Made to Create: The Firehouse Dream
My hope is that my community would dream again.
- Jasmine Lopez
Today, you’re in for a real treat. My friend, Jasmine Lopez, has stopped by to tell us about a non-profit she and her husband, Jeremy, have started in Maywood, IL called The Firehouse Dream.
I’m hosting a parent/child creative workshop on March 30th, and 10% of the proceeds will go to support The Firehouse Dream. I asked Jasmine tell us a little more about her family, their business, and this new nonprofit they’ve starting.
Jasmine and Jeremy have such a cool, inspiring, faith-filled story that I have had the privilege of watching unfold, while also being encouraged by their authenticity and all-out trust in God.
I hope that in reading some of Jasmine’s responses, you’ll be inspired to take bold steps in your own relationship with God, engage in your community, and maybe even support the Firehouse Dream.
And if you’ve got kids ages 3-8 years old, I’d love to see you at the workshop. Jasmine will be there with her girls and I’m sure she’d love to tell you more about the Firehouse Dream.
Interview with Jasmine Lopez, co-founder of Authentic Adventure Co. and The Firehouse Dream
Rachel: Tell us all a little more about yourself. Who is Jasmine?
Jasmine: Hi I'm Jasmine Lopez and I married my high school sweetheart and we have 3 precious girls. I love connecting over chai tea and learning more about the stories of others.
R: What is Authentic Adventure Co?
J: Authentic Adventure Co. is our creative brand where we (Team Lopez) showcase all of who we are (photography, music, film, and more) while going after our crazy dreams in partnership with God.
We long to share the high's and low's of life while finding healing from our stories, and sharing everything in a way that inspires and encourages others. Being authentic, I believe, requires vulnerability, and I never want to project a mindset of we have it all together, that our journey to entrepreneurship has been easy, or that we had a savings to do what we are doing. I hope the everyday person could learn more about us and our story and say, "Hey, I can do that too!"
R: What is The Firehouse Dream?
J: The Firehouse Dream is a 501c3 that my husband and I are starting for our community (Maywood, IL) and our district. It's going to be a creative arts healing center where the local young adults will have a space to explore creativity, learn a skillset, and in turn make an income. They’ll also learn how their stories impact how they see and perceive the world.
R: How did the Firehouse Dream first come about?
J: It first became an idea after going on a vision trip to El Salvador with my church. We partnered with a nonprofit called Enlace, and they helped us understand how multi-faceted poverty is...that it's so much more than a lack a resources, it's abuse of power, broken relationships, and more.
We got to meet some of the local communities and learn more about their projects and how they decided on them. I fell in love with their passion for their own people. To see the local church recognize that they can be the hands and feet of Jesus was something I had always known, but didn't really see it practiced, let alone in communities that were really struggling.
I was so inspired by their passion that I came back home ready to partner with God in what I could do. I looked around and accessed that we had lots of abandoned homes in our community, blue tarps on the roofs and more. But quickly, I recognized that construction isn't my skillset. I then Google searched our local high school and learned that we have a high drop out rate, many of the kids are on free lunch, the reading and math proficiencies are really low and more! I began to wonder what it would be like if had a space where I, along with my other creative boss friends, could come together and teach youth a skillset, along with financial literacy while being trauma informed....and thus this is how The Firehouse Dream came to be an idea.
R: That’s awesome. What are your hopes for your community and for The Firehouse Dream?
J: My hope for my community would be to dream again. To find a new sense of passion and hope. To create a space where those who walk through our doors feel safe, belonging, togetherness and more. I hope to see our young adults find healing and purpose through their stories, discover something they are passionate about, and learn how to make an income off of it. I hope to dismantle the lie that success looks a certain way - either through sports, or by becoming a doctor or lawyer - and instead, open up the door of opportunity to see how creativity not only has a place in the world, but it is truly so needed, while being able to live a successful life doing something that brings you joy!
R: How has pursuing the Firehouse Dream challenged you?
J: This dream has felt so much bigger than me. It has been a process of healing for me too, through my own story and upbringing with abandonment and being financially unsure. Every step of the way, God has helped to reveal the lies I've believed about myself and has healed me.
Another challenge has been finances. If I can be completely honest, we didn't have the funds to purchase the firehouse, or the savings. But we trusted God. It was through selling our home that we had just purchased 18 months prior, that allowed us to be able to get enough profits to purchase the firehouse. This was a miracle in it's own! So many different miracles have happened during the process of purchasing the firehouse. When I sit in it, I'm truly in awe.
I'm learning that often times the challenges or delays we experience are an opportunity to dig deeper, and find truth in it.
R: What drew you to wanting to open a creative arts healing center?
J: I think of my younger self and all that she experienced, and how through photography she found joy and passion. I think of my photography teacher, Mr. Bullen, who spoke such encouragement over me. It's truly because of him that I decided to pursue photography over going into the medical field. I hope to be a person who could speak life into the lives of others, to be an encouragement as they figure out who they are and what they are meant to do in this world.
R: How can people support The Firehouse Dream?
J: There's so many ways you can support us. There is a financial need for the renovations and for the equipment that we will need. If you are a creative and want to partner with us in teaching a class, please reach out. And lastly, help us by praying that we could continue to make deeper connections and relationships around the community.
You can find Jasmine, learn more and support The Firehouse Dream here:
And get your tickets to the Made to Create Workshop here!