Who are DREAM volunteers?
The Yearlong Volunteer Internship Program is the heart and soul of The DREAM Project. As any former DREAM Volunteer can tell you, there are few ways that are more effective in finding yourself and understanding your true capabilities. From simply introducing new reading techniques to a struggling student, organizing a soccer tournament, developing a new ESL curriculum, or serving as a role model, volunteers provide new opportunities to students throughout the school year. Whether they are starting out in their careers or are already seasoned professionals, DREAM volunteers dedicate their time and talents to DREAM’s mission while also developing cross-cultural and professional skills through their work in the Dominican Republic.
DREAM’s goal is to bridge a Volunteer and Internship Program. We believe in the essence of the truly selfless act of being a volunteer and we would like all of our full-year interns to engage in experiential learning and develop concrete professional skills that can help them better market themselves in their careers. View our FAQs to learn more.
What do DREAM Volunteers do?
Education Volunteers are experienced teachers or candidates seriously interested in a teaching career. This track will focus on Reading and Math teaching techniques in an elementary classroom. This program will be for experienced teachers who can help us train our local staff, as well as individuals who are seriously considering teaching as a career, and this experience will help them be more effective educators in the future through consistent development.
Program Development Volunteers are individuals who are interested in learning about the inner workings of a non-profit. They will be attached to 1 or 2 programs within DREAM and support a number of activities, from teaching directly to the students to admin tasks that will help them see how an NGO on the ground operates. Participants will receive professional development and mentoring during their appointment.
What are the benefits?
The volunteer program can offer teaching and classroom experience, curriculum planning, leadership opportunities, non-profit and educational administration experience, professional development in the non-profit sector, opportunities to travel the country and to form relationships in the community. View our Volunteer Testimonials to see how our program has benefited past DREAM volunteers.
How to Apply
Dates: One full year, starting January 7, 2019 or August 21, 2019
Deadline to apply: April 30, 2019
Apply: Online Volunteer Application. Include 2 letters of recommendations or send separately to:
The DREAM Project,
13 Winter Lane
Milton, VT 05468
Fax: +1 (815) 550-1727
All applications must be completed in full. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply early!
There are two 12-month volunteer terms:
January 7 – December 14th, 2019. Breaks are included in June and August.
August 22, 2019 to August 3, 2020. A 3-week break is included during the winter holidays, along with another break in June.
January 7 – December 14th, 2020. Breaks are included in June and August.
Volunteers participate in the summer program, running for 5 weeks from late June to the end of July, at no additional cost.
Intermediate to advanced Spanish skills are required. You must be able to communicate effectively in Spanish with Dominican students and teachers. Native speakers are encouraged to apply.
Must be at least 21 at the start of the program.
Must have experience teaching or working with children and/or youth.
Must have a valid passport for your country of origin.
Must complete a background check.
DREAM asks that each volunteer commit to fundraising a specific amount to cover their expenses, minus any fellowship funding provided by DREAM. The total cost to volunteer will be stated in your acceptance letter. The average costs to DREAM for supporting a volunteer in Cabarete (living in a studio apartment and receiving a monthly stipend) is $1,000/month, but most volunteers receive fellowship funding and end up paying much less.
These costs include pickup and drop off at the Puerto Plata airport, accommodations in a studio apartment (volunteers are required to live in DREAM housing), all training workshops, oversight at the local schools, volunteer cultural excursions, and a living stipend (which is allocated to cover expenses such as cell phone use, transportation to work sites, laundry, etc.). Volunteers will also receive a cell phone and a helmet, to be returned at the end of the program. Please note this fee does not include airfare, health insurance or Dominican Immigration fees, such as entrance fee of usd$10 and exit fees for stays over 30 days.
Volunteers are asked to fundraise and solicit grants to help cover the total cost. We have created a Volunteer Resource Guide to help volunteers look for funding. The DREAM Project does have a limited fellowship fund for those who qualify, as well as two full Dominican Heritage Scholarships for those of Dominican descent for the yearlong program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, first come, first serve. To learn more, please visit our fellowship page. The costs may also be reduced based on further qualifications, such as a teaching certification and Spanish fluency. Please state on your application if you are teacher certified or a native Spanish speaker. The final fee must be paid in full to DREAM before your arrival in the Dominican Republic.