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.
Why does the Dominican Republic have the highest teen pregnancy rate in Latin America? Unplanned pregnancy and risky sexual behavior are a direct result of a lack of 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 to peer youth leadership to encourage healthy decision-making. Click here to learn more.
High drop-out rates and a lack of key skills have led to a disproportionate number of out of school and unemployed youth. 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. Click here to learn more.
Academic based programs work best when complimented by more creative pursuits. The Music Education program trains students in contemporary music and hosts the iASO Bachata Academy, the only of its kind. Click here to learn more.
Once a DREAMer works his or her way through the myriad of programs, then what? In collaboration with key donors, qualified students receive 24 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
3 communities hosted the A Ganar program, reaching 152 students
24 university scholarships
99 HIV tests given to DREAM youth, DPV coaches, and community members
57 youth community leaders certified as peer facilitators for Deportes para la Vida, Luchedores por el Cambio and Unica
129 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