Youth Development

DREAMS FOR KIDS DC

aka DFKDC

Washington, DC

Mission

Dreams For Kids DC provides life-changing activities that empower children with physical and developmental disabilities to unite with their peers and realize their potential.

Notes from the Nonprofit

All too often children with disabilities are isolated and don't have adequate opportunities to partake in physical activities that other children are able to experience daily. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by the quality and abundance of volunteer support we offer. Each of our clinics ensures a 1:1 ratio of volunteer to participant.

Ruling Year

2014

Executive Director

Glenda Fu

Main Address

1420 N St NW, Unit 812

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Keywords

dreams, kids, dc, disabilities, developmental, physical, children, empowerment, goals, activity, adaptive, clinics, sports, underserved, underprivileged

EIN

61-1716117

 Number

1398492313

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

There are very few communities and programs that allow children with disabilities to interact with their peers in a comfortable environment where they are not subject to insensitivity. With over 5,132 people with disabilities aged 5 – 17 here in DC; 46,656 in Maryland; and 62,074 in Virginia; it is essential that DFKDC fills the void in their lives and provide opportunities to unite with their peers. DFKDC clinics celebrate all abilities and parents have expressed that their children feel more confident and social after the event. Many of these people have multiple disability types. In the last few years, as there has been greater attention on exercise and health (Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign being one), we recognized the importance of providing activities for children with disabilities not only t

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

DFKDC events/clinics

DFKDC Holiday Celebration

Your Path To Success

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

All too often children with disabilities are isolated and don't have adequate opportunities to partake in physical activities that other children are able to experience daily. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by the quality and abundance of volunteer support we offer. Each of our clinics ensures a 1:1 ratio of volunteer to participant.

Participating in challenging activities with peers increases and reinforces a child's positive belief in their own abilities, building immeasurable confidence and self-esteem. [Data taken from the 2014 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium]. Currently, there are many communities for families with physical and developmentally disabled children; however, only one group (KEEN) provides a variety of recreational activities for these children. Other organizations segregate activities and support on the type of disability. There is a need to provide more and a larger variety of activities on a regular basis. Adaptive physical clinics help move children with disabilities off the sidelines to engage in sports, arts and other recreational activities. When adaptive programs are inclusive of all ages and all disabilities, as well as and non-disabled peers and siblings—it allows those with disabilities to grow beyond the segregated settings that have existed for so many years. This variety and inclusion gives children a chance to try different sports, adds to the skills developed, and increases the likelihood of finding activities for lifetime participation, which can lead to growth in social skills. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by the quality and abundance of volunteer support we offer. Each of our clinics ensures a 1:1 ratio of volunteer to participant. This amount of attention helps build confidence in the participant, and helps them 'come out of their shell'. These volunteer-participant relationships also continues outside of DFKDC. We have had many parents request to contact their volunteers to further the bond the volunteers/participants created at DFKDC clinics; thereby, creating a mentorship relationship much like Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

This also shows the impact of DFKDC on volunteers, and the importance of giving back and the impact young adults can make. DFKDC events accommodate a large number of participants [depending on the activity], giving 50 – 150 children the opportunity to attend. DFKDC also focuses on organizing highly visible clinics that garner a lot of interest and media attention--to enable us to promote and spread awareness for adaptive events in the area. DFKDC's clinics range from water-skiing to horseback riding to partnering with professional sports teams such as the Washington Capitals, Washington Redskins, and D.C. United.

We have over 700 participants and 1200 volunteers in our database. Through our programs, we are able to accomplish our goals of creating empowerment.

We perform monitoring and evaluation through pre-event and post-event surveys via Survey Monkey. The most pertinent questions we ask are quantitative and qualitative, including: the feelings of confidence, inclusion, and social interaction of the child before and after each clinic. We also collect testimonials from parents and/or children who are able to communicate their progress over the past 5 years. Currently, we have a catalog of testimonials from 2011 highlighting the different responses of parents and their participants post clinics. We also have a database of every participant, parent, and volunteer, and which clinics they have attended since 2012--allowing us to analyze the frequency of each individual's attendance; and which of our clinics are most attended/popular. For instance, our DFKDC Ice Hockey clinic has grown in size each year, from 80 participants in 2012 to 110 participants in 2015. We anticipate that even with a 30% drop out rate (this is our average drop out rate) we will still have 80 – 90 participants for this year's baseball clinic. We work in the drop out rate but extending the registration to 120 participants.

We have seen proven successes from the pre and post clinic surveys, indicating increases in confidence level and social engagement of the participant after the clinics. Furthermore, it is important for us (as an organization) to keep changing our clinics to impact the child; therefore, in our surveys we ask for feedback (both positive and negative) in order to transform our clinics to better suit the needs of our children. For instance, educating our volunteers to better encourage and empower the participants at clinics through better training and orientation.

A few examples of qualitative successes we have seen are:

1) Participant Michael Riveras, who has been a DFKDC participant since 2011, running for school president (and winning) in 2014 due to the confidence he has built to look past his physical disability (through DFKDC clinic attendance and volunteer encouragement)

2) Participant Liana Flynn (developmental disability and social anxiety, participant since 2011) finally getting on water skis for the first time at DFKDC's 2015 waterskiing clinic, after 4 years of repeated attendance. Liana's parents cried tears of joy as it was the first time she was brave enough to go in the water and allow water skis to be put on her, due to the engagement of DFKDC volunteers and repetitive attendance.

3) Participant Jerry Carroll Jr (participant since 2011 who has leg impairments, 18 years old as of 2015) graduated to becoming a volunteer for younger participants. Jerry always requests to volunteer and show younger generations (of disabled children) how to look past their obstacles and achieve success-- with the motto "I know I can". Jerry has taught other older participants who have disabilities to also take his lead and give back as a volunteer after being empowered as a participant for many years.

Earlier this year, DFKDC and the EDC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC) teamed up to create a mentorship program entitled "Your Path To Success", which provided communication, leadership, and vocational skill building for young adults with developmental delays and/or physical disabilities in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. The program concept derived from the need to provide DFKDC participants with resources to expand and grow after their time in DFKDC clinics. Congruently, the EDCJCC has been seeking more ways to engage their constituents with disabilities. Currently, in its pilot season, we had 6 mentors (volunteers) and 6 mentees (participants). Over the course of 6 months, the program offered participants both skill-building workshops on topics such as resume development, interviewing, and formal e-mail communication as well as off-site group community service projects, site visits to places that employ those with disabilities, and opportunities to network. We are excited to launch our second YPTS session in January 2018. We seek for participants to walk away with meaningful relationships, new confidence, and real skills that allow them to pursue independence and gainful employment.

External Reviews

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Financials

DREAMS FOR KIDS DC

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity