that are sure to come.


We’re coaching local leaders on some key year-end framing and wanted to share these golden nuggets with you too!

With just over a week left in the year, closing it out strongly isn’t about rushing to finish everything – that ship has sailed.

Instead, focus on reflection, envisioning, strategizing, and planning. These will bring you the biggest return on investment.


REFLECTION (this is where the learning happens):

🔸What went well this year? Your biggest gains to build on in the coming year.
🔸Identify growth opportunities left on the table due to lack of focus, structure, or alignment.
🔸 Were you putting in endless hours without investing in building others up to participate and contribute?


🔸Where do you see your life and organization in one, three, and ten years?
🔸Reflect on what brought you the most joy. What to incorporate, reintroduce, or stop?
🔸Beyond what you want/don’t want to DO, focus on who you want to BECOME. What attributes or characteristics do you value?


🔸Determine your main focus. What are the one to three key activities/projects that will truly move the needle in your organization? Focus on those!
🔸Develop a structure and system to set up fulfilling the vision.


🔸 Your next five moves based on your focus.
🔸Outline tasks for the next 12 months, breaking them down quarterly and finding your weekly rhythm.

Set yourself and your team up to finish the year strong by work by working smart for even more success in the new year.

Enjoy the journey!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 12/22/2023

A huge shout out to our sponsors for their commitment and generous support in furthering DreamRoot's mission!

Armezzani Jiu Jitsu Academy
Team Passos Jiu Jitsu Headquarters
Infinite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The Blessing Projects
Lion Heart Jiu Jitsu
Center Ave Slice
Jiu Jitsu Mentor
Phalanx Facilities Management
Kitchen Craft Cabinets and Counters
Data Machines
Ariake Sushi Reston
Onda Jiu Jitsu

To all of our supporters, you are making a tremendous impact in the lives of many.


Education is a great equalizer.

Education is the starting point for reaching other development goals. It is one of the best investments we can make.

This is why DreamRoot is committed to addressing barriers to access to education and promotes quality programming by working with local leaders to launch, strengthen and expand educational programming to underprivileged students.


A small local initiative can grow into a global solution.


We are grateful to everyone who's joined in supporting DreamRoot's mission! Your support brings opportunities to overlooked communities, impacting lives, families, communities, and even generations. Make no mistake, what we do wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you for being a crucial part of our community and for making a difference in the lives of those we serve.


Happy GivingTuesday!

Together, let's make opportunities accessible to those who need it the most! Would you stand with us through financially supporting DreamRootl?

Investing in DreamRoot releases the potential of leaders in underserved communities, breaking the cycles of poverty, and promoting the well-being of every society member.

Here's how you can make a difference:

🌟Shop our merchandise at our online store
🌟Workplace Giving: Check if your employer supports giving programs and include DreamRoot on the list.
🌟 Spread the Word: Help us expand our reach online by liking and sharing these posts.
🌟 Make an Introduction: Your network is powerful! Introduce us to potential partners who share our vision.
🌟 Leave a Review: Share your experience and inspire others.
🌟 Volunteer: Invest your time and talents in creating positive change—let's talk!
🌟 Make a Tax-Deductible Donation: Your investment yields exponential returns in transforming lives!

Let's create ripple effects of change and empower the next generation of leaders.


So far this year we have been able to provide over 300 hours of training and coaching to 160 local leaders collectively impacting more than 20 underserved communities impacting well over 1,000 students, their families and community members.

For early 2024, we plan to build on these successes and expand the impact. We’ll be focusing on specific projects that infrastructure development, training workshops and strengthening our network and support services to local leaders and their communities.

To highlight a few upcoming projects:
✨ Schoolyard in Haiti: Creating a safe space for children to run and play.
✨ In-Person Leadership Training Events: Gathering leaders for hands-on training and collaboration in Brazil, featuring a three-day conflict resolution workshop in Recife and a conference fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among indigenous leaders in the Amazon region.
✨ Educational and Community-Capacity Building Events: Student tutoring programs, teacher training workshops, and children's summer camps are complemented by year-round capacity-building events. These include vocational training, life skills workshops, career fairs, and neighborhood gatherings fostering community connections.


Happy Thanksgiving!

During this season of gratitude, may we reflect on the giants whose shoulders we stand on today and those we're paving the way for in future generations.

Enjoy the holiday!

Photos from Dreamroot Leadership Institute's post 11/13/2023

Meet Mr. Robson, a retired military police officer who had the dream of putting his four children through school and venturing into entrepreneurship.

Starting with leasing a van, and being introduced by a mutual friend, Mr. Robson has grown his business and expanded the impact in Brazil and the US.

Read the details, plus other impact articles on our site here: www.dreamroot Institute.org/news


Check out what one of the participants from our recent Cross-Cultural Exchange trip to Brazil had to say about the experience!

"I have seen firsthand the positive impact that DreamRoot has on people's lives in Brazil during the cross-cultural exchange. A group of jiu jitsu students from Virginia come to Brazil each year to hang out with local communities, be immersed in Brazilian culture, and get to know one another and bond as human beings through the art of jiu jitsu.

DreamRoot's approach is very clearly rooted in a deep respect and understanding of the communities it serves. They identify the local leaders already doing the work in their communities and empower them to continue doing so and support them in the ways they need. It was truly amazing to train jiu jitsu with the local communities and feel the energy of such an incredible project." - Lexi


During our recent jiu jitsu seminar and training in Brazil, we delved into the topic of ethical leadership, a concept that extends far beyond the mat.

The key takeaway? Do what's right, not just what "works."

Is there something you're engaged in, that deep down doesn't sit right with your values? Maybe it's going unnoticed, maybe it's even benefiting you in the short term. But here's the hard truth: sooner or later, it'll catch up with you.

Just like in Jiu-Jitsu, cutting corners might seem to give you an advantage momentarily, but one day, that fragile structure will crumble.

Success isn’t just about the destination; it's about the journey and how we get there. Let’s commit to doing what's right, on and off the mats, and build a foundation that can withstand any challenge that comes your way

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As One Individual Rises, We All Rise

Dreamroot is a global initiative that serves to equip leaders in underserved communities to transform their own lives, their communities and generation to come.

Many people around the world, due to the consequences of poverty and broken systems, have been unable to realize their dreams. Being stunted and paralyzed by their current situations, their lives are a struggle just to survive. Consequently, their dreams become forgotten or buried. But when given the permission to dream again, coupled with training and a conducive environment, amazing things begin to happen. This is where Dreamroot comes in. We are catalyzing dreams, unleashing potential, and accelerating transformation, one leader at a time.

DreamRoot works to combat poverty, underdevelopment and the travesties that come with it by collaborating with a network of partners and local leaders. We come along side with those in under-resourced communities who are working to effect change by serving their neighborhoods and cities through social initiatives like sports programs, after school tutoring and college prep, the arts, music, life skills classes, and coming up with solutions to meet dire basic needs.

We help to equip these proven local leaders by offering further leadership training from a dedicated team of coaches. They learn the hard and soft skills required to successfully launch and run a social initiative whether it be a volunteer outreach program or a social business as an entrepreneur. DreamRoot collaborates with trained and vetted local leaders on the design, implementation and running of their social initiatives. They have access to a DreamRoot support network and mentors and are also eligible to receive seed investment and sponsorship.

Videos (show all)

Just four days left until the start of our 3-day transformative leadership workshop in Recife, Brazil! We're thrilled to...
Our recent visit to the i35 Institute in Pernambuco, Brazil left us inspired by the transformative work they’re doing in...
The new schoolyard in Haiti just got a vibrant coat of paint, setting the stage for the new sports pavilion.The schoolya...
A big THANK YOU from the João Pessoa crew! Thanks to everyone who has given for our on-going gi donation and who has hel...
Let's celebrate! At the Sertao DreamRoot Training Center, every month is filled with moments of joy celebrating all the ...
We're excited to share that our Haiti schoolyard buildout is complete!Seventeen local workers were employed to bring thi...
We’ve already begun the first phase of the schoolyard buildout in Haiti! The students are having a blast taking part to ...
Let the festivities begin! Christmas celebration is in full swing at the DreamRoot Sertao Training Center with lots of j...
Extending our gratitude
Happy GivingTuesday! Together, let's make opportunities accessible to those who need it the most! Would you stand with u...
So far this year we have been able to provide over 300 hours of training and coaching to 160 local leaders collectively ...
Empowering Women & Girls!More milestones in community-capacity building and leader development. This week, local DreamRo...



22446 Davis Drive, Suite 153
Sterling, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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