The DREAM Pilot Program
To ensure that the DREAM Initiative students have all of the resources, support and services necessary for success, the Grant Committee initially decided to focus on 20 students living in South Lake County, mainly in the 34711 zip code. This zip code showed to have the highest occurrence of single parents living under the poverty line.
To provide local youth who have experienced adversity with an innovative, holistic program that will challenge them to envision and navigate a course for a rewarding future characterized by achievement, independent thought, and social responsibility through education, mentoring, tutoring, and technology.
The DREAM Initiative is a value-based community guided by integrity, respect, and trust, that supports “at-risk” adolescents in becoming responsible, contributing members of society.
The DREAM Initiative
The DREAM Initiative (Developing Role Models through Engagement, Achievement, and Mentorship) scholarship program is designed to focus on several key issues in the South Lake community. Lack of support offered to adolescents who have undergone “adverse childhood experiences” proves to be an ever-growing, projected indicator of larger societal problems in adulthood. The Community Foundation of South Lake has partnered with credible, community non-profit organizations to offer a comprehensive program to meet the needs and provide support to local “at risk” adolescents. The Community Foundation of South Lake has worked closely with Lake County Schools and other trusted entities to identify youth and work with local non-profits to ensure successful implementation of the program and services.
Our efforts are also to continue partnering with other non-profits in the community to bring more to our DREAMers who are experts in their fields. They are assigned a program coordinator employed by the Community Foundation of South Lake to perform as a liaison for the youth & families and NPO’s, directly communicating and collecting data from them.
Our DREAM youth are middle and high school students. They come from challenging home-life situations that may include single parenting, absence of both biological parents, low income, domestic violence, sexual or emotional abuse, or lack of educational guidance, among many other obstacles. Our DREAMers are fighting every day to overcome their adversities to reach success. Our goal is to surround these DREAMers with a support system that includes fulfilling basic needs, academic resources, mentors, tutors, counseling, extracurricular activities, new experiences and more to promote their success level.
To inspire “at-risk” youth to reach higher than they believe is possible
To provide on-going guidance and support to the DREAMers
To grow the program resources and network of service providers to best serve the program participants and eventually reach more teens (who have experienced adversity).
- Increase in Graduation Rates
- College Enrollment
- Career Readiness
- Quantitative Results/Indicators of Success
The DREAM Initiative will measure success in a variety of different ways. The students will be evaluated regularly on leading indicators of success: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. Additionally, the students will be evaluated based on their GRIT score, which is the measurable ability to focus on long-term goals and overcome obstacles along the way. Research indicates that “GRIT” is a better predictor of success in school and careers than IQ. (Duckworth, Quinn et. al. 2012) All student evaluations will occur monthly and quarterly.
It is our hope that the leading indicators will provide warning signs, allowing for a proactive approach to improvement before problems occur. Those indicators we hope to prevent are: poor attendance, lack of activity and program participation, missed mentor meetings, disciplinary problems, incarceration, decline in GPA, failure to meet graduation requirements, and dropping out.
- GRIT: the measurable ability to focus on long-term goals and overcome obstacles along the way
- 40 Developmental Assets (Support, Empowerment, Boundaries, Commitment, Positive Values, & more)
- GPA, Attendance, Participation, Hours spent with Mentor or completing activities