Re:Dream is an immersive, digital-first project taking a look at what it means to "make it" in the 21st century. My team and I at Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) produced 8 micro-documentaries from eight different Georgia cities that tell the stories of individuals as they prepare for success, meet obstacles, and pursue their American dream. Our stories feature a Georgia couple battling ALS, one of the founders of the Tiny House Atlanta movement, a husband and wife who chose farming over big city life, and many other powerful narratives.

The nationwide project, led by Kansas City Public Television (KCPT), is produced in partnership with four PBS member stations. Re:Dream aims to bolster community dialogue around the changing landscape of available opportunities in the 21st-century economy.

RESPONSIBILITIES
● Elected to visualize eight digital-first micro-documentaries
● Assisted in the selection of eight individuals to represent the state of Georgia.
● Conducted public events aimed to bolster community dialogue around the projects many themes.
WILL JOHNSTON
He takes the “less is more” thing to a whole new level with the Tiny House movement. 

To Will, the American dream is having a family and community who are there for him. Being able to live in the moment with less materialistic needs is his goal, but others see it as a sacrifice they aren’t willing to make.

Will was raised in a log cabin in Hedgesville, West Virginia until he was nine, and has a passion for traveling. After attending college, he had the opportunity to travel to Boston, Thailand, Germany, and New Zealand. In addition to traveling, he’s pursued jobs with the BBC and AJC and worked on organic farms and vineyards.

That was all before starting Tiny House Atlanta in 2014 in the hopes of creating a community for people seeking the same dream. He believes the American dream means embracing the realization that we are extremely fortunate, and he wants communities to embrace change and embrace caring for each other. Success to him is helping others, living in the moment and being able to see a difference.
DAVE MOODY
His dream job went bust. His family was broke. With nothing to lose, he just went for it.

For Dave, the combination of a good education, his wife, and a passion for architecture, led him to be a successful business owner.

He decided he had a passion for building, so used his knowledge of architecture as an opportunity in the construction business. Just weeks after accepting his dream job and relocating his family to Atlanta, the company that hired him went under.

Now, Dave often says, “What was my worst day became my best day.”

With nothing left to lose, he started his own business.Today, that business has grown into the C.D. Moody Construction Company, a full-service general commercial contractor that has worked on projects like the Turner Field Olympic Stadium, and currently partners in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

When asked if he’s a millionaire, Moody prefers not to focus on figures, but on the question of, “If we had nothing tomorrow, would people still want to be around us because of who we are or what we have? To me, that’s what we look at for success. Do people feel better after being around us, or worse?”

He and his wife started a scholarship foundation in 1989, and have endowments for Georgia Perimeter College, Morehouse College, Howard University, and Central State University. He is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and speaks out about the different obstacles and how to recover.

“There is somebody out there that can change that person’s life, and instill that potential for hope. And once you touch and grab hope, boy you’re something. You can do some incredible stuff,” Dave said.
To him, the American dream is that the generations to come have a desire and an opportunity to be successful, and he is trying to instill hope in those future generations through construction.
Carrie Christie
She traded in the dream for a 9-5, and it opened doors (opportunities) she never dreamed of.

To Carrie, the American dream is having the privilege to make a choice about what you want to do with your life, but also finding a way to be financially stable and handle the pressure of doing what you love.

Carrie was in the marching band, took dance lessons, and participated in theater in high school, having inherited her love for the arts from her supportive parents. Her American Dream doesn’t look a thing like she thought it would, but she learned that if you choose to be happy and find happiness in your surroundings, you are capable of anything.

“It is a privilege to get to make a choice about what it is you want to do,” Carrie said.

Now, Carrie is pursuing her American dream by taking on roles in the theater and giving back to the community, because her community was supportive in her pursuit of happiness.
Nasiha Mujkanovic
A refugee from Bosnia, she and her family found their way to the U.S. to live a better life.

For Nasiha, if it weren’t for coming to the United States and having the opportunity to teach, she wouldn’t be living their dream of helping children refugees thrive.

Being a refugee from Bosnia, Nasiha learned how to persevere while trying to move to the United States with her family. Her sons’ education was of utmost importance to her after getting the opportunity to move to Georgia. She met great people who opened many doors and made it possible for her to pursue teaching. She worked hard to accomplish all that she has and wants to continue instilling confidence and positivity in the lives of the children she teaches.

“Living in peace. I mean oh my God, peace. That’s something like, I never know what’s the value of peace … in order to be successful you have to have peace,” Nasiha said.

Nasiha’s dream is to give the same chances she got to the children she teaches, but also to teach them the importance of being themselves and working hard for what they want in life.
Sallie Ann Robinson
Raised on an island of simplicity and hard work, she’s passing on her recipe for success.

To Sallie, success is helping others succeed through nursing and cooking. But being away from Daufuskie Island remains a huge obstacle.

She is a chef, a cookbook author, and motivational speaker. Her parents taught her that respect, caring for others, and love would lead to a fulfilling future. Her love for food started at a young age when her mother taught her how to cook. She learned that food was not only about survival but how to prepare a good meal with love after a hard day’s work. Her idea of success is to see people constantly pursuing goals and knowing that they have no limits and that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed. She believes that if you love yourself, love the people you are around, and appreciate the things of life, your dreams are unlimited.

“Our parents always was teaching us manners, moral value, and respect. Why it was important to learn how to cook, how to survive mainly. And survival was not only just to cook, but how to prepare a good meal.” Sallie Ann said.

Sallie is pursuing her American dream by continuing to write her family recipes because she not only wants to achieve her dream, but she wants to help others pursue and achieve theirs.
Hope & Steve Dezember
An unexpected diagnosis led these two to become partners for life and advocates for ALS.

To Hope and Steve Dezember, success is living a life that makes them happy and making a positive impact on everyone they come across. But having a disease that progressively gets worse remains an obstacle for both of them.

Hope and Steve met before Steve was diagnosed with ALS. After six months of dating, he was diagnosed with ALS. He tried to free her; she said she’d never leave — and Hope For Steve was born. Living with ALS is a constant struggle, but this couple sees it as an opportunity to share their story, thankful for technology that makes it possible. They dream of lifting people up, spreading awareness, and reminding the world that all we need is love… and to never lose hope. They are now married, make the most of everyday life, and rely heavily on technology to communicate. They aim to find a cure for ALS and be the voice for those living with the disease.
“My American dream is being a catalyst in the cure or treatment for ALS. To constantly take life by the horns and live life to fullest,” Steve said.

They are pursuing their American dream by raising money and reaching out to the ALS community for guidance and advice because their goal is to ultimately help others.
Ashlee & Tom Cleveland
Between the pecan farm and family photography business, this couple enjoys a country lifestyle.

To Ashlee and Tom, success is creating a product that people are happy with through their jobs and living a fulfilled and happy lifestyle with a close-knit family. But living in a small town with growing competition and being unable to control the obstacles that come with running a farm remain huge obstacles.

After growing up in Fort Valley, Georgia he knew he’d never choose to leave his farm. She thought she wanted a journalism career, but found that her happiness was rooted in the country as a family photographer. They agree that living in a small town has provided the opportunity to be successful and love what they do and that they’d rather work 80 hours a week for themselves than 40 hours for someone else.

“We love it. This is our paradise here. And it’s not it’s not what we’re surrounded by it’s who we’re surrounded by,” Ashlee said.

Ashlee and Tom are pursuing their American dream by working hard and pleasing others because making their own schedules and connecting with others makes them happy in their small-town life.
Lynn Chopp
After ending an abusive marriage, this single mother still hopes to finish her degree.

Coming to America from Kenya at a young age felt like the fresh start she’d always dreamed of until her happily-ever-after was turned upside down. After ending an abusive marriage, she set out to take charge and learn how to manage her money. Now this single mother of three is following her dreams by finding the balance between family, work, and finally finishing her psychology degree after over 20 years — and she’s never been happier.
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