THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC.
Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure and Mentoring Annual Report 2002
THANK YOU! For donating to DREAM 100 Templeton Court and Dartmouth College DREAMers break into these groups every week. The groups are separated by age, and provide incentive for children to be role models for the younger groups. We thought they were great names for our groups of donors!
Dream Catchers I.L. Cohen Foundation Liza Cowan Alice Foote Connie Lierman Terry Lierman Gloria and Dan Oâ€™Connell Ed Potter
Superstars Mike Foote Louis and Kitty Freidheim Morton Kondracke Regina Olchowski Evelyn Olchowski Jon Potter John and Janet Tysse Marc and Debbie Violette
Wild Things J. Douglas and Anne Bate Ed Bialas Paul Biggs Laura Burt Laura and Dennis Donovan Jesse Foote Sally and Parker Hansel Francine and Jim Heckert Alan and Judy Hoffman Eileen Huston Tina and Harold Jupiter Nahoko Kawakyu Emilie Knaus Keith and Susan Kuegel Hans Madland Charlie Mann Marian Menkel Mr. and Mrs. Nardi Steven and Penny Olchowski Mac and Barbara Phillips Tom and Corinne Potter Prism Venture Management Ann Reesman Lowell and Karen Richards Erica Rivinoja Sara Schnitzer Howard Sharfstein Arlene Shorten-Goodrich 2
Nan and Tom Sherburne Mr. and Mrs. Sood Austin Wheeler Daniel Wright Tim Wright Dan and Linda Yager
Ridge Runners Mohamed and Lynda Bakr Kathy and George Butterworth Amy and Greg Caucutt Joyce and Roger Dittman Alan and Jeanette Davis Emily Fedman Brian Feldman Eben Hansel Brian Hannigan Reed Heckert Lawanna Holmes Judy Huang Tracy Kim Jeff Kinkaid Kate Knight Howard Kushlan Janet and Bob Kmetz Steve Kraus Brooke Lierman Sally Lobkowicz Dorcas and Jeffrey McGuinness Erin McKay Erica Mintzer Meg and Phil Nyborg Mary Oâ€™Malley Tom and Lynn Ransbottom Mark Sherburne Drew Sheriff Sarah Siegel Gail Silberman Stephanie Stahr Andrew Trief Jeanette and Dan Twomey Kallie Willets
Supernovas Sean Alpert Hyung Cho Howard and Carol Cohen Jeannie Eisberg Chance Hill Mary Ippolito Jeff Garrett Leonard and Betty Golombek Pietra Knaus Caroline Kovas Dean Krishna Chris Laing Eleanor Leahy Betty Lierman-Hanson Linda Mathuran and Family Hassani and Toori Mehran Jorge Miranda and Molly Stutzman Joshua Morey Elizabeth Pariano Macon Phillips Winifred Potter Karen and Jeff Ross Kathryn Ross The Snyder Family Kathleen Stewart Leah Threatte
It all began with a short drive down Highway 91. Since that day in January of 1999, hundreds of volunteers have been working to shape and create programs to empower children living in Vermont’s subsidized housing complexes. DREAM has been growing steadily since 1999, and this year saw a fresh explosion of energy with the founding of The DREAM Program, Inc. in November 2001. With each additional program, DREAM reaches out to new communities of children and empower them to succeed in ways none had previously imagined. With each year, a new group of college students discovers the way that each individual can work towards a more equitable society by starting one child at a time. We now have five full-time positions in the Central Office, but they make up only a tiny percentage of the power behind DREAM. With over 300 college students having participated thus far as mentors, DREAM’s extraordinary ability to reach and help the children we work with lies with the power of the volunteer. Each local program, though supported by the Central Office, is responsible for enabling its volunteers to constantly challenge themselves and their partners to dream bigger. In 2003 we will be facing new challenges: starting and maintaining multiple programs simultaneously, solidifying DREAM’s relationships with Housing Developments and Colleges, building a camp and central space for all DREAMs in Vermont, all while continuing to create a culture that fosters both ownership and consistency. We are eager to continue to reach Vermont’s children and hope you share our vision of a day when all children, everywhere, can live out their dreams. 3
This report is dedicated to our partners: Dakota Salls (Mike), Barbara Dionne (Brooke), Casey Hadcock (Jon and Macon), Dalton Bigue (Aaron), and Nedra Keenan (Erica). We hope you learned even half as much from us as we have learned from you. Keep DREAMing!
Printed 2003 by The DREAM Program, Inc. Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure and Mentoring PO Box 361 Winooski, VT 05404 Tel: 802-655-9015 Fax: 802-654-8598 www.dreamprogram.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents Section 1 Introductory Letters.................................................................................... 6-7 Core Values ................................................................................................. 8 Mission Statement ...................................................................................... 9
Section 2 Local Programs........................................................................................... 11-22 University of Vermont—Elm Street ...................................................... 12-15 Dartmouth—Armory Square ................................................................. 16-17 Dartmouth—Templeton......................................................................... 18-19 High Adventure 2002 ............................................................................. 20-21 Local Advisory Boards.......................................................................... 22 Alumni Organization................................................................................... 23-25
Section 3 Central Office .............................................................................................. 27-48 Incorporating.......................................................................................... 28 Research, Background ......................................................................... 29-30 Strategic Planning ................................................................................. 33 Housing Development Survey.............................................................. 34 Further Research/Evaluations.............................................................. 35 Teacher Survey ...................................................................................... 36 Elm Street Parent Survey...................................................................... 37 Technical Capabilities ........................................................................... 38 Summer Programs Office ..................................................................... 39 Long Term Sustainability...................................................................... 40 Fundraising ............................................................................................ 41 Financial Statements............................................................................. 42-51
A Letter from a Parent... My name is Robin Wilson and I have lived at Templeton Court for almost ten years. I am a single mother raising two sons. I came to Templeton because the rent is income-based, making it the most affordable housing for me. I moved here in the Spring of 1993 with my one-year old son Nicolas and expecting my son Aaron that summer. My goal was to go to work, but chose to wait until the boys were of school-age, reducing the need and expense of childcare. While my sons were attending Head Start, the program closed for a few weeks, because they were short on teachers. This situation made me wish that I was qualified to help, and led me to volunteer for the Reach Up program. Through Reach Up, I was introduced to the Community College of Vermont. I enrolled at CCV for the Spring of 1998 semester to earn an Associated degree in teaching. I then served one year on Head Start’s Policy Council. The Policy Council allowed me to have some control in how my sons were being taught, and by whom. My two sons are Nicolas, 11, and Aaron, 9. Nicolas is a 5th grader at the White River School He recently began playing saxophone in the school band, and enjoys it. Aaron is a 3rd grader at the White River School and has become interested in playing the recorder. Although I have always been able and willing to try to play a mother and father role with my boys, I realize I cannot give them everything they need. They have reached a point in their lives where they are becoming interested in girls and becoming aware of sex, and it would be easier for them if there were a male they could talk to. This is one aspect where DREAM has really helped them, because they have their mentors to talk to and ask for advice. When I first moved here, the tenants were separated by buildings. There are three buildings here, and each building wanted nothing to do with the other two. This building separation resulted in a considerable number of conflicts between individuals and families. As the years went on, the conflicts intensified, until DREAM. Through the DREAM program, adults and children have learned to communicate with one another, and to enjoy each other. There is no longer a building separation. Adults and children now come together as a community for barbecues, dinners, meetings, and as friends. When DREAM first began, I looked at it as an opportunity for the boys to have male role models. Much more than that even, Charlie and Jesse became family. Nick and Aaron began to look at Charlie and Jesse as brothers, not mentors. Although Jesse has graduated, and is no longer Aaron’s DREAM mentor, he is a member of our family now. Jesse’s girlfriend, Beth, and his brother Mike have also become members of our family, attending family events with us, and just always being there for us. With the help of Jesse, Mike, and Beth, I will graduate from CCV this June with my Associates in Human Studies. The boys have bonded fast, and well, with their new mentors Mike (for Aaron) and Rawson (for Nick). I became involved in DREAM through my boys’ involvement. But during the summer of 2001 our AmeriCorps Member, who handled the weekly permission slips, left us. I volunteered to hand out permission slips, while our property manager did the rest. Now, I handle everything on the Templeton-end. Since becoming so actively involved in DREAM, it has brought my boys and I much closer. Nick came home from DREAM one week and said to me, “I had a Dartmouth student ask me if I was Robin’s son, and when I said yes they said you were such a nice person. I didn’t know this person, but it made me feel good hearing nice talk about you… you’re the coolest mom!” This made me feel great and more determined to keep moving forward. DREAM has created relationships between the boys and their mentors that will last for years to come. It has given the three of us the largest extended family anyone could imagine. DREAM has the other children looking forward to graduating high school, attending college, and doing something positive with their lives. Adults have also been affected by DREAM. I am graduating from CCV this June, other adults are attending CCV, and some have gone on to earn their GED’s. I will continue receiving some welfare assistance for a while, because I am enrolling at Johnson State in the Fall for my bachelor’s degree. I have no plans right now to move off Templeton, but who knows what the future holds. There are still conflicts, but now they are talked out and solutions found. Templeton Court residents have come together as a community, and I am excited to see where we will go as we continue to dream. Sincerely,
Robin Wilson 6
A Letter from our Chairwoman… On behalf of The DREAM Program, Inc. (DREAM) I have the honor of welcoming you to our 2002 year in review. Throughout my time with DREAM, I have seen the program expand from a handful of Dartmouth students to a statewide non-profit. In particular, its growth in this past year has been remarkable. As a property manager working on site, I have personally witnessed the positive effects that DREAM’s one on one mentoring has had on the 70+ children who reside at the Templeton Court Apartments. Most of these children have been paired with a DREAM mentor for four or more years. The love, affection and positive role modeling from mentor to child has given these children the ability to realize their individual dreams, and has helped the children make better life choices on a day to day basis. DREAM has profoundly affected the college students in the program as well, providing them with endless opportunities for learning outside of the classroom. The children’s parents have also been affected. In fact, the entire community has been impacted by DREAM’s spirit. The DREAM Program, Inc. is growing in exciting ways. DREAM has five full-time staff members, three local programs up and running, plans for two of its programs to undertake 16-day adventure trips in the coming summer, and it will be expanding to three new sites in 2003. Whether you are new to DREAM or an experienced DREAMer, I think you will find it to be a revolutionary and inspirational organization: one that continually pushes itself, always improving its values, philosophies, and actions; one that has already positively changed the lives of hundreds of students, children, and other community members; and one that is reshaping the landscape of poverty in New England. Dream,
Debbie Violette Chair, Board of Directors
Introduction Core Values
DREAM’s Core Values are the philosophical cornerstones that steer us towards our mission. They are used together, as a unified whole, to guide our actions and visions.
Transparency DREAM’s business is the formation of human relationships. Clear, consistent, open, and honest communication is the foundation for creating the trust and understanding necessary for these relationships to succeed. DREAM’s community enjoys equality across roles. DREAM takes seriously the confidentiality of personal matters, but all other information, decisions, reasons, and intents should flow freely to everyone involved in the organization.
Empowerment through Ownership There should never be a sense that there is a higher authority in DREAM. Delegation should occur by entrusting the problems, not the solutions, and then having the humility to encourage the solutions that are then created by the ownership. It is difficult to truly relinquish control of projects for fear that they may not be solved the way initially intended, but the ensuing feeling of ownership creates a desire to continually improve the program. When individuals feel complete control of a project, they invest themselves more wholly than if they were just participating. By distributing ownership of different projects, DREAM maximizes its available resources and ensures shared enthusiasm for the program. And that is the magic, the strength, and the sustainability behind DREAM.
DREAM lives and feeds off of its contagious energy. We all bring to the program what we are excited about and motivated by. Everyone can sense and is attracted to the energy that this mutualism produces. It creates a fun and attractive environment where diverse interests are encouraged and new ideas are supported. DREAM’s contagious energy perpetuates the feeling that anything is possible with a can-do attitude.
Safety DREAM must pursue all of its endeavors through the lens safety. DREAM must be physically and emotionally safe for all of its participants – mentors, children, and adults. Safety should never be seen as an insurmountable obstacle, but rather as a challenge to be faced in everything DREAM does. If there is something that a DREAMer can dream of doing, there is a way to do it safely, and DREAM will find that way.
Supportive Community Those involved in DREAM—children, parents, mentors, staff, alumni, and other supporters — are part of a single community that works to support and sustain itself. We are also respectful of the various other communities with which we interact. We promote tolerance by celebrating differences within and outside of our community. Everyone in DREAM is an equal partner, and the importance of relationships is central to the way our community operates. If people in our community have problems they are faced with or an idea they would like to pursue, they find comfort in the fact that other members of our community rally around them, support their efforts, and encourage them to succeed.
Encourage Dreaming We encourage dreaming in each other by broadening the scope of what seems possible, supporting others in their dreams, and setting the example through pursuing our own big dreams. Each mentor’s experience challenges us to unlock our dreams and share them with our partners, and each mentor is charged with discovering and encouraging the children’s dreams. Dreaming is contagious – put a group of imaginative minds together, light the fuse, and enjoy the fireworks. 8
Introduction Mission Statement
DREAM builds communities of families and college students that empower children from disadvantaged circumstances to: Recognize their options, Make informed decisions, and Achieve their dreams!
April 2002â€”The Dartmouth DREAM mentors raid the first mentor training weekend for the new UVM Mentors! 9
Local Programs! Section 2 Contents UVM—Elm Street
Local Advisory Boards
What is DREAM? By Tina, Age 11, Templeton Court DREAM is … Educational. DREAM is … Mentoring. DREAM is … Exercising. DREAM is … F.U.N. DREAM is … Exciting. DREAM is … Cool. DREAM changed my life forever
University of Vermont—Elm Street DREAM Section 2 The biggest challenge of the year for our newly-established non-profit was creating the first new DREAM. There were many facets of the Dartmouth DREAM program that arose organically throughout its three years before the founding of the The DREAM Program, Inc. Capturing some of these intangible and qualitative, yet integral aspects of DREAM seemed the most daunting task. For instance, the empowerment of each mentor/volunteer that arises from the self-ownership of the Dartmouth DREAM program is unique to any organization. How do you ensure this essential ingredient takes hold, if you are offering a program to a group of people, rather than allowing them to come up with the idea on their own? Is it even possible to replicate a program that excels due to its qualitative aspects? It is! As of December 2002, UVM DREAM was going strong, growing well and creating its own, unique DREAM culture. What follows is a short synopsis of how this wonderful new program started. Mike Foote first approached the UVM administrators in March 2002, to get a sense of their interest in a program like DREAM. He also attended several meetings of the various community service groups. Jon and he had identified the Elm Street Apartment complex as one of the two best bets for a program. After securing support from Ed Willenbaker of the Winooski Housing Authority, Mike began recruiting students. Rather than using the existing volunteer center, VIA (Volunteers in Action), Mike took the most straightforward route—he began putting up posters around campus, hoping to pique the interest of a few hard-working and committed students. Three students responded, one of whom was Casey Wilson, a sophomore (see page 14). “I didn’t know we’d be creating a new program!” she said, “I just thought it would be fun to be a mentor.” Mike took her down to DREAM at Dartmouth one Friday, and she says that was really what did it. “It was so incredible seeing all the parents come out and talk to Mike when we arrived at Templeton. And then, when we drove over with the mentors to pick up the kids—seeing all the kids run out was just amazing.” She went back to UVM and recruited a few of her friends to come along with her and Mike as they went to meet some of the parents at the Elm Street Apartments. “The moms were really excited to see that boys were going to volunteer,” Casey remembers. “Apparently, they had been able to get some of the girls mentors through Big Brother Big Sister, but it was impossible to get good male mentors.” The first DREAM consisted of some intense Ultimate Frisbee, and for the next few weeks they stuck to group activities, which turned out to be a good idea. It enabled the children and the mentors to all meet each other, and to form better matches when they eventually paired-off. All fourteen mentors attended the first training retreat, where Mike and Liza lead a variety of discussions, and where the mentors themselves began to have serious discussions about the direction of DREAM, the commitment mentors needed to make, and creating partner pairs. The Dartmouth DREAMers even raided the retreat, which Casey says was great. “They showed us how psyched they were about DREAM, and that it was possible.” One big difference at UVM is the lack of a Summer Term. Fortunately, there were several mentors who stayed in Burlington, and they planned weekly activities with the children from Elm Street. Starting this summer, there will also be a full-time Summer Intern who is responsible for ongoing (Continued on page 13)
Local Programs UVM-Elm Street DREAM
Co-Chairs 2002 Spring 2002—Casey Wilson ‘04, Mike Foote Summer Intern—Aaron Gaines, ‘03 Fall 2002—Lindsey Davis ‘03, Elizabeth Rosen ‘03
(Continued from page 12)
programming, as well as gathering all the mentors in the area for weekly activities. There have been several successful barbeques at Elm Street, to give the mentors and parents a chance to get to know each other. During the fall the UVM DREAMers organized a huge Chili CookOff that raised over $1000 for their program. UVM DREAM is also planning and fundraising for their first high adventure this summer, and has planned a great recruiting process for the Spring Semester. UVM DREAM is a wonderful addition to the DREAM family and it will be exciting to see what they can achieve in 2003!
The Lapans! The Lapan family has lived at Elm Street for two and a half years, and all of their three children are in DREAM. “It’s exciting for them to be considered really special by someone other than their parents,” says Karen Lapan. “When Katie was in the school play, sure, she wanted her grandparents there, but she hounded me to have her mentor come.” In the context of her family’s time at Elm Street she adds “You see the kids interacting more positively among themselves [because of DREAM].” DREAM also has a community-building effect, observes her husband, Richard. Through his participation in DREAM organizational meetings, “I’m getting to know some of my neighbors that I didn’t know before.” They are both looking forward to working with the DREAM mentors for years to come.
UVM DREAM Has Its First Full Semester! From KeepDREAMing, Fall 2002 By Lindsey Davis, ‘03
With new families from Elm Street involved in UVM DREAM and a new group of dedicated students wanting to make a difference, 10 mentors grew to 25, 15 kids grew to 36, and UVM DREAM began to expand in countless ways. From our kickoff barbecue at Elm Street to the culminating semi-formal dance, the second season of our program resulted in success. DREAM’s biggest event of the semester was the Musical Fruit, or chili-cookoff. The cookoff fundraiser drew in tons of students, musicians, chefs, and participants from UVM and from around the Burlington area. Despite the hurricane that happened to show its face that evening, an enormous slip n’ slide saved the day and with the help of some tarps and a band that would not quit, there were nothing but smiles through the torrential downpour. Matching new partners during this past term was extremely successful and everyone got to know everyone else much better than before. The kids got to play in the gymnastics room, take over the racquetball courts and play in the ice skating rink on Fridays while during the week mentors planned fundraising activities, community service, had troubleshooting meetings, and tried to work out the details of High Adventure. Towards the end of the semester, UVM’s theatre department invited several of the younger children from Elm Street to take part in their annual play, The Toys Take Over Christmas. With help from mentors and parents, the children attended practices throughout the months of November and December and put on amazing performances as Santa’s elves and dancing fairies. Incredible support from their parents and other Elm Street families made the entire experience amazing. Now, with High Adventure planning in full swing, the beginning of the ‘Chill’ program where Burton will provide equipment for a group of kids and teach them to snowboard over several weeks, and other committees working hard on upcoming events, it is certain that second semester will be even more exciting than the first! 13
Local Programs UVM-Elm Street DREAM
Section 2 UVM DREAM is Here to Stay! From KeepDREAMing, Summer 2002
By Aaron Gaines UVM’03 and Devon Lapan, Age 12
UVM students started their DREAM to give the kids in the program new experiences, opportunities, and resources that they might not otherwise have access to. Every Friday during the school year, we meet at UVM to do fun activities with a group of kids from the Elm Street Apartments in Winooski. We encourage each other to set big goals, be nice to each other, and try new things. Our activities have continued through this summer, but no one can wait to start meeting again in the fall. Twelve year-old Devon Lapan has been in DREAM since it first began. Many of the other kids in his neighborhood are also in DREAM, including his sister Kaitlyn and his brother Connor. “I liked the first day, that was cool,” says Devon. “I like playing at UVM.” Devon and his siblings had their doubts when they first heard about DREAM. “What if they get bored with us and decide not to keep coming?” Connor worried. Soon, Connor and the others realized that DREAM was there to stay, and that the UVM kids loved hanging out
with them. “Our friends from Elm Street are really cool,” says DREAM mentor Julia Geier. “We look forward to Fridays every week!” So do the kids, Devon says. “Having something to look forward to makes the school week go by faster, and it’s easy to be in a good mood. My teacher even noticed that I have been more interested in doing projects since DREAM started.” The kids are starting to realize that they can make great things happen when they work together. “The mentors and the kids have become a lot tighter and better friends. I think that the kids have become better friends with each other, too” says Devon. Some of the kids have started suggesting fundraising activities and ideas for field trips. Devon would like to see DREAM mentors get to know his teachers, and also to start a weekly homework help session. It’s wonderful to see how many creative ideas they have, and to watch them take control of their program. It seems that everyone is excited about starting our regular Friday meetings again, once school starts in September.
Profile: Casey Wilson, UVM DREAM Founder Casey is a UVM ‘04 and is majoring in elementary education, with concentrations in anthropology and Spanish. She spent the fall semester of 2002 abroad, volunteering in Chile. When she got back to Burlington and to UVM DREAM she was astonished to see how far the program had come in just a few months. “It was amazing to come back and see how incredible the program has become. It is just so much more organized, and meeting all the new mentors was so great.” Though she wasn’t exactly sure what she had gotten herself into when Mike Foote first approached her, she doesn’t regret a second. “[DREAM] has definitely changed my whole college experience in a huge way!”
Local Programs UVM– Elm Street DREAM
On Becoming Part of the Elm Street Community…
Thank you to Ed Willenbaker
As a DREAM mentor at UVM, I’ve been easing into the Elm Street community like one enters a hot bath, slow and steady, but the water is cooling fast. It seems that community is one of the most important terms to take into consideration as we continue to take steps to develop DREAM. The community is what I’ve taken the most time to personally address these past few months of craziness and excitement. In the last five weeks I put together a photo documentation of the Elm Street Apartment families involved with DREAM. My goal was to offer free family portraits to the community and hopefully establish some sort of connection with the community that bridged the pickup/drop-off Friday relationship we had maintained up until that point. This involved establishing a dialogue with the various families and explaining the goals of the project, setting a date, organizing family members, rescheduling cancellations, bringing in lighting, getting everyone to smile and making pictures in the living rooms of all those involved -whew! The results have been very rewarding. I put up a show in the Colburn Art Gallery on campus and had terrific feedback. I’ve given prints to all of the families and they seem very pleased as well. Now, every trip to Elm Street I am welcomed into at least one house if not more. I think the parents are excited because they have more of a “face” to put with a name as they become more of a part of DREAM.
Ed Willenbaker’s contributions to DREAM in 2002 were astounding. Within weeks of Ed’s first awareness of DREAM, he secured a $5,000 grant for the organization, no strings attached. Soon, the Elm Street Apartments in Winooski became an obvious site for DREAM’s first new program. Ed was immediately supportive of the project, clearing obstacles and providing assistance to make sure that the program had a strong start. Throughout the year, Ed approved and supported grants to fund a summer intern at Elm Street, equipment enabling DREAM to produce photo identification cards, start-up funding for the cost of mentor activities, and a $10,000 grant matching the Vermont State Housing Authority’s contribution. Ed also was a strong supporter of the development of a contract template to be used with housing authorities around the state. Ed spent countless hours and approximately $6,500 in legal fees to support the development of this contract. Ed has also made an active effort to convince other housing authority directors around the state of the benefits of having a DREAM program in their communities. Ed has been a supporter, an advisor, a role model, and an advocate for DREAM. There is no telling where DREAM would be right now without the support of Ed Willenbaker this past year. Thank you Ed. You have been an inspiration. All of the fine folks at the Winooski Housing Authority have been wonderful to work with.
From KeepDREAMing, Summer 2002 By Sam Fitz UVM’03
Dartmouth College—Armory Square DREAM Section 2 In the late spring and early summer, having an overwhelming number of “extra” mentors, the Dartmouth DREAM program approached the Armory Square housing complex in Windsor, Vermont, managed by Marken Properties. Excited at the prospect of starting a DREAM for Armory Square families, the resident service provider helped make the initial contact with the parents. By the end of the summer, the new Armory Square program found itself 25 children strong and enthusiastically backed by the parents. The first culminating experience for the program occurred at the end of the summer as the group joined the Templeton program and headed off to Six Flags Great America. Following that event, the fall term kicked off strong by solidifying a dedicated group of mentors. Near the end of the fall, the group began to consider the first summer High Adventure program for the Armory Square children. Armory Square DREAM is looking ahead to tackle a number of potential future obstacles, including securing a better transportation system (Armory Square is about twice as far away from Dartmouth as Templeton Court) and strengthening its Local Advisory Board to handle the bulk of the coordination between mentors and families.
Profile: Brad Bate Co-Chair Brad Bate, a Dartmouth ‘04 majoring in environmental studies has been the co-chair of Armory Square DREAM for the past two terms. Armory Square DREAM is exciting because it's still evolving. After only three terms they have a group of over 30 children, and this list continues to grow. Brad says that “finding mentors for everyone is sometimes a challenge, but it's extremely rewarding to witness a bond form between a child and a mentor, and to see the excitement of the children as they arrive for another Friday of DREAM.” As the program continues to grow and become better established at Armory Square, the mentors hope to become more involved at the level of the community. Armory Square DREAM is more difficult because the distance the mentors have to drive to Windsor (25 minutes each way), but they have an amazing group of mentors, and Brad says he is ”excited about the possibilities for the future as others take roles of leadership and help take the program in new directions.” Brad says he participates so actively in DREAM for “the smile on my partner's face, the excitement of the kids as they arrive at Dartmouth on Fridays, and the parents telling us that their kids start asking on Monday whether it's almost Friday yet. I believe that we've got a great thing going with DREAM, and that we're truly fulfilling a need within a community, within families, and in the lives of children. “ 16
Local Programs Dartmouth—Armory Square DREAM
Co-Chairs 2002 Summer 2002—Brad Bate ‘04, Ben Mustin ‘04 Fall 2002—Brad Bate ‘04, Ben Mustin ‘04
Dartmouth DREAM 2: Armory Square KeepDREAMing Article Summer 2002 by Ben Mustin D‘04
The first functional term of the DREAM program at Armory Square was an astounding success. Organized and run entirely by members of the 2004 sophomore class, the program grew to include almost all of the Armory Square kids between the ages of 5 and 14. Although the drive from Hanover to Windsor, VT was a 50 minute round trip undertaking, the positive attitude and un-jaded enthusiasm of the participating kids made the experience worthwhile. Driving was the issue with which we struggled the most – discipline and enthusiasm problems were essentially nonexistent, much to the credit of the Armory Square v o l u n t e e r coordinator Alicia and the motivated parents. The concept of a fresh start fired up everyone involved, and, while we dealt with some i n i t i a l communication issues (between the organizers and mentors, mentors and parents and so on), the vast majority of the kinks got worked out. We started the term with a mentor-family barbeque at Armory Square. This gave new mentors and parents a chance to meet each other and understand the nature of their different communities. Along with regular Friday happenings, we were also able to arrange three other major activities. The first, a trip to the Montshire Science Museum in Norwich was sponsored by the museum entirely and proved a major success. The bubble blowing and animal exhibits were notable highlights.
In order to raise money for our culminating trip to Six Flags, we also arranged a car wash and bake sale on the lawn of a sponsoring fraternity. Organized by the mentors and the DREAM luminary Kristina Hoglund and run by the mentors and kids, the event was successful, fun, and if it had been two hours longer, might have earned a hefty contribution to the cause. As it was, time constraints limited the events fiscal success. Regardless, the kids had a great time, got to work towards their trip to Six Flags, and the event also allowed us to generate interest among some community and faculty members who might help us out. The Six Flags trip was mostly organized by Melissa Sheiko and David Anderson and was a stunning success. Everyone had fun and no one got lost, which was above and beyond what we might have asked for. Next term we’ll be trying to work out a more efficient transportation system between Dartmouth and Armory Square, possible with the parents or administrators at Armory Square adopting responsibility for one direction. We will also hopefully be working with the Templeton DREAM coordinators to decide on and possibly arrange some sort of interaction between the programs. This summer the two programs remained very separated. We are not yet sure whether or not we will change this policy, but it seems likely that we will be looking to share some activities with the Templeton program. All in all, a great start to another great program. 17
Dartmouth College—Templeton Court DREAM The last of the founding mentors of the Templeton DREAM program graduated in 2002, leaving the program open for new leadership. In order to ensure that the basic principles of DREAM would be passed down to future generations of mentors, the spring saw the creation of a constitution that defined DREAM’s purpose, philosophy, and structure. The seniors also created names for the different age groups, resulting in the Dream Makers, Supernovas, Trail Blazers, Ridge Runners, Wild Things, Superstars, Dream Catchers, and Extreme DREAM. The program was handed to the 2004 class for their Dartmouth Sophomore Summer. Immediately faced with the challenge of finding new mentors for a large program, the 2004s recruited a new wave of motivated and determined mentors. The group became so infused with the DREAM energy that by the middle of the summer, they were able to provide mentors for every child at Templeton, even though only the sophomore class was in school. The summer, filled with outdoor activities, the High Adventure Trip to Colorado and Utah, and a culminating experience to a Six Flags Theme Park that was joined by the new Armory Square DREAM, set a solid precedent for continuing the legacy left by the founding mentors. The fall, under the leadership of Rebecca Taxier ’03 and David Anderson ’04, Templeton DREAM began to tackle issues that the smaller program had never encountered, such as maintaining mentor ownership and enthusiasm, considering the program’s relationship to the college, and generally maintaining the quality and extent of activities for a much larger group of children and families. Having filled the fall with events such as a Halloween costume party, apple picking, and a girls’ retreat, and also firmly instituting the Baby DREAM program, Templeton DREAM is poised for a fruitful and inspiring 2003.
An AmeriCorps Perspective: Living at Templeton and DREAMing 24/7 From KeepDREAMing, Winter 2002 By Sarah Daoust
Getting to know the kids at Templeton this term has made me strongly regret not getting involved in DREAM sooner! It’s been an incredibly eye-opening term for me, but more than any of the crazy stuff I’ve encountered day to day, witnessing how much the students in DREAM mean to the kids has been the most unbelievable thing for me to see. The kids talk about their partners ALL the time and brag about all of the cool things that they do on Fridays. I’ve even had to break up fights between kids who were arguing over whose partner was cooler. We’ve got programs going every afternoon of the week, but DREAM is still without a doubt the highlight of the week for everyone here! Leading up to the largely anticipated DREAM day, we’ve been filling the afternoons with some fun activities, and a few slightly educational activities. Arts and Crafts has been a popular activity this term. We’ve done cookie decorating, clay figures, and masks (and much much more), and we finished off the term making magic wands and magic notebooks for a Harry Potter party. The kids have also been 18
reading some Harry Potter on reading days, which are organized by Templeton Reads, now funded through the Tucker Foundation. The kids have gotten really into this lately and have made great progress. The program was cancelled a couple of weeks ago at the last minute, and Troy and CJ walked home nearly in tears with their heads hung in disappointment. That kind of enthusiasm for reading is what the program is all about! Movie nights are another program the kids look forward to. We’ve watched some good movies, and some that the kids haven’t enjoyed so much, but it is always an entertaining evening filled with pillow fights and popcorn. The kids have also been enjoying culture night, which has been great thanks to all of the help from DREAM partners who have come to share their experiences abroad. Other afternoons have been spent doing the Enrichment program at the Upper Valley Haven, working on homework, playing computer games, and lots of time just hanging out. I feel so lucky to have been able to spend so much time with these incredible kids!
Local Programs Dartmouth—Templeton DREAM
CoChairs 2002 Winter 2002— Zach Berke ‘02, Claire Chandller ‘02 Spring 2002— Kristina Hoglund ‘04, Zach Berke ‘02 Summer 2002— David Anderson ‘04, Kristina Hoglund ‘04 Fall 2002— Rebecca Taxier ‘03, David Anderson ‘04
Profile: Lauren Meldonian ‘03 and Caitlin Day Being Caitlin's partner has been one of the greatest parts of my time at Dartmouth, and I feel so lucky to have met her. Whether we are going blueberry picking, visiting Boston, or just joking over fries at the Hop, we always seem to have something to talk about. When I joined DREAM, I knew I was getting involved with a great program. What I didn't know was that I would find one of my best friends as a result.
Dartmouth DREAM Summer 2002! From KeepDREAMing, Summer 2002 By David Anderson, ‘04
In past years, the summer term has been fairly stressful on the DREAMers, mainly because there’s only one class on campus, and functioning at full capacity becomes much more difficult without most of our regular mentors. However, because of Melissa Sheiko’s incredible recruiting efforts during the spring, SummerDREAM rocked out like never before. Basically, the summer may have been hot, but DREAM was even hotter, as this summer turned out to be one of the most active terms ever! In June, the culmination of months of planning and fundraising allowed a group of mentors and older children from Templeton to make the trek to Colorado for the first of many future raging summer programs. And just as the DREAMers expanded their horizons out west with a bit of whitewater rafting, hiking, and life-altering high adventure experiences, things on the homefront were transforming as well. In response to the overflow of summer mentors, Melissa Sheiko and David Anderson began to
investigate the possibility of expanding DREAM to a second housing project in Windsor, Vermont. By the beginning of July, Armory Square DREAM was up and running. Miraculously, DREAM’s summer expansion was so successful that almost all children between 5 and 14 who were living at Armory Square were involved in DREAM by the end of the summer! And as SummerDREAM came to an end, we made one last trek. This time, it didn’t involve expansion, whitewater rafting, or hiking. Instead, DREAM set out to conquer Six Flags . That day, it was all about the roller coasters, the cotton candy, and that glorious, cathartic moment on every ride when you feel insanely happy and incredibly nauseous all at the same time. So, as we move into the fall with our new housing development and the memories of Colorado driving us toward another amazing trip next summer, we’re at the top of the roller coaster, and we hope this year is gonna be another crazy-cool ride. 19
High Adventure 2002 Section 2 Planning for the High Adventure From KeepDREAMing, Spring 2002 by Betsy Hart D’05
Plans for the trip to Colorado this summer are well underway! Liza Cowan has been diligently planning an itinerary for an amazing experience and the excitement can be felt among the kids as well as the mentors. In order for the kids to earn this DREAM trip to Colorado, the kids and mentors have been working mainly on fundraising. In order to kick-off fundraising, the group elected two treasurers. Tashia was elected to represent the kids going over 11 while Nedra was elected to represent the 10 and 11 year olds. Jesse Foote serves as the treasurer advisor. The kids are responsible for accumulating a certain number of points by fundraising. All are responsible for selling DREAM greeting cards and t-shirts in order to raise the required 300 points. In addition to kids selling door to door, Zach Berke organized a chili-cook off at which kids were responsible for helping set up and sell tickets. Everyone enjoyed listening to great bands and sampling the delicious and not-so delicious chili. Thanks to all for making the cook-off such a huge success! Community service is another component for DREAMers to earn a trip to Colorado. Erica Mintzer has been taking kids to the Brookside Nursing home to help them earn their ten hours of community service. In addition, kids have been working on their own by reading to younger children, helping out around Templeton and many other projects.
Colorado and Utah: DREAM Style! From KeepDREAMing, Summer 2002 by Erica Mintzer, D’02 and Nedra Keenan, Age 12
Ten kids and eight mentors from DREAM wandered through Colorado and Utah for two weeks in June and July. We did a lot of fundraising before we left in order to raise $300 per kid. Our hard work paid off because we had an amazing trip. Within the first five days we went white water rafting on the Arkansas River. We were guided by kids from inner-city Denver in a program called CityWild. Some kids ended up flipping over in the river but everyone was fine and we all had a great time. We spent many nights camping out but we think everybody’s favorite campsite was at Arches National Park because it had an amazing view of the sunset. The arches made out of sandstone were beautiful and right near our campsite. At Arches it was really hot and we could see forest fires in the distance. Another highlight of the trip was horseback riding. Some people were nervous because we each had our own horse and it was the first time for many of us. We rode up to a mountain ridge with a spectacular view. On the way back down though it was scary. We all made it back with smiles on our faces. We had three community service projects during the trip. Our favorite was hanging out with kids from the Southern Colorado AIDS Project (S-CAP). We learned what it means to be HIV positive and we made new friends. The last thing we did before heading home was go to a Colorado Rapids soccer game. We celebrated the fourth of July with fireworks after the Colorado Rapids won. That was the best thing we did the entire trip (at least we think so). THANK YOU! To the following for making High Adventure 2002 a resounding success!! St. Thomas Church; St. Barnabas Church; Gnoman Copies; Rhea Powell, Marisa Jupiter, Luisa Capasso; Elitch Gardens (Kathy); Acclaim Car Rental ; Game/Fireworks—Linda Kaboth; Rocky Mountain YMCA-Snow Mountain Ranch; Headwaters Trails Alliance (Lauren); Glenwood Caves High Mountain Institute; CityWILD; Community Church (Moab, Utah); Canyonlands Field Institute (John, Brock); Fiery Furnace Ranger Over the Hill Outfitters; Meg Stern; The Hart Family; S-CAP (DawnAnn); All Souls Unitarian Church Members of the 2002 High Adventure: Mentors: Jesse Foote, Laura Burt, Betsy Hart, Nicole Lobkowicz, Greg Hill, Erica Mintzer, Lu Neuse-Braunlich, Beth Huston Children: Chris Hicks, Nikki Salls, Dakota Salls, Terra Hadcock, Casey Hadcock, Barbara Dionne, Tina Dionne, Caitlin Day, Nedra Keenan, Alan Dunn 20
"High Adventure was the best part of the summer- definitely something every DREAMer should look forward to!!" —Nicole Lobkowicz (Dartmouth ’03)
Thank you to Laurie Larson Laurie has supported DREAM since the beginning. In 2002, she enabled DREAM to secure funding for Liza Cowan’s position, which made the high adventure possible. She also supported DREAM in other ways, and we’re so grateful for all that she has contributed to DREAM!
Thank you to St. Thomas and St. Barnabas Church Generous contributions in support of the 2002 high adventure were made by the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Hanover New Hampshire and St. Barnabas Church in Norwich. Thank you for making the high adventure a reality!
The summer of 2002 found 18 DREAMers horseback riding, white-water rafting, and serving communities across the Great American West, through Colorado and Utah. Over the six months preceding the trip, children from Templeton Court and several mentors from Dartmouth College spent countless hours planning and fundraising for an experience not soon to be forgotten. The experience was a challenge for all involved. The oldest children stepped into difficult leadership roles. All children learned basic life skills such as cooking and team work. The group focused on service to others, and was empowered through its own ability to better peoples’ situations. They also had countless new experiences and returned home scheming for next years destination. Pictures: Opposite page, clockwise: Selling DREAM cards to raise money...Mentors at Moosilauke training… This Page Clockwise from top left:: White Water Rafting, first day of volunteerting , Chris and Laura Burt, Barbara, Jesse and Chris pose, the children take a final bow after t they put on a theatrical extravanganza for the mentors, White water rafting… ! Center: All the children, mentors and families of those going on the trip get psyched for two weeks of adventure! 21
Local Programs LABs!
DREAM has a strong focus on community building between mentors and the residents of the housing development with which we work. Our track record of parental involvement shows this connection to the communities. Parents and children have always taken an active role in coordinating activities and fundraisers, and are very supportive of the program in general. This fall, Local Advisory Boards (LABs) were established to facilitate and reinforce the already strong communication and collaboration links between mentors and residents. LABs consist of mentors, parents, and housing authority staff. All three programs have advisory boards running on a biweekly basis, and thus far they have been invaluable for open communication, filling out paperwork, brainstorming ideas, and sharing concerns. The level of community that exists from this shared ownership is unique among mentoring programs.
BRAD HADCOCK— Brad Hadcock, father of Cody, Terra and Casey, has been a supporter of DREAM since its inception. “Terra’s partner really taught her how to read. She reads five books a night now, where she didn’t used to read one,” he says of his daughter’s experience so far. He is determined to build pride in Templeton amongst the residents, and is committed to the children. Encouraged by the DREAM programs, Brad started running programs of his own—a summer camping program and a woodworking program for the Templeton children. “I always take my family camping… but it was because of DREAM that I wanted to do it for the other kids. They don’t get to do that kind of stuff.” Brad adds that Templeton is definitely improving, and he thinks it’s because of DREAM. “It’s starting to really work. I’m starting to see a change. Everybody is. I don’t know any other community group like this—they should have more!”
The Alumni Organization! Section 2 Contents What is the Alumni Org?
Profiles: Andrew Trief Sarah Siegel Shuja Khan Devon Green Leah Threatte
24 24 25 25 25
Local Programs Alumni Organization
Section 2 They Just Won’t Leave! The DREAM Alumni Organization Arrives... From KeepDREAMing, Fall 2002 by Jesse Foote Dartmouth ‘01
You didn’t really think that a couple silly graduations would rid DREAM of the 01s and 02s, did you? NO WAY! Though almost everyone except for me has left the Hanover area, I can confidently say that a huge number of us alums still want to stay involved with DREAM. We want to keep in touch with our former partners and their families; we want to keep in touch with the current DREAMers; and we want to keep in touch with each other. We think there are still lots of ways we can help DREAM, so it was just a matter of time until we formed… THE DREAM ALUMNI ORGANIZATION That’s right – it’s up an’ runnin’. We’ve got officers, we’ve had a reunion, and now we even have money! Our reunion during Homecoming was small but a lot of fun, complete with a BBQ at Templeton, a planning meeting, and a social gathering on Saturday night. Our first fundraiser ever was a big success – DREAM alums alone raised $3,400, and the DREAM Inc network (which includes a lot of our parents and friends) raised over $23,000. Now we’re working on next steps and we have a lot of good ideas. We’re looking into ways of keeping track of the kids that move away from Templeton, and
Three days after graduation, Sarah Siegel ’02 got on a plane to begin training for Teach for America. After a long hot summer "practicing" her teaching at an elementary school in Houston, TX, Sarah proceeded to her very own eighth grade English classroom at West Fulton Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia. Anyone who ever drove up to Templeton in Sarah's car knows what it is like to feel welcome, and now you could have a pretty similar experience in some of the developments where her new kids live. In October she had only left school alone in her car once, and now she has made her after-school involvement official by becoming a soccer coach. 24
how to keep alums in contact with all of them. We think it’d be great to spend some money to help the kids do some traveling, either by funding trips for kids to visit their former partners or by funding a culminating experience. With alums in cities all over the country (and world) we figure that wherever DREAM goes, we’ll have people there who can help them out with places to stay and planning details. Lauren Emerson is collecting information on where DREAM alums have worked, so we can help current students with internships and jobs when they graduate, and also so we can help out the kids with jobs/internships when they start getting to be that age (how crazy will that be!). Drew Sheriff is our treasurer, and he’s also working for an investment company that specializes in nonprofits, so he’s going to help us invest our cash. We’d like to set up a fund that DREAM can apply to when they want to do something special or when they get in a crunch. So the sky is the limit! I know this alumni org has a lot of potential to do some great stuff. If you’ve got any ideas, please send ‘em my way! At the end of this year, we’ll be inducting the ‘03s into our ranks, and also the first class of UVM DREAM alums. We’re gonna keep on growing, in numbers and in the spectacularness of the stuff we do, so heads up!
From Andrew Trief ‘01—I'm here in Chicago working for Quaker Foods and Beverages in brand management. I love my job, work with great people, and get to travel a fair amount which keeps me busy. I'm playing a lot of racquet sports and just enjoying myself as much as possible. DREAM was an awesome experience for me. I made some great friendships with Dartmouth kids that I never would have met otherwise, and mentored an amazing kid as well. I have a 5x 7 of me, Juan, Mike Foote, and (my partner) Wayne grinning like school-kids in front of President Bush last year. I see it everyday and it brings back fantastic memories.
Local Programs Alumni Organization From Devon Green ‘02—I'm living outside of Boston and working in a Greek restaurant. My life is like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and then some. I'm also volunteering at the Legal Advocacy Resource Center in Boston, and I'm training for a marathon that will raise money for the American Stroke Association (it’s this May, in Burlington!). Most of the time, I'm just taking it easy and enjoying things. Hopefully, I will be going to law school (someplace warm) or teaching in the fall so I can start working for or with children instead of big fat Greeks (note: if you're Greek, I was just kidding). I thought a lot about DREAM while doing my law school essay (probably because DREAM was the main topic of my essay!). DREAM was one of the essential parts of my college experience, and I'm amazed at how it continues to shape my thinking today.
From Leah Threatte ‘01—I'm in my second year at Columbia Law School, and I'm enjoying it. Though you don't really pick a 'major' I've been doing a lot of coursework in Civil Rights and race/gender issues. On Fridays I work as a volunteer for the Legal Aid Society Education Advocacy Project- I carry a caseload of children in foster care and advocate for them to get the special education services they are guaranteed by law. I really miss teen DREAM and had a great time meeting up with Extreme DREAM when they came down to New York last spring. You'd be amazed at how many common concerns I've seen between the urban kids I work with now and the DREAM kids. For me, I think DREAM taught me that for my own happiness, no matter what I do with this law degree, I always want to be working with young people in some way.
Nahoko Kawakyu ‘99 and Kathryn Ross ‘95, were the first two AmeriCorps members to work with Templeton. Kathryn worked with Mike Foote and Judy Huang ‘01s to start the original DREAM.
At the last minute, Shuja Khan ‘02 passed his swim test and managed to join the 2002 class on the stage last June. This requirement turned out to come in handy for the Queens native later in the month, when he found himself underneath a river raft in Montana during his first ever trip out west. In July, Shuja and fellow 02 Dreamer Juan Vasquez moved into an apartment in Queens, bought nice clothes, and began their new jobs as software programmers for a Manhattan investment firm. Now, feeling that he has conquered Wall Street and at least a good chunk of his student loans, Shuja is closing in on a job teaching at a private school in San Francisco for next year, and hopes to get his masters in education and public teaching credentials the year after. 25
Thank you to Richard Williams
Thank you to Susan Kuegel
Richard Williams has been a great supporter of DREAM since the beginning. His support has come even more to the fore since the inception of The DREAM Program, Inc. The Vermont State Housing Authority, and Richard personally, took the young nonprofit under its wing and created a wide range of networking opportunities for its founders. Richard spoke many times on DREAM’s behalf to a variety of audiences in Vermont’s public housing arena and beyond. Additionally, Richard went out of his way to secure $10,000 in seed money from VSHA’s board to support DREAM’s organizational start-up. DREAM has also had the in-kind support of VSHA in the form of office space and utilities at the community apartment at Templeton. Richard has quietly and consistently played an integral role in DREAM’s success. Thank you Richard!
For years, Susan has been the go-to woman for DREAM within the Montpelier office of the Vermont State Housing Authority. She has helped the Templeton DREAM program with countless grants for trips and activities—primarily through her role as the coordinator of Templeton’s Drug Elimination Grant. In 2002, Susan also helped to direct more than $14,000 from the Drug Elimination Grant to support The DREAM Program’s start-up. She has also steadily provided support in other ways, such as forwarding relevant grant opportunities to DREAM when they come across her desk and coordinating a brief QuickBooks tutorial when DREAM was first getting its accounting systems underway. Thank you Susan!
Thank you to Debbie Violette Debbie Violette has been instrumental in the DREAM program at Templeton. Most mentors aren’t even aware of what she has done for the program, but her behind the scenes contributions have been enormous. Her work at Templeton has extended far beyond her job description as property manager, and all of the residents there can speak to how much her presence has meant to the community. She has served as a mentor and role model for many of the Dartmouth students in the program and has been an invaluable bridge between mentors and families in the program. When DREAM began to assemble its board of directors, she was an obvious choice to sit on the board. She currently sits as Board President. In the coming months, Debbie is leaving her position at VSHA, and her presence at Templeton will be sorely missed. Her impact on DREAM will continue on, as will her impact on children and families throughout Vermont.
DREAM Central Office! Section 3 Contents Incorporating Staff 2002 Research, Background Strategic Planning Housing Development Survey Further Research/Evaluations Teacher Survey Elm Street Parent Survey Technical Capabilities Summer Programs Office Long Term Sustainability Fundraising Financial Statements
28 29-30 31-32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42-51
Central Office Incorporating This past year was an incredible one of growth for The DREAM Program. DREAM incorporated as a legal entity in November of 2001, but in January of 2002 it still had no bank account, a debt of $10,000 and had not yet gained non-profit status. All our work started coming together in May, when the IRS granted DREAM 501(c)(3) status and the Central Office could finally start bringing in revenue as a tax-exempt organization. Looking back, it is amazing to think how far DREAM has come in just one short year. The steps of incorporating and becoming recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization were important hurdles for the organization to overcome. Incorporating established DREAM as a legal entity separate from the individuals who work to support our mission. It allows the organization to carry its own insurance, run its own payroll, carry its own worker’s compensation policy, and in other ways makes DREAM its own legal entity. Incorporating was also a necessary step towards gaining tax-exempt status.
Section 3 Thank you to Rick Kozlowski Rick Kozlowski was a great help to DREAM as it navigated its way through the legal process of forming a non-profit organization. Rick served as DREAM’s pro bono guide through both the incorporation and tax-exempt application processes. Thank you Rick!
Tax-exempt status (or being designated as 501(c)(3) by the IRS) is important to any charitable non-profit organization for financial reasons. The tax status not only makes the organization exempt from certain tax liabilities, it also means that donations made to the organization are tax deductible for the donors. More than an added incentive for private donors, 501(c)(3) status is a requirement for just about any foundation or government grant for which DREAM would apply. Tax-exempt status is also the only confirmation available that verifies an organization’s charitable purposes. The incorporation process was fairly straightforward. With the pro bono help of Rick Kozlowski of Lisman, Webster, Kirkpatrick & Leckerling P.C., it was a simple process to get DREAM’s papers together and get a response from the state of Vermont. The entire process from start to finish took about six weeks. The process for the 501(c)(3) application was more involved. Rick Kozlowski assisted DREAM again as DREAM applied for and waited to receive its Employer Identification Number (a prerequisite for applying for tax-exempt status), put together pages and pages of description of our organization, and waited six months to hear back from the IRS about our 501(c)(3) status. Senator Jim Jefford’s Vermont office and a tax advocate in Burlington also helped to speed-up the process. When DREAM finally heard back from the IRS employee who reviewed our application, he said that he was moved nearly to tears by the description of our programs and the communities we serve. Who knew that the IRS had emotions? The DREAM Program is now incorporated, tax-exempt, and ready to change the world.
Central Office Our Staff Mike Foote is our Programs Director, a member of
Section 3 organization to grow. She devoted her time to support and challenge the organization in its early stages of development and ensure that the oldest children in the program were able to participate in an incredible summer high adventure experience. She served as the Founding Summer Program Director, a position that was funded through the Vermont Community Stewardship AmeriCorps Program with the help of Laurie Larson and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. She also worked closely with Templeton families, helping DREAM navigate through critical issues and a changing relationship with the community. Liza previously served as the second live-in AmeriCorps member at Templeton Court during 2001. Her dedication, ability, and experience helped make DREAM a stronger organization and established High Adventure and Summer programs as an integral part of DREAM. Liza is currently working towards a Masters degree in Adolescent Risk & Prevention at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
the Board of Directors, and a cofounder of the organization. In 2002, Mike received a Lombard Fellowship from Dartmouth College to support his work with DREAM. In his sophomore year at Dartmouth College, Mike spearheaded the formation of DREAM between Dartmouth students and the residents of the Templeton Court Apartments in White River Junction, Vermont. As a member of the program, Mike played a fundamental leadership role and led the organization of trips to Boston and Colorado. He is also an Eagle Scout, and has served as an AntiPoverty Fellow with the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C. As Programs Director, Mike leads the Central Office’s provision of services to our mentors and families. He is also responsible for initiating new DREAM programs, continuously developing our program model, screening and training of mentors, and supporting Local Programs in times of need. Mike’s stubborn passion and dedication to the families in our communities have been at the core of DREAM’s spirit Kate Knight served as DREAM’s Director of throughout the organization’s existence. Strategy and Development from April through December. She funded her position from April to Jon Potter is The DREAM Program’s Executive August through a Tucker Fellowship from Dartmouth Director and a co-founder of the organization. In College and extended her stay with DREAM through 2002, Jon received a Lombard Fellowship from December with a stipend from DREAM. Kate came to Dartmouth College to support his work with DREAM. DREAM with a solid background in strategic planning He joined DREAM during his junior year at Dartmouth and organizational capacity development in and served as the first live-in nonprofits. She used that experience AmeriCorps member at Templeton to build an organizational capacity Court during the winter of his senior tool that has come to be known as year, which involved full-time work to “The Roadmap.” Kate also conducted provide after-school activities for the an extensive survey of Vermont’s children at Templeton. Jon has also subsidized housing developments, worked with a youth program in the played a critical role in the application townships around Cape Town, South for DREAM’s AmeriCorps*VISTA Africa, led hiking trips for junior high positions and other large grant school students in Colorado, and double majored in applications, and coordinated our strategic planning Applied Mathematics and Economics. As Executive process throughout the summer and fall. Her skills Director, Jon leads the Central Office staff and works and experience proved invaluable in all aspects of her to insure that DREAM is organizationally, legally, and time with the organization and particularly during the strategic planning process. Kate is now working in fiscally sound. Seattle, and in September, she will start work with Strategic Decisions Group in Boston. Liza Cowan came all the way from Kentucky in January 2002 to help lay the foundation for the new 29
Central Office Our Staff Erica Mintzer
served as the AmeriCorps member at Templeton from March until June, but with an atypical arrangement. She worked part-time with the children at Templeton and part-time helping the Central Office. Her role in assisting the Central Office focused around discussing data collection with parents so that they were comfortable with an evaluation process. She also established a link between DREAM and the local elementary, middle, and high schools. Erica graduated from Dartmouth this year and has been involved in DREAM since its inception in 1999.
Aaron Gaines served
as an intern with DREAM in Burlington this summer. Through Aaron’s own initiative, DREAM was able to secure funding from the Winooski Housing Authority for his position. Aaron’s primary interest was in grant writing, and his goal was to secure at least $20,000 in grants by the end of the summer. DREAM didn’t get replies from the foundations until the late fall, but Aaron secured enough funding to beat his goal! Aaron also played an instrumental role in maintaining DREAM’s presence at Elm Street and in sustaining the program’s momentum over the summer. In the fall, Aaron carried his experience from the summer back to the Elm Street program as he returned to UVM for his senior year.
served as DREAM’s Local Program Coordinator from August to November as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member. Zach graduated from Dartmouth in 2002 after having been a part of DREAM since his freshman year and serving for two terms as a co-chair during his senior year. As the Local Program Coordinator, Zach worked to develop resources for the mentors in the program, lay the groundwork for starting new programs, and help with DREAM’s strategic planning process. Zach found the work to be different from
Section 3 what he expected and resigned from his position in November. The position has since been adjusted to fit the changing needs of the organization and will be filled by Paul Biggs in January of 2003.
Macon Phillips serves as DREAM’s Summer Programs Director. He joined DREAM in August as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member. An Alabama native and 2000 graduate of Duke University, Macon was DREAM’s first staff member who was not previously familiar with DREAM, but his skills, personality, and presence have proven to be a perfect fit with the organization. His primary responsibilities include working with mentors to plan the 2003 High Adventures, hiring and supervising the on-site summer interns, and developing Camp DREAM. He has also been serving as a mentor with the program at Templeton Court and has been a valuable voice in DREAM’s strategic planning process. Prior to working with DREAM, Macon spent two years working in the technology sector in California. Macon is enjoying his first New England winter. Brooke
Lierman serves as DREAM’s Development Director after having joined the team in late November. In 2002, her work focused primarily on running DREAM’s first annual campaign, with which she did a fantastic job. Her position includes grant writing, donor cultivation, coordinating the quarterly newsletter, developing organizational partnerships, contributing to the web site, and coordinating the production of this annual report. Brooke graduated from Dartmouth in 2001 after serving with DREAM since her sophomore year and leading initiatives such as the girls’ retreat and the trip to Washington, D.C. Since graduation, Brooke has worked in a variety of settings including as an AntiPoverty Fellow in Washington, D.C. with the Corporation for National and Community Service and as a campaign organizer for the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN).
Central Office Research and Background
Throughout the year, DREAM collected data and information on why it is imperative not only that DREAM exist, but that it expand. We discovered an incredible lack of quantitative data on Vermont families living in housing developments that was surprising and frustrating. However, we were able to extrapolate by conducting some of our own information-gathering. The magnitude of need for DREAM’s mentoring partnerships can be demonstrated both by the size of the target populations, and by the level of un-met need of those populations. DREAM’s primary targets are children in family-based housing developments in Vermont where 100% of tenants are designated low or very-low income and receive federal subsidies towards rent. The children DREAM reaches face a host of related risk factors beyond economic disadvantage, including unstable family environments, low levels of supervision, risk-taking peer groups, exposure to increasing drug traffic, low academic performance, and lack of access to resources. The DREAM Program is the only youth organization in the state that specializes in serving this population.
Size of Population in Need Within Vermont, there are 7,819 apartment units designated for low to very-low income families (families that earn less than 50% or 30% of adjusted median income, respectively). These units represent 2.7% Key Indicators Based on data from the Annie Casey Foundation and from of total housing units in a state with a 9.7% poverty The DREAM Program, Inc. rate. A significant portion of the state’s poorest 100 families are concentrated in subsidized housing 90 80 developments. 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Percent of Percent of Percent of children living children living children living in families in poverty in singlewhere no parent National parent has families Vermont full-time, Templeton year-round employment
Percent of children with a household head who is a high school dropout
Factors of Risk and Need for Children in Vermont’s Low-Income Communities The concentration of poverty within subsidized housing developments alone indicates a high level of un-met need for children in the developments. However, poverty is highly correlated with additional risk factors for children and a lack of resources to address those risks. The Annie Casey Foundation has identified four risk categories; children living in families with any three or more of the factors are considered to be at ‘high-risk’ of “suffering negative outcomes (such as dropping out of high school, getting arrested, or having a baby) before reaching adulthood.”
The Templeton Court Apartments were the site of the first DREAM Program, and are representative of the communities with which DREAM partners. The above graph compares Templeton with state and national averages along the four indicators of high risk identified by the Annie Casey Foundation. As of November 2001, Templeton children were nearly 10 times more likely than average children to live in a household headed by someone who had not graduated from high school and more than twice as likely to live in families that lacked stable employment. Throughout the state, 12% of children were living in poverty, compared to 93% of children at Templeton.
The vast majority of children at Templeton and other subsidized housing developments live in families with three or more of the risk factors. Furthermore, these children’s level of risk is compounded by the spatial isolation of the development and reinforced by the fact that the peers of both children and parents suffer the same characteristic. 31
Central Office Research and Background
Why do these numbers matter?
Thank you to Damon Tabor
When children grow-up in poverty and at-risk circumstances, there is a cumulative affect that is hard to off-set once they have reached adulthood. Broken down to its parts, research demonstrates that poverty significantly affects children in many ways. Some of these links include: • • • •
As the Executive Director of the Vermont Mentoring Partnership, Damon has been a strong ally of mentoring programs around the state. DREAM has been continually impressed with the progress Damon has made with the young organization and is grateful for the support VMP provides. DREAM also applauds the attitude with which he approaches his work, remaining focused on providing tangible benefits for Vermont’s mentoring programs and children. Thank you Damon!
Adolescent girls in poverty are much more likely to become teen mothers Those who experienced poverty as children are much more likely to be poor as adults Poverty in early childhood is especially associated with lower cognitive scores and school achievement Increasing supervision during non-school hours reduces opportunities for youths to engage in highrisk behaviors.
Furthermore, research demonstrates that poverty significantly influences student behavior, attitudes and academic achievement: “The percentage of low-income students in a school directly affects test scores. Poverty also increases levels of community risk, which can lead to harmful behaviors and lower achievement.” In 1999, 11.0% of American students from families in the lowest 20% of the income distribution dropped out of high school; from the middle 60%, 5.0% dropped out; from the top 20% 2.1% dropped out. High School Drop-Out Rates
% Teens Who Are High School Dropouts (2000)
Is Mentoring the Solution? Mentoring has emerged over the last decade as a an effective method of preventing some of the dire consequences for which living in poverty can result. A Public/Private Venture study on Big Brothers Big Sisters of America quantified some of the amazing results that having a caring adult in the life of an at-risk child can produce. Results showed that children with a mentor: • • • • •
Are 46% less likely to start using drugs Are 27% less likely to start drinking alcohol Have 52% fewer skipped days of school Have a higher overall grade point average Are less likely to engage in sexual activity after school
Research Drawn from:
Annie E. Casey Foundation: www.childtrends.org/PDF/PovertyRB.pdf and www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/110/6/e66 Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Public/Private Ventures, September 2000; www.ppv.org When and Where do Teens Have Sex: The Role of Adult Supervision. http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/110/6/e66 32
Central Office Strategic Planning Process
DREAM’s organizational capacity and strategic planning measures greatly increased in 2002, largely due to the help of Kate Knight. Through previous work experience, Kate brought with her a strong knowledge of organizational capacity development. Using a robust organizational capacity measurement tool that can be used in a variety of nonprofits, DREAM’s strategic plan began to unfold. The tool breaks down organizational capacity into eight categories:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Board of Directors Finance and Fund Development Human Resources Information Technology Marketing Management Systems Outcomes and Evaluation Replication
Thank you to Karen and Lowell Richards Karen and Lowell have been incredibly supportive of DREAM’s efforts. Whether it’s providing advice on management issues, revising a letter to a potential donor, or providing facilities for a staff retreat, Karen and Lowell can be counted on to support DREAM’s effort. Thank you Karen and Lowell!
DREAM also built on the tool to create a comprehensive document with descriptions of the organizational documents, systems, procedures, and structures that DREAM should work towards having in place. The roadmap has proved extremely valuable as a framework for thinking about developing DREAM’s organizational capacity as well as a concrete tool for creating specific documents and policies. DREAM also engaged in an organization-wide strategic planning process that took several months to complete. Kate acted as an outside consultant to coordinate an internal scan of the organization and an external scan of DREAM’s environment. The internal scan consisted primarily of full-staff discussions concerning a variety of topics: •Priorities for the strategic planning process •Information management •Risk management •Program evaluation •Mission statement •Marketing strategies •Growth plan •Information collection Focus groups were also held with mentors, children, and parents to discuss the current state of our programs. For the external scan, DREAM conducted surveys with housing providers and college administrations throughout the state. DREAM also conducted research on current trends in Vermont, the non-profit sector, the mentoring field, public housing, service learning, and a variety of other topics. The internal and external scans were presented at a three-day staff retreat at the end of November. The retreat also provided a forum to address unfinished areas of the strategic planning process. After the retreat, Kate collaborated with the rest of the staff to compile the findings into a strategic planning document. The document is for internal use and is currently being reformatted for external presentation in the form of a business plan.
Central Office Housing Development Survey
The following are a selected few of the broad trends and specific issues that emerged from the Housing Development Scan, a two-month investigation into the characteristics of all the developments in the state of Vermont that might have been potential candidates for DREAM partnerships. Our criteria were for developments with 10 or more non-elderly units, where tenants receive a federal subsidy to assist their rent payments. The study includes both privately and publicly-managed developments across the state.
Trends by Management Type Private Managers are the Majority: The vast majority of developments are managed by private owners. Private managements frequently employ off-site managers and almost never have Tenant Service Coordinators or a budget for services. Pre-DREAM Mentoring Presence: Some developments already have fledgling mentoring programs, either with colleges, or with high schools.
Tenant Characteristics/ Demographics Refugee/Immigrant Populations: The state of Vermont is a site for refugee resettlement, primarily for individuals and families fleeing Bosnia and Vietnam, with small immigrant streams from the Congo and eastern European countries. Resettlement efforts focus in Burlington and Montpelier. Richer Tenants Qualify for ‘Low Income’ Subsidies: More people who are relatively wealthier are qualifying for low-income housing, and moving in. These residents are typically better tenants in that they work more consistently, create community, prioritize their children’s education, etc. but their presence indicates that more needy people are not receiving housing in developments. Increasing Drug Traffic in VT: There has been an increase in heavy drug traffic in Vermont over the last several years. Rutland, in particular, has experienced some bad incidents
Summary of Issues Facing Vermont Developments
m oi lle
# of Developments
Lack of Parental Supervision: Lack of parental supervision is the single most frequent concern held by development property managers and tenant service coordinators. Cycle of Poverty: Managers, especially of larger developments with higher numbers of poor residents, commented on the difficulty of putting many people with the same kinds of problems into a small and isolated space. A common suggestion was that people bearing similar stresses exacerbated each other’s issues. Lack of Access to Recreational Facilities: In addition to a lack of safe green space outdoors, Total VT Developments by County most developments do not have access to facilities, outdoor or indoor, where children can 60 play, learn, study, or participate in healthy, 49 50 constructive, supervised activities. Stigma Associated with Developments: There 40 is a significant social stigma attached to many of 30 the developments. Managers noted that at school, 19 18 children are treated differently because they live in 20 16 13 a development. 11 11 9 9 8 7 10 6 Lack of Male Role Models: Because a majority of 2 families is headed by a single woman, there are 0 not enough older, responsible men for the children to look up to and learn from.
Central Office Further Research and Evaluations
Local Program Exploration: The Local Program Exploration was a series of individual interviews and focus group meetings with over 50% of the parents, children, and mentors involved in DREAM. The impetus was to gather information that would better help us start new DREAMs. The information we gathered was invaluable. Some highlights follow. •
Parents reinforced how important it is for them to know how mentors are selected, and want to be generally assured of safety. All parents were supportive of the program. • The children were enthusiastic about many components, but particularly focused on their partners and how much they looked forward to spending time on Friday with them. • DREAM mentors shared a variety of concerns, including the need for more social time amongst mentors, the importance of transferring the program philosophy to new mentors, and the necessity of creating universal rules amongst all DREAM stake holders. • Several structural parts of the Friday program were highlighted as needing improvement. The 3pm mentor meeting was labeled as slightly disconnected and in need of an aggressive agenda with concrete goals. Similarly, the 6pm closing time with the children, though viewed as very important, was seen as needing a more organized and collaborative approach amongst mentors. • Culminating group experiences are universally viewed as positive events by everyone. Smaller group activities, however, were talked about needing more structure and planning. • New mentors were overall very enthusiastic about the program, but did not realize how emotionally intense the experience would be. They feel it is very important that the recruitment process relays the extent of the commitment as well as the intensity to which the relationships can develop. • Mentors want DREAM staff to provide more resources for individual child needs (such as ADHD, autism, and literacy Thank you to problems), and appreciate the advice and help given by the staff Lisa Christie f o r t h e Hi g h Ad v e nt ur e , Lisa is the Executive Director fundraisers, and program in of Vermont’s other state-wide general. mentoring organization, Everybody Wins! Vermont. Rather than being DREAM’s competitor, Lisa has been a Daring to DREAM: An Evaluation great ally; sharing materials, information, advice, and Katherine Meyer, a Senior at the University of Vermont, is partnering with support. DREAM is thrilled to The DREAM Program this year to perform a longitudinal evaluation as her have Lisa as a colleague. Honors Thesis. “Daring to DREAM: An Evaluation of a Local Mentoring DREAM and Everybody Wins! Program,” will investigate the effects of mentors’ sense of efficacy and Vermont have a strong future perceived satisfaction with the DREAM program on the mentees’ (1) together as they continue to academic potential, (2) perceived self-efficacy, and (3) interest in novel change the lives of Vermont’s experiences. Data collection will take place through a variety of children. Thank you Lisa! questionnaire data from participating mentors and mentees and school record data from participating mentees. Preliminary data was collected in the fall, and will be again collected near the end of the school year, in order to assess change in outcomes as linked to features of the mentoring relationship and program.
Central Office Teacher Interviews Teacher Interviews: Mr. Ashley, the Principle of the White River Elementary School, helped us arrange interviews with teachers of the children from the TempletonDartmouth DREAM program, which ended up being a very worthwhile endeavor. We sat with the teachers of each of the children we had permission to talk about. Most teachers seemed very enthusiastic about DREAM and about what the mentors are doing with the children. Some common themes that came up in the interviews were that DREAM gives the kids more to talk about with other kids, more to share, and more to write about in class assignments. Most teachers did not know the specifics about how DREAM functions, but had heard about the big trips. Teachers seemed very interested in utilizing the mentors as a resource.
Section 3 Thank you to Chip Keinath Chip’s expertise in drug and alcohol issues has long been a resource for DREAM. When DREAM began to look at growing beyond its orignal program, Chip was an obvious ally. His enthusiasm for the program has been wonderful, as has his support through connecting DREAM with a variety of networks and conferences. Thank you Chip!
We were impressed with teachers’ depth of understanding of the DREAM program. We believe this example of the presence of DREAM in the children’s thoughts and interactions is a tribute to the program’s vital and supportive role in the children’s lives.
Teacher Comments from Interviews… Teachers of some of the Templeton DREAM children had wonderful things to say about DREAM, including... [I] hear about it (DREAM) all the time. If it’s Friday, they talk about it, they love it, they’re very excited about DREAM.” They’re very excited, they’re thrilled, they love to do it…and I know it’s dependable. There are other things they’re involved in that aren’t (dependable), and this is. They know it’s Friday. DREAM gives them more positive things to share and kind of expands their horizons ... I think it’s raising their self-esteem, helping them with social skills, giving them positive role models… I think it’s been a wonderful experience for these kids. They don’t get to go on trips, hiking [outside of DREAM]…even to have another person in their lives who’s a role model. It’s been great for homework support. I did see an increase in them getting homework done. For Michael, it’s developed a lot of self-confidence. Now he has something to share during sharing time. I think they get a sense of the value for school. Especially Mike, I think he’s become a better student.
Central Office Elm Street Parent Survey
In the fall of 2002, DREAM’s Central Office came up with a simple survey for the parents of program participants living in the Elm Street Apartments. The survey was intended to provide the opportunity for all of the program’s parents to express their level of satisfaction with the way DREAM has been operating. The survey was broken down into four sections: My Children, My Community, The Program, The Mentors Parents were given the opportunity to indicate that they strongly agreed, agreed, were neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed with a series of positive statements about DREAM in each of the sections. They could also indicate that they didn’t know or that the statement didn’t apply to them. Parents were also able to write comments pertaining to each section. The results of the survey were extremely encouraging, and they enabled DREAM to make several observations about the way the program is operating. • The parents are overwhelmingly positive about the program. • Parents are excited about program expansion, but cautious about how that expansion occurs. • Parents are very positive about the mentors, but some parents have not had much contact with them. • The parents have already seen more results from the program than had been expected. Overall, the surveys indicated to us that the program is going extremely well and we are excited to continue building the program at Elm Street!
Some of the quantitative results...
DREAM is having a positive effect on my children.
I am hopeful that DREAM will have an even greater effect on my children in the future. My children are excited about their participation in DREAM.
DREAM meets an important need in my community. I am hopeful for the impact that DREAM will have in my community.
DREAM's program is meeting or exceeding my initial expectations. The DREAM mentors are meeting or exceeding my initial expectations.
Parent Comments... The program really seems to help foster the children’s' self-esteem and teaches them how to build positive peer relationships. The mentors are positive role models for all kids. Kids aren’t getting in trouble so much with having someone to do stuff with. DREAM seems to have such an enormous effect in our little neighborhood. We've seen the kids doing more constructive things rather than destructive. I think DREAM could make a tremendous difference if it expands to the entire community of Winooski. The bigger it gets, the better it will be for the community. 37
Central Office Technical Capabilities
As an organization with new challenges to face every day and two separate corporate offices to manage, not to mention mentors scattered across college campuses, DREAM has harnessed a variety of technologies to facilitate effective communication and foster a group identity. Around the domain, dreamprogram.org, the organization offers a website, email, and distribution lists that can be used within the central office and for each local program. The central office has also acquired an ID card printer which will produce unique cards for both adults and children in the program. In addition to providing increased safety and security, the cards will also assist in the development of strategic partnerships with local merchants, using a discount-card model. DREAM created a program database to hold health, safety, and contact information about both the DREAM mentors and children. It also keeps track of partnerships over time, and is an easy reference for any inquiries into the current state of a local program. Through the database, we are able to maintain accurate and up to date screening information on each mentor. The Alumni Organization will eventually use it to keep graduated mentors involved in their partners’ lives and connected to the new mentors. Drawing from this data, we are able to create lists of health concerns, emergency contact information, program partnerships, and much more for the benefit of each local program. Looking ahead, the database will be accessible online to local programs, and will, in addition to its current reports, provide DREAM “Facebooks” (picture books of program partnerships) and DREAM ID cards.
DREAMPROGRAM.ORG... Early in 2002, DREAM launched its website. Originally hosted on Zach Berke’s computer, www.dreamprogram.org was soon transferred to a professional web hosting service that cost the organization eight dollars per month. The primary function of the web site has been to host information about DREAM that would be of interest to people who want to find out more about the organization. The daily updates of the high adventure program were one highlight during June and July. Soon after gaining its 501(c)(3) status in May, DREAM added the capability of accepting donations online. Through a service called Network for Good, DREAM receives 100% of every dollar donated online. The web site was instrumental in the year-end annual campaign, both to keep donors informed and as a tool for making donations. In 2003, DREAM is committed to improving the website’s content and capabilities. It will be a stronger resource for everyone in the organization, from children up to the Board of Directors, and will be more informative for those new to the organization. Within the first few months of 2003, visitors to the web site can expect to see a new look and growing functionality. 38
Central Office Summer Programs Office As DREAM’s staff began to focus on the growth of the organization, we identified a weakness: many of DREAM’s mentors go home over summer break, leaving the local programs to operate at a bare-bones level. While Dartmouth’s DREAM benefits from the requirement that all students stay at school for the summer of their sophomore year, every other local program faces the seasonal quandary of fewer mentors compounded by a sharp increase in children’s free time. In response, the Central Office established the Summer Programs Office, hiring a Macon as the director in August of 2002, and securing funds for summer intern positions at Elm Street and Franklin Square. In 2002, Macon had two significant responsibilities: supporting high adventures at UVM-Elm Street and Dartmouth, and the exploring the initial stages of development for a summer camp. After exploring a myriad of potential solutions, the Central Office set its sights on the development of a facility that would offer a summer camp, year-round resources for all local program, and house corporate offices. Bringing this idea from brainstorming sessions to a cohesive business plan proved an arduous, yet strengthening, process. Efforts have focused on the following areas:
Section 3 Thank you to Susie Moakley As the mentoring program coordinator for the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Susie has been a great friend to DREAM. She has been a resource for mentor training and has provided advice on a number of topics. Susie has also supported many students on their way to attending Vermont’s colleges, and has helped in recruiting them to serve as mentors for DREAM. It has been great getting to know her this year. Thank you Susie!
• A market analysis of summer options available to children in Vermont • The development of a camp programming consistent with DREAM's goal of instilling excitement,
encouraging self-confidence and developing strong interpersonal skills in the children we serve. • Inquiries into the Vermont real-estate market to suitable pieces of property for a summer camp. • An examination of business considerations inherent to operating a camp to better plan budgets
and evaluate feasibility. Based on this research, DREAM has produced a business plan and will be exploring funding options in the upcoming months.
Central Office Long-Term Sustainability Developing diverse and sustainable sources of funding was and continues to be a top priority for DREAM. In 2002, this effort focused on the development of a contract between DREAM and the organizations who manage the properties with which DREAM works. Ed Willenbaker and the Winooski Housing Authority (WHA) provided critically important support throughout this development. DREAM has operated at Templeton Court since the beginning of 1999 with no formal commitment or obligations as an organization. The commitment that has driven the program forward has been on an individual and informal basis between the Dartmouth students in the program and the residents of Templeton Court. In March of 2002, DREAM started a program at the Elm Street Apartments in Winooski, Vermont. DREAM had informal support from WHA, but both parties committed to working out a more formal arrangement that could be used as a template for agreements between DREAM and other housing agencies.
Section 3 Thank you to Mike McNamara, Fred Roane, and Audra Oullette The Vermont State Office of Housing and Urban Development has been a great resource for DREAM. Mike, Fred, and Audra have all been wonderful— providing DREAM with advice, information, support, and the use of their office facilities. Without their help, communications between the two DREAM offices would have been nearly impossible. Thank you!
The process turned into something much more complex than anyone anticipated, spanning over nine months and an estimated $6,500 paid to WHA’s lawyer for his involvement in the contract negotiations. All of the time and effort was worth it, because the contract is a solid document that will serve DREAM well. The contract spells out DREAM’s obligations for program operation: from the insurance we carry to the services we provide to the rules that we establish for the children in our program. There are some collaborative elements to the housing manager’s commitment in the contract, but the primary commitment made by the managing organization is financial. The financial support is divided between Local Program activities, high adventure support, and Central Office costs such as staffing and insurance. The financial burden placed on the housing authorities is not meant to reflect the full cost of running a program, but it is set up to establish a strong financial base for the organization. The Local Programs will continue to run fundraisers as their main source of funding, the high adventure groups will still have primary responsibility for raising the cost of their trip, and the Central Office will continue to seek the support of AmeriCorps, private foundations, public institutions, and private donors to maintain solid and diverse funding streams. As the organization grows to include more and more programs, however, the contracts will represent a greater and greater portion of Central Office funding. Eventually, DREAM plans for staff time spent on grantwriting and other development activities to be minimized to the point that all of our staff members will have a focus on our programs and services. Using the template developed with WHA, DREAM signed its first contract with the Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) on December 31, 2002 to start program services at Franklin Square in Burlington. The BHA agreement is a positive sign for plans to use the contract as a basis for all of our programs. In the future, DREAM will establish contracts with each new housing manager before initiating program services. DREAM will also approach the housing managers with which DREAM currently works to determine their openness to the concept of a contractual arrangement. DREAM is also exploring the possibility of similar support from colleges. 40
Central Office Fundraising 2002
December Fundraising Campaign DREAM ran its first annual fundraising campaign during the month of December. Because of a generous donation of $10,000 to be used as a matching grant for any donations received between December 1 and 31st, DREAM was able to raise almost double what we might have raised otherwise. Brooke headed up the campaign, despite arriving a week before it began, and Jesse Foote handled the Alumni side of things, composing an alumni-specific letter. Brooke, with Jon’s help, gathered names of family and friends from current DREAM mentors, alumni and the staff and sent a letter to each, describing in some detail what the Central Office does, and how it starts and supports local DREAM programs.
Total Amount Raised, Dec 2002: Individual donors: $14, 115 Plus Matching Grant $10,000 Total: $ 24, 115 Alumni fund:
DREAM’s great success has created the potential for many opportunities. Very few non-profit organizations have such a generous and dedicated alumni organization and its existence encourages foundations to invest in DREAM because there are many other viable sources of income. Also encouraging is that every year there will be more Alumni, as mentors graduate and local programs come into being. The dedication of alumni and their friends and family is testament to the inspiring and life-changing work in which DREAM’s volunteers take part. For a complete list of donors, please see the inside front cover...Thank you!
Grants Secured for 2003 DREAM’s Summer Intern, Aaron Gaines UVM ’03, worked with Jon Potter to develop funding sources through grant writing. As a new grant writer, Aaron began by creating a database of private foundations that serve children in Vermont. He organized the database according to the compatibility of the foundations to DREAM. Variables such as the goals of the foundations, grants given in the past, the geographic area served, and limitations placed on grants all served as guides during his research. The production of this database proved to be a critical factor in the success of our grant writing efforts. Aaron completed three grant proposals during the summer. The first proposal, to The Windham Foundation of Grafton, Vermont, was turned down. The second, to The Donley Foundation in Philadelphia, was successful, resulting in a $10,000 grant for operating expenses. His third grant, a $13,000 proposal for DREAM’s High Adventure program, was funded by the Salmon Foundation of New York City. These grants will help to create many opportunities for DREAM. Additionally, the lessons we learned through the application process will be invaluable as DREAM continues to develop and diversify our funding base throughout 2003.
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC.
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” -Victor Hugo
PO Box 361 Winooski, VT 05404 Phone: 802-655-9015 Fax: 802-654-8598 Email: email@example.com