Grady students encouraged to be Dream Makers for themselves and others with lessons from Omegaman & Friends  

Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/3/2023 9:00:00 AM

Without even a grunt, “Dynamo,” hoisted two students in the air as they laughed out loud. They hung up there for several seconds, hanging on to a metal bar, before being placed back on terra firma, much to the delight of the entire Alice E. Grady Elementary School student body. Two boys are lifted up by body builder


The exercise encouraged students to reach for the skies, and be “dream makers,” those who stay focused and adopt an attitude of hard work to make their dreams, and that of others, come true. They reminded students too, that they can be a H.E.R.O—Helping Everyone Respect Others!


Dynamo (Ray Zyna) was joined by his wife, “Zyna,” (Jannett Zyna) in a two-part assembly for 3rd and 4th grade students and a second for fifth and sixth graders. The couple are part of the Omegaman & Friends, Enterprise, an organization that spreads an anti-bullying and positive message encouraging students to hold nothing back as they work towards their goals and dreams.


“We are here to press upon you that you are not a bunch of winners, and you are not a bunch of losers,” Zyna said. “You are a bunch of choosers.”


Boys raise up arms in excitement“You have the power of choice,” she continued. “Your superpower is your ability to make the right choice.”


In another powerful demonstration, third grader Joel, was asked to rip apart a book called “The Book of Bad Choices.”


When the feat proved to be impossible, Zyna lent him a hand by asking if he needed some assistance and showing him a technique to try, and suddenly the book was split in two.


“When you have a dream maker, they will say ‘you are having a tough time, do you need some help?’ a dream maker will offer help,” Zyna said.


Fifth graders Carter and Dominic each took a turn at ripping the book in half and learned that teamwork was another way to be successful.


Dynamo told students that they will likely encounter some rough times in life as that is sometimes how things go. However, he said, the best way to forge through those times is by making good decisions.


“You have to have a great attitude during those times, like saying ‘I’m not going to quit,’” he said. Woman addresses crowd


It was this type of attitude that helped him reach his dream of becoming a body builder. He was taken out of his abusive home as a child, but fortunately he had a dream maker in his life. His grandparents, he said, encouraged him to continue going after his goals.


“Her greatest superpower was love,” he said of his grandmother. “A superpower we have is the ability to forgive. I encourage you to walk in love and forgiveness.”


He explained how he committed himself to reaching his goals, and even demonstrated how his body building dream became a reality by bending the metal bar and breaking a baseball bat in half.


Zyna also shared her personal story. Her mother died when she was young, and she reacted by acting out in school.


“I was the bully in school,” she admitted. “I was the dream breaker,” or the person who prevents others from finding success.


When she was called to the office, her principal talked to her about her attitude and behavior. He recognized where her anger was coming from and asked her something no one had ever asked her before: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”


When she informed him that she wanted to be a teacher, the principal reminded her that she did not pay attention in class, she bullied others, she was not a model student.


The principal went on to tell her if she wanted to make her professional dream a reality, she would have to be respectful, kind and take responsibility for her schoolwork.


“I was able to respond in a positive way,” Zyna said after this talk. She had found a dream maker.


“You are the example of what a dream maker is,” she told students.


To do that, she reminded students about how they can be dream makers for themselves and others. This included being an upstander, someone who intervenes when someone is being mean to another and helps to prevent bullying.


“Together,” she said, “we can be successful and be a bully free school!”