Skip to main content

Giving: Dreamville, Fayetteville

09/30/2013 08:06PM, Published by Ashlee Cleveland, Categories:



Gallery: Dreamville [6 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Miriam Landru

Teachers always said the same thing when Jermaine was in school…‘Great kid, makes all A’s…talks too much,’” recalled Kay Cole, mother of Fayetteville native and successful musical artist, J. Cole. Kay laughed when she relayed to me that she would just nod her head to the teacher.

In actuality, she knew her son’s outgoing nature would lead to his success and she never attempted to stifle it. These days, J. Cole is known as one of the most successful artists in his industry, having received numerous award nominations including a “Best New Artist” nod at the 2012 Grammy Awards. His sophomore album, Born Sinner, dropped this past June and beat out Kanye West’s new record that debuted the same day.

Despite his continued success and fame in the music business, J. Cole maintains a humble and respectful demeanor which is witnessed by many on his visits back to town working with his non-profit, The Dreamville Foundation.

Cole established the foundation in October 2011 as a way to “give back” to the community he grew up in, whether it be through back-to-school supply giveaways, hosting summer camps or creating a book club for at-risk high schoolaged youth. “Kids are so important to him. He wants to inspire children and let them know the potential that’s in them,” stressed Kay.

One way Cole is reaching out to the community is via his book club based at Westover High School. For the past year, participants in the Dreamville Reading Club have read and discussed numerous novels. It started out being a boys club, but the girls of Westover wanted in on the action. “We had a large percentage of the girls express, ‘Well what about us?’” shared Thomas Benson, Westover’s principal. The books are chosen and tailored for the boys and girls based on what will appeal to them. J. Cole reads the books along with the students and if he’s not in town, he always “Skypes” into the club meetings.

This fall, the students will kick off their year by reading popular novel Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom.

“It’s all about the people you meet in life and how you affect them and don’t even know it,” shared Toni Golding, the school’s literacy coach. Bobby Pickett is enthusiastic about the book club and
is excited about his last year of involvement. “Every book relates to Dreamville and being something and making something out of your life,” he expressed. It has given Bobby the “extra push” to attend college. He is looking at pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at UNC-Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University. Like most kids in Dreamville, he sees J.Cole as just “one of the guys,” and admires
him because of his commitment to him and his peers. “It shows that he cares about Fayetteville. Most rappers justtalk about money, cars, clothes… he raps about hard timesas a kid, embracing your flaws…” Bobby added, “He just keeps coming back and helping kids. It means a lot.”

Cumberland County Juvenile Court Judge, Toni King has seen the changes in the children she sees in the courtroom on a regular basis. Former teen gang members have left their gangs because of Dreamville. Grades are also on the rise. “They’ve learned that reading is fundamental and enjoyable through J. Cole’s influence,” she said. Judge King also recognized how people in society can view hip-hop artists and you have to “strip that away.” She conveyed, “Maybe his lyrics at times don’t line up with what you want to hear, but that’s his artistic expression. You just have to know
he’s worked very hard and received an education.”

As a Terry Sanford High School and magna cum laude graduate in Communications at New York City’s St. John University, J. Cole actively gives back to the community he grew up in.

“As my career becomes more successful (God willing), I expect the Dreamville Foundation to become more successful and structured as well,” Cole shared. At this time, there are a few
sponsors and donors that contribute to Dreamville, but most of the expense is out of Cole’s pocket.

The Dreamville Foundation has its roots in Fayetteville and also has a following in St. Louis, Missouri. There are plans to spread nationwide. Cole is charity-minded and recognizes that
all non-profits have their purpose. “At the end of the day, we’re all here to help rather than compete. With that said, I think that what makes us different is that we’re a foundation that is founded and operated by people who are not much older than the kids we are trying to reach,” he stressed.

Judge King has taken full note of the positive impact Cole has had on the students. “For youth in general, when you see a star, even if they’re from your community, it’s very rare to see them
come back to the community and interact.”  She continued, “When he visits the book club, he sits right there with them.” Golding chimed in, “It’s not about the glitz, it’s about his humble spirit. He really stresses how important school is.”

Inspiring youth to further their education is a definite goal and purpose of Dreamville. “The mission is to reveal to youth their limitless potential through positive life-altering experiences,” said
Melissa Heholt, Executive Director. Bobby Pickett is a true testament to the “limitless potential” that’s being fostered in the youth participating in Dreamville.

“The sky isn’t even the limit now because I know I can go beyond that.”




giving cityview online extra j cole dreamville


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • 5th Annual Evening of Excellence & Expo

    01/27/2017
    12:00PM — 08:00PM

    You are cordially invited to the biggest beauty & aesthetics event in North Carolina!  View the e...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    01/27/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/29/2017
    08:00AM — 08:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Soup & Sandwich Fundraiser

    01/29/2017
    12:15PM

    All are welcome to join us for this delicious fundraiser to make our church handicap accessible. ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/29/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • 5th Annual Evening of Excellence & Expo

    01/27/2017
    12:00PM — 08:00PM

    You are cordially invited to the biggest beauty & aesthetics event in North Carolina!  View the e...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    01/27/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/28/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/29/2017
    08:00AM — 08:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Soup & Sandwich Fundraiser

    01/29/2017
    12:15PM

    All are welcome to join us for this delicious fundraiser to make our church handicap accessible. ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/29/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Child Trafficking Forum

    01/30/2017
    06:30PM

    The Child Advocacy Center and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Super Bowl Pub Run

    02/03/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Wear your favorite Football Jersey and go for a 2 mile run/walk or 3.5 mile run/walk. We will be...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/03/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Didg Revolution is composed of Darren Liebman, Rob Thomas, and Tanya Gerard. Thomas and Gerard ar...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/04/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/05/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • 5k Beginner Running Series

    02/05/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    4 week Training series: Let the Runners Spot help you train for your 1st 5k this year. This is ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Free Diabetes Clinic

    02/08/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Better Health will offer a free diabetes clinic at the Spring Lake Senior Center, located on 301 ...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University will host a photography exhibi...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • 5k Beginner Running Series

    02/12/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    4 week Training series: Let the Runners Spot help you train for your 1st 5k this year. This is ...


CityView Facebook
CityView Family Facebook