I had a dream of you the other night,
And in that dream everything was alright.
I dreamt that you were alive and well,
Was this dream really real? I just couldn’t tell.
We hugged and laughed and we talked for awhile,
I saw your face and your beautiful smile.
We were together just like before,
It it’s a dream and it’s real, I want to dream more.
Please don’t go yet, I have so much to say,
I want you to know before you go on your way,
Even though it’s a dream, it’s so real to me,
Your beauty is all that I can see.
Your energy feels so pure and strong,
I feel as if I don’t belong.
You radiate your light so true,
As the dream ends, I grab onto you.
I don’t want to wake for the end is near,
Your voice is all that I can hear.
I wake from my slumber, the dream is gone,
I rise to meet the early dawn.
Dedicated to Leopoldo M. Villanueva, “Jr.”
08/07/74 – 03/30/97
“The DREAM Project is a compilation CD with songs of different genres donated by musicians and artists who have all donated their time to help the University of West Florida’s Chapter of Students for Suicide Awareness (SSA) in loving memory of Tyler Knisely, a UWF student who lost his battle with depression and took his life fall semester 2008 and Jr. Villanueva, a UF student who also lost his battle and took his life spring semester 1997.
The CD begins with The DREAM, a poem written by Raela Villanueva right after her younger brother “Jr.” killed himself. Jr. only said “goodbye” to their mother before he left for Easter Sunday evening mass on March 30, 1997 and never came home again. He came to his sister in a dream, the only way he could say goodbye to her. Since then, Raela has been an advocate for suicide prevention and awareness and speaks openly about her brother’s suicide in an attempt to help save others from suffering such tragic loss.
Raela met UWF and Pensacola State College students Sabra Jernigan and Ashleigh Aaron in November 2008 via myspace through musician and friend Damien Louviere. After commencing plans for their 1st Annual Seeds of Hope music and art benefit show, Raela met guitarist Glenn Burnett at an open mic night. That week, Glenn wrote the music to her poem, and another poem called Sunset. Raela performed the DREAM song with Glenn and friends at the after party show but vowed never to sing it by herself again. Glenn then recruited singer/songwriter Tiffany Pifer, who lost her father to cancer just months before Jr. passed away. She has become the lead vocalist for The DREAM while Raela now confidently sings back up vocals. Tiffany too had a dream about her father and wrote a song called “Out of My Pain”.
All of the musicians and artists are local, regional and national artists who enjoy performing on the Gulf Coast. Musicians and artists own the rights to each song on the compilation CD and have donated their song to help The DREAM Project and SSA’s mission to raise awareness through the mediums of music and art that suicide is still the 2nd leading cause of death on college campuses and CAN BE PREVENTED. The compilation CD will list all the songs, band/musician name, website information, warning signs for suicide and depression, local and national resources for getting help, and list all sponsors involved with the project.
The CD also contains artwork – the cover is the DREAM Project logo painted by Raela on a tambourine during one of SSA’s bi-weekly “Escape” music and art therapy sessions, while the back cover is a sunset painting by Jr. from 1989 that Raela recently found while going through her parent’s house and after asking a friend to draw something up for the back cover. It was her brother’s way of blessing the project and saying, “here you go, now the project is complete, don’t give up big sister, this is part of the reason I had to leave.”
Proceeds from sales benefit SSA and their mission (the students are in the process of turning Seeds of Hope into a non-profit), producing more CD’s for the DREAM Project, and resurrection of The DREAM Foundation (which provides a scholarship fund to encourage high school students to continue with their education by attending college and live out their dreams).
Raela’s goal with The DREAM Project is to reach out to students, set up a tour for musicians to perform at college campuses across the state with the help of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition. Raela will continue to tell her brother’s story to help other college students who deal with depression by performing her songs, speaking openly to students in a group setting and one-to-one, and through SSA’s Survivor Art Exhibit. SSA aims to reduce the stigma that surrounds suicide and depression, reach out to other students and start other SSA chapters across the state.”
-“The Dream” poem and organization information were provided and reprinted courtesy of Raela Villanueva and The DREAM Project.
-To purchase The DREAM Project compilations CD click on this link