The DREAM Project

Rating: 4.75 stars   8 reviews 311

Issues: Children & Youth, Education, International, International Exchange

Location: 916 Williams Rd Unit 2 Colchester VT 05446 USA

Mission: We believe that quality, early and continuing education is the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty and change destinies. Our mission is to run inclusive, sustainable education programs for children and youth in the Dominican Republic that can be replicated throughout impoverished global communities.
Target demographics: Children ages 3-18 who are living in poverty on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
Geographic areas served: Dominican Republic
Programs: DREAM is working with 4,000 students and providing over 600,000 teaching hours per year through several different programs. We have the Montessori early education program, which works with children aged 3-7 years old, teaching them to become more independent and self-disciplined, show initiative, develop a love for work, demonstrate that social relationships are based on respect, and communicate with appropriate language according to their age and maturity level. We offer High Quality Primary Education, which includes the Young Stars afterschool program, annual summer camps, music education, several libraries, and teacher training. Our Holistic Youth Development programs include A Ganar, which works with at-risk youth (ages 17 – 24) to help them secure employment and/or enter the formal educational system while developing skills to improve their quality of life. It also includes the health education program DPV, and a Documentation program.
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EIN 03-0362565
607-216-4697
www.dominicandream.org
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered on the school year 2012-2013, It is one of the most life changing expiriences. The kids are the best teachers of life. They really make you want to be a better person a better teacher, a better example for the comunity. I will come back no doubts.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I began in January 2013 with DREAM as a librarian and special projects art teacher. I continued on in June as the summer camp art instructor and international volunteer coordinator. I most enjoyed working with the diverse individuals who created a highly passionate team at DREAM.

The strong bond I feel to the community has drawn me back to Cabarete for another year to work in coordination with A Ganar & DREAM, and US non-profit EverGift. It's easy to say that The DREAM Project will be the defining experience in my early professional career.

It was and will continue to be a wonderful experience which I would recommend it to anyone who has thought about taking a year off from the routine they are used to.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I volunteered on the summer of 2011, I was a counselor in the DREAM Project Summer camp to one of the groups. This experience changed my life completely - you not only learn about a rich culture, but become a confidant to children in the process. The kids are humble, funny, and have a desire to grow. The volunteers that come to DREAM are incredible and all have so much enthusiasm! The DR is such a happy country and Cabarete has best of both worlds: the international athletes practicing kitesurfing/surfing and volunteering, and the local population, which welcomes everyone with a GREAT smile!!!
The program is inclusive, offers a variety of trips, and will help you grow as a person. The kids love being part of the DREAM Team and so do the volunteers involved. It was honestly the best summer I've had yet.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Personally, nothing comes to mind when thinking about changing something in this organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 4 stars  

After volunteering for DREAM for the 2010 summer camp, I decided to take a leave from my full-time teaching position in Michigan and volunteer once again for the 2011-2012 school year. My goal was to improve student academic achievement and inspire my students to continue to grow and learn long after our time together. I was prepared to give everything I learned from my educational and work experience. I was not however, prepared to receive so much love and appreciation from my students and families I became friends with. I am so grateful to have this wonderful experience that I will always treasure.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Another summer with The DREAM Project. Another summer well-spent.

I feel honored to have been a returning volunteer with DREAM. I was placed in a different camp, with different kids. I love them just as much as my first year kids!

I LOVE how supportive DREAM is. I planned a water quality/environmental education project with a professor at my university. DREAM was supportive and enthusiastic from the very beginning! Not only did they allow my to plan and execute my project, they gave me help along the way. By the end of camp, I was proud at all that my group and I had accomplished.

Again, it is very hard to be gone again from my kids. Building such strong relationships and then leaving is one of the hardest things I've had to do. I think of my kids and my friends everyday and wish that we could all be back in the DR together.

For anyone on the fence about applying or accepting, I say do NOT hesitate to take this opportunity and have the best experience of your life WHILE having a positive impact on the lives of Dominican youths!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my day-to-day life

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Maybe strengthen the discipline code a little, so that students are more well-behaved

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I taught a few lessons to my kids. I have never taught before, but it felt natural. I definitely gained the skill of teaching in front of a large group of students.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I first heard about DREAM at my university. They had a table set up at our non-profit expo. I stumbled across it and decided I'd at least apply, and before too long I was accepted into the DREAM team (as I like to call it). It didn't really sink in the magnitude of what I was about to do until I said bye to my mom at the airport. I met some of the most amazing people of ever that first week during orientation. Although the workshops were very informative, I wish we would have done more teambuilding because that's what we were for those 4 weeks of camp, a team. The La Cienega team was a five star team. We had really good open lines of communication. For example, one day my co-couselors were both m.i.a. and I was overwhelmed on my own. I talked to Elena and Natalie, the dance teachers, and they worked in a nap time into dance class. All my kids loved it and were really well-behaved after. Now my kids, they are the sweetest, most adorable, loving group of kids I have ever met. What was most precious to see was how eager they were to learn. They gave 110% in their classes, persistent and diligent. In fact, my group improved on their math pre- to post- camp math tests by 18%. One experience in the classroom that I will never in my life forget is when I helped one of my kids, Dani, learn how to do division. I sat down with him and we did a few problems together, and I taught him how to use his fingers to help him. After a few questions, using the new technique, he was cruising through the questions and getting them all right. I could tell the moment he understood how to divide, like a light bulb turned on right above him. Seeing him learn right before my eyes was the most magical moment of my life. My kids and I grew together over the 4 weeks, and became very close. Some of the kids even invited me into their homes and I took them to the beach a few times to play. Needless to say, leaving them at the end was tough. The last few days went too fast, and with many teary eyes. The experience opened my eyes to the passion I have for teaching, and a new possible career path for me. Not to mention, I gained 2 families: the other volunteers I worked and lived with and my kids, Las Manzanas. The experience was the richest and most rewarding of my life, and I mean that whole-heartedly.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the relationships I built with the community and my kids. Everyone was so friendly once they found out I was working with DREAM and not just a tourist. DREAM has a really good name in the community and is really respected.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do more team building exercises during orientation. Also, make it mandatory for the local volunteers to go to camp and go to every class. The camp is short so it's crucial that everyone go and be with the kids when they are supposed to be.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the relationships I made with people the world over and with my kids.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fun, innovative, eclectic. They reintroduced me to my passion for knowledge. They were all extremely intelligent and made me want to broaden my knowledge.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide an amazing education for the children of the Dominican Republic. Every one of them would be educated and be able to rise out of their current situations to pursue their dreams.

Ways to make it better...

I had tried going out and speaking Spanish more.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

instilling American work habits/mentality. In the sense that Americans tend to make work their first priority, whereas in places like the DR family is strongly valued. Amercicanization, basically, could be the biggest problem/challenge.

One thing I'd also say is that...

local volunteers need to make it their responsibility to go to camp everyday. It was ridiculous how many times they just wouldn't show up or if they did they wouldn't go to classes with the kids.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

I came upon the DREAM Project while searching for a fun, feel good way to start off my summer. I had just graduated college, and signed up to volunteer at their annual five week summer camp. It didn't take much time for me to make connections with the community. I became passionate and determined to understand the culture, the educational system, and the incredible individuals I've been fortunate to get to know. I decided 5 weeks was no where near enough time to make a difference; so I went back to Boston to pack up my things and signed on as a year long volunteer with DREAM. It was the best decision I have ever made, I wouldn't trade it for the world. The DREAM Project is a well respected organization

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The significant academic gains I saw my students achieving while I was a year long volunteer at DREAM.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire more staff.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people I've gotten to know.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nothing short of amazing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the Dominican Republic education system.

Ways to make it better...

I was fluent in Spanish

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Money

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am an athletic director at Millwoods Christian School in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Last year we brought a high school basketball team to the DR to work hand in hand with Dream reaching out to the community. We ran basketball clinics for the locals as well as working on clean up projects and other similar projects. The Dream Project provided us exactly what we were looking for in a partner organization to work in the area. With their focus on Education, it was a perfect match for us. Shortly after we returned home, disaster struck in Haiti. As a school we raised a large sum of money to assist the releif work Dream was doing with the people of Haiti and we were more than excited to help Dream in their work. The experience has been so good, we are returning this winter with 2 basketball teams to continue our work with Dream in the DR. We are also looking into bring other group down to work hand in hand with this wonderful organization. R. Harrod

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Totally positive experience. Always had full support from Dream at all times.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Work to increase their funding so they can do more work. The work they do is great and real for the people in the area.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The care to detials we experienced.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Outstanding and matched our needs perfectly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do amazing things that truely impacts the people of Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Ways to make it better...

We could have stayed longer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Never enough funding for the great things they do.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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