On July 4, 1996, Dean J. Samuel was violently killed at the age of 22, five months shy of becoming a father.  This tragic event devastated his family!  However, when his son was born, he brought with him joy and fond memories of his father…  

Although he was surrounded by love, support, and guidance, the family could never fill the void of Dean Sr. within the the child of his namesake.  This void became a hindrance in his progress as the family realized they could no longer protect him from the pain of his loss.  But he, as others like him, needed to discover ways to handle this tragic situation in a healthy manner.  

This foundation was birthed after realizing that suffering can give way to hopelessness and despair.  We have joined together to not only encourage youth who have violently lost parents to SURVIVE, but to also empower them to THRIVE.  By discovering the gift that is deposited inside each of us, they will begin to unlock the hidden treasure that brings meaning to life through HOPE and PURPOSE beyond the pain.

The death of a parent can be a very difficult and confusing time for a child.  Children will deal with the death of a parent differently based on personal characteristics such as, life experience, age, personality, and ability to cope with stress.  But the reaction of a child who suffers the violent death of a parent may take several forms.  Some children may become anxious, fearful, or withdrawn.  These symptoms that are referred to as internalized problems, or taking fears inward.

On the other hand, children who witness violence may believe that the use of violence is justified and shows they are powerful. They may learn to use violence to attain their wishes, or to identify with the aggressor as a way to solve interpersonal conflict with the adult world, or with their peers. These children show externalized problems.

Past research, on the inter-generational cycle of violence, indicates that adults who were traumatized as children are more likely to commit crimes at a later age.  To avoid this repetition it is important to provide intervention at an early age to children who are exposed to, or are victims of, community violence.

Dean J. Samuel’s iDENTIFY YOUR DREAM (IDYD) FOUNDATION, provides grief support for youth facing the violent death of a parent, or parents.  The harsh reality of the world has become a nightmare for these youth.  It is the goal of IDYD to empower these kids to continue dreaming, so that they will find the STRENGTH, HOPE, and POWER to heal!
It is our MISSION to launch effective program curriculum which will aide us in this process.  We have currently been able to launch effective initiatives within the community to make our voices heard.  However, our activism isn’t solely rooted in marching and demonstrating.  Our programs are being developed to adhere to our aforementioned goals. 
Current Services

Candlelight Vigils
We perform this ceremony at the request of the victim’s family.

Motivational Speaking
We often organize and are solicited for speaking engagements to encourage the youth.

Community Outreach We partner with like-minded organizations that assist us with connecting with the people in the community.

Peace Rallies
We organize Annual Peace Rallies to bring awareness to our plight within our communities.

Executive Director, iDENTIFY YOUR DREAM Foundation
At the age of 17… my brother Dean was murdered, and I didn’t know how to process the grief.  I later discovered Dance as a way to overcome the pain.  It was my DREAM of dance that ignited the healing process.  I later proceeded to Michigan State University, and then into a career in Clinical Laboratory Science at Henry Ford Hospital.

In Honor of my brother Dean J. Samuel, I founded this organization to raise awareness to the devastation violence has on the generation of motherless and fatherless children.  My nephew, Dean Jr. struggled to find normalcy in his reality without the presence of his father. There existed an obvious void.  I knew I needed to do something to fill this void.

With this in mind I started the first Stomp Out Violence March in 2011 and partnered with over 20 organizations, City Officials, and drawing out over 150 individuals to rally around the cause of bringing Peace in the streets of my hometown of Pontiac.  During the event I gave a speech that spawned tears, that I never intended on shedding.  But it made me realize the necessity for an outlet of grief.

Since the 1st Annual Event we’ve grown in numbers and strength of purpose!  We encourage youth to not only pour all the pain into their dream, but to find strength to talk about their pain as well.  As stated earlier… we want YOU to not only SURVIVE your tragic experience, but to THRIVE in spite of it, and rise beyond your wildest DREAMS!

Latest Blog Post:

The Power of Resilience

I battle with this idea that some people can actually be born with the power of resilience…

I don’t believe it is a characteristic that can be …

Read more


Age Appropriate Grief Counseling


Group Therapy

Father Adopting Males

Play Therapy
Ages 3-11

Mentor Program

Women of Integrity
Nurturing Girls’ Success

Are you seeking to Join Our Movement and assist in any way you can?  Do you just want more information on upcoming Events and/or Programs?  Do you have a Program you feel will fit our Mission Statement?  Feel Free to drop us a line!  We would LOVE to hear from you!

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