DREAM believes that holistic youth development is key to ensuring that youth have the opportunity to live safe, healthy, and productive lives, which ultimately strengthens the communities in which they live. Youth development programs protect the basic rights of vulnerable youth, encourage personal growth, promote positive behavior change, and develop future leaders. Our programs foster healthy decision-making at critical moments so that youth do not just survive - they thrive.
HOW IT WORKS
DREAM’s holistic youth development programs address the needs of youth 12-25 years old in four key areas: sexual and reproductive health; job training, life skills and entrepreneurship; university scholarships; and music education.
Let’s talk about it. Unplanned pregnancy and risky sexual behavior are a direct result of a lack knowledge about sexual health and relationships. The Deportes para la Vida, Unica and Luchadores por el Cambio programs work with groups of youth and adolescent males and females using sports, games, and peer leaders to encourage healthy decisionmaking.
Nearly 1/3 of Dominican youth are unemployed and this alarming statistic is a result of high drop-out rates and a lack of key skills. The A Ganar program equips youth with job training, life skills, and the entrepreneurial abilities necessary to secure a job or return to school. The DREAM network of partners and supporting businesses offers both internships and opportunities that can keep youth off the streets and actively participating in a future of responsible employment.
Dominican culture and music go hand in hand, but few programs exist for students to study music and develop their creative talents. The Music Education program trains students in contemporary music and hosts the iASO Bachata Academy, supporting the development of future musicians and local talent.
Less than half of college-age students enroll in university, and cost of attendance is a primary factor. In collaboration with key donors, qualified students receive more than 30 full and partial university scholarships as well as a variety of skill-building workshops to help them succeed in their degree programs.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 5 communities hosted the A Ganar program, reaching 183 students
- 28 university scholarships
- 129 HIV tests given to DREAM youth, DPV coaches, and community members
- 1,195 participants in DPV, Unica and Luchedores por el Cambio sexual health programs in the past year
- 94 students enrolled in Bachata Academy and Contemporary Music Program
- 77.5 hours of private lessons and 7 hours of group lessons each week
"After participating in the DPV program for young men, I learned that not everything is resolved through violence. I learned to control myself and to respect my partner and others around me. I liked learning about machismo and I now understand that your gender does not make you better than anybody else. This program is important for my community because we can prevent adolescent pregnancy at a young age and learn to respect everyone regardless of their background." – Yandel Báez, High School Student
"A Ganar was a new and exciting experience for me because I used to be shy. In each phase of the program I learned about teamwork, which helped me overcome my shyness with others. Every day I got more and more excited to attend and do well in my classes. At first, I didn’t understand anything in English. Thanks to my teachers and the confidence they gave me, I easily take customers’ orders in English at my job at Waterfront Hotel (where I also did my internship). I am where I am today because of A Ganar!" – Saúl García Castillo, A Ganar graduate