Youth Development

DREAMS FOR KIDS DC

aka DFKDC   |   Washington, DC   |  http://dreamsforkidsdc.org/

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 info

2014

Executive Director

Glenda Fu

Main address

1875 Connecticut Avenue NW 10th Floor

Washington, DC 20009 USA

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Formerly known as

DREAMS FOR KIDS INC

DREAMS FOR KIDS INC

DREAMS FOR KIDS INC

EIN

61-1716117

Cause area (NTEE code) info

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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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

DFKDC events/clinics

DFKDC events are adaptive sports clinics held once or twice a month for children with disabilities aged 4 – 24. Through our events, those with physical and developmental disabilities are able to come off the sidelines and unite with their peers. A lot of these children have been bullied in schools, and are left out of activities with able-bodied children. The empowerment and self confidence gained through the clinic will carry over from the field to the home, classroom, and the community, allowing them to realize that their disability will not prevent them from fulfilling their dreams. Each child is partnered with a volunteer to learn the essence of teamwork, have a mentor, and also bond over a sense of camaraderie.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Budget
$15,000

Throughout the year, Dreams For Kids DC provides a wide variety of adaptive clinics for children with physical and developmental disabilities— from waterskiing and football to cooking and Prom. The DFKDC Holiday Celebration is more than a seasonal party; it is our culminating year-end event that gives our participants (the beneficiaries of our free DFKDC clinics) the opportunity to "pay-compassion-forward”. Participants engage in a variety of philanthropic activities at the Holiday Celebration including: wrapping presents for underprivileged children; decorating desserts for homeless shelters; making holiday cards for Veterans, and more. The DFKDC Holiday Celebration is a time for fun and philanthropy, and a reminder that their disabilities will not hold them back from reaching their potential.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Budget
$15,000

DFKDC's mentorship program that provides communication, leadership, and vocational skill building for young adults with developmental delays and/or physical disabilities in the DC area. The program concept derived from the need to provide DFKDC participants with resources to expand and grow after their time in DFKDC clinics. Over the course of 3 months, the program offers 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 seek for participants to walk away with meaningful relationships, new confidence, and real skills that allow them to pursue independence and gainful employment.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Budget
$9,000

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

K-12 (5-19 years),Adolescents (13-19 years),People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In which field trips equals DFKDC adaptive clinics

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

K-12 (5-19 years),Adolescents (13-19 years),People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Field Trips = DFKDC Adaptive Clinics

Number of children with disabilities receiving early intervention services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities,People with intellectual disabilities,People with physical disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of participants in database that have been served.

Total repeating participants (youth with disabilities) served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities,People with intellectual disabilities,People with physical disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

total volunteers served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults,Young Adults (20-25 years) ,People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total Repeating Volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults,Young Adults (20-25 years) ,People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total participants (youth with disabilities) who attended DFKDC Adaptive Ice Hockey

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

K-12 (5-19 years),Adolescents (13-19 years),People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average Cost/Participant In Kind and Cash for 1 year of clinics and 1 holiday program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

K-12 (5-19 years),Young Adults (20-25 years) ,People with disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the average cost per participant (in kind and cash) to DFKDC for 1 year of clinics and 1 holiday program. All programs are 100% FREE for participants.

Total number of participants who attended DFKDC Adaptive Water Sports

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities,People with intellectual disabilities,People with physical disabilities

Related Program

DFKDC events/clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

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. <br/><br/>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. Over a range of eight years, Dreams For Kids DC has served a total of 983 participants and 1726 volunteers. In 2018, we served 269 total unique participants and 308 total unique volunteers (90 of these participants were completely new and 177 were returning participants from previous years). 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 Rivera, 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.

In 2017, 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 launched the second installment in January 2018. We had one mentee each from our 2017 and 2018 sessions gain employment! We seek for participants to walk away with meaningful relationships, new confidence, and real skills that allow them to pursue independence and gainful employment.

Financials

DREAMS FOR KIDS DC
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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DREAMS FOR KIDS DC

Board of directors
as of 6/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rachel Merritt

Madison Government Solutions

Term: 2016 - 2018

Andrew Horn

IntrigueAgency, AbilityList

Christi Main

The Crypsis Group

Tom Prather

Blue Wave Media

Attie Poirier

Microstrategy

Kiel Chesley

Cradle Systems

Seye Iwarere

US Patent & Trade Office

Chloe Stewart

Teresa Fox

United States Air Force

Madison West

MAXIMUS Foundation

Kosta Dionisopoulos

Delta Produce

Jay Chesley

US Office of Personnel Management

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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 and 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

Keywords

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