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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Civil Rights, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Dreams for Kids trains and mentors youth as social entrepreneurs, providing practical education, real world training and contemporary job skills as they create enterprises that provide solutions to society’s critical social issues.

Results: We have launched Youth Enterprise Solutions (YES), a national program of social entrepreneurship learning for youth, hosted on our education partner's Global Learning Models, delivered by teachers in school and by trained mentors after school. The 13 lesson curriculum includes The Clearing, which helps youth clear conflicts and trauma of their past and present, as well as practical business skills such as marketing, sales, making a pitch, creating business plans, act. At the conclusion of the curriculum, students can apply their new skills to create a social enterprise, or work on an existing one, and be enrolled in our new Center for Social Entrepreneurship, to feature the resources of leading entrepreneurs and academics.

Target demographics: Youth in U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6,000

Geographic areas served: U.S, with local concentration in Illinois and Washington DC.

Programs: Youth Enterprise Solutions, (YES), a program that provides students with a 13-lesson social entrepreneurship curriculum that was created by nationally recognized entrepreneurs and academic leaders and is delivered through peer to peer mentoring and reinforced by professional mentors in the community and our trademark, We Are the Change® conferences. Youth-led Social enterprises, Extreme Recess, provides adaptive sports activities for kids with disabilities and Holiday for Hope, a global event for homeless children, held each December.

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Scott160

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids has never let itself be tied down by one mission. They have grown and morphed as the needs of the community presented themselves. They work tirelessly for all children in need- both the underserved and the affluent. Their most recent endeavor has given me hope for this next generation. Let's set the not-for-profit world AND the business world on their ears with a new crop of leaders that see the value in successful, sustainable business models that give back to the community. I can't wait to see the fruits of their labors at work in our city and worldwide.

Comments ( 1 )

Tom Tuohy Thank you for recognizing our goal and being part of our mission. Our new Youth Enterprise Solutions ( YES) program launches this fall and gives us all hope for the generation we have been waiting for!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids puts on great programs throughout the year. The impact that each event has on all of the children involved is immense. The first time I volunteered for Dreams for Kids, I was blown away by the entire event. Every child in attendance had a smile on their face, and I was so grateful I was apart of it. Getting involved with DFK was one of the best decisions I've ever made!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids, Inc. has been one of my favorite nonprofits for years. I learned about them by chance in 2008 and have been involved as a volunteer ever since. From its humble beginnings at Women/Children's shelter creating Christmas, to an organization that now celebrates Christmas with a 1,000 kids! Also DFK has evolved with the times by creating Extreme Recess, the Dream Leaders program, Social Entrepreneurship, and DFK organizations throughout the USA and other countries around the world. They truly have brought back the concept of HOPE to all that participate one day a year to every day of the year. I look forward to continuing to assist in the evolution of DFK as we continue to meet the needs of our communities and beyond.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/22/2017

Thanks for all the years of service and contribution Ron! You have a made a big difference!

Sandy50

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I think of Dreams For Kids, the image that comes to mind is a pebble thrown into water and the numerous ripples that come from just one pebble. This is an organization that is committed to the “ripple effect.” The world is truly a better place, as those individuals who have had the opportunity to work with Tom Touhy and the staff at DFK will surely make an impact far and wide. Dreams For Kids is a smart organization with a big heart! Check out the impressive Dream Leaders on the website – no doubt their ripple will be powerful and lasting!

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/22/2017

Thank you Sandy! You are part of that ripple!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the mother of a 12 year-old boy with autism. Finding recreational opportunities for my son and our a family is very challenging to say the least, and then we found Extreme Recess! Spencer had the amazing experience of snow skiing this winter, something that I would have never thought possible. Dreams For Kids/Extreme Recess not only provided a great day of skiing, it gave me renewed hope for the future - anything is possible! The sky is the limit for my guy! The Extreme Recess volunteers and staff were not only only knowledgeable, but displayed a level of compassion and patience that was heart-warming. Can't wait for the the summer ski program at Twin Lakes!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've known Tom for many years and have had the privilege of watching DFK grow and change. I have also been able to help support some of the events both financially and by recruiting volunteers.

As someone who has worked in the non-profit sector for many years, I appreciate DFK's client-centeredness and fiscal responsibility. There is a level of excellence, efficiency and common sense that is far too rare in the NFP world.

Donor

Rating: 5

Tom and his staff truely impact the lives of his kids and their families. Trust and credibility are two things that stand out about DFK. Those in need are well served with and amazing passion from all who come in contact with DFK.

Bob G

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Life takes you in many directions. I was fortunate to have been introduced to Tom Tuohy to learn more about Dreams for Kids and it's Social Entrepreneuship program. I quickly learned how valuable this program is in helping close the widening skills gap that exists in today's economy and future economy. I am also a non profit professional who is honored and humbled to be able to spread the Dreams for Kids story and raise awareness of this initiative across the Chicagoland business community.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/03/2017

Thank you for this great review, Steve!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization doing great work. I helped at the 2016 Holiday for Hope event. Inspiring.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids is an amazing organization. The Dream Leaders Social Entrepreneurship program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to create their own social enterprise. Is their any greater service for our youth, than providing them with the education and opportunity to share their unique talents and ideas to create positive change in the world? Dreams for Kids is doing just that, and an incredible organization!

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/03/2017

Thank you so much!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Passionate. Driven. Committed to access, equality, and opportunity, Dreams for Kids is one of the purest organizations in the world -- by this I mean, they exist to serve and they keep all activities focused on impact and outcomes.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/22/2017

Thank you so much for this recognition!