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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dare to Dream Children's Foundation

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Foster Care, Youth Development - Religious Leadership, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: We pick up the pieces of broken lives of at-risk youth to meet their emotional and spiritual needs - enabeling them to turn the tide of destructive behavior by providing educational enrichment programs to prevent crime and overcome problems of drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, the school drop-out rate, and teen suicide. Most of the youth we serve are fatherless or have a mom working two jobs. Many have no guidence from a parent and end up in jail or on the streets of our cities.

Target demographics: at-risk youth and the homeless in group homes, detention centers and orphanages

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1,000 students

Geographic areas served: Dallas Texas and throughout the US

Programs: crime prevention and spiritual development programs including one-on-one mentoring, workshops, and recreational activities. Youth (ages 10 - 18) are provided referrals to job opportunities, positive youth groups, a church, or a school of higher education. With community support we provide Christmas activities and gifts to youth with special needs. Most of our youngsters are fatherless and from low incoming families. We serve more than 1,000 children a year.Please see www.daretodream-dallas.org

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Dare to Dream is an outstanding organization with a true heart for changing the lives of troubled youth for the better. A cadre of dedicated volunteers under the guidance of founder Jan Tennyson give countless hours each week to bring a positive message of hope for a more productive life to these youth who are caught up in the restorative justice system.


Board Member

Rating: 5

Dare to Dream Children’s Foundation is 27+ years and still going strong. Volunteers across the land have made this ministry what is today. This awesome ministry has opened the door to many wounded and broken hearts across the world. With that said, many have become productive and amazing citizens across the nation.

1 J Lee S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dare to Dream Children's Foundation has been a part of my family for over twenty five years. I came to know the founder (Jan Tennyson) from the YMCA Casa shelter. I was an adolescent counselor working with sexually abused, physically abused and neglected youth ages 6-18 years old who lived with challeging life issues. Jan was one of the many programs that came to provide services that encouraged the children to "Dare to Dream." Through this particular program and more than the others we used, I learned as an adolescent counselor, that Dare to Dream was really encouraging the youth at the YMCA Casa Shelter. Many of the youth inn the shelter would always as; "Where is that lady who plays the key board with the dream music!" I later joined the program to help hurting children not hurt! As I learned more about Dare to Dream Children's Foundation, I got more involved and begain to be a substaining contributor to finacially support the program by deducting each pay period a percentage. The program gives annual or as needed reports on your contributions, which helped me feel good about where the finacial contributions go. (All donations are tax deductable) Dare to Dream have served youth programs all over the world as far as Russia and Romania just to name a few! I love this ministry and its founder who is loving, caring and very supportive to greeds and cultures. I encourage all who look to financially support a childrens program to, choose Dare to Dream Children's Foundation...over 25 years of caring for the needs of challenged youth and famlies. For more information visit Dare to Dream online at www.daretodream-dallas.org

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known Dare to Dream Foundation for 20 plus years in various capacities; viewer, donor, volunteer, advisory board member, presently board member and blessed friend to Jan Tennyson!

I was working for the YMCA-Casa Shelter as supervisor in 1989 when I first knew of this organization. The founder shared her story of her life challenges and dreams as a foster child and dared our clients to do the same. It was refreshing to close our eyes and hear her play on her portable keyboard; "Twickle, twinkle little STAR..." While our eyes were closed Jan spoke in a very soft assuring voice "See what you want to be in life and what its going to take for you to do it" and after we open our eyes! We share our vision with one another. Jan, ask me (a staff-Adolescent Counselor) what is your dream Jimmie, well i was just called to preach God's word and still serving as deacon at my church...I said, "I would like to be a pastor some day!" Well, some 11 years later and presently the Senior Pastor at my church...my vision came true. Jan has always been an encourager to me and my family and to everyone I have witnessed her meet! Dare to Dream Foundation's founder has blessed everyone who comes in contact with this ministry....To Dare To Dream and share the love of Christ!

Young people who has been encouraged to dare to dream, I can only imaging the many who have had their dreams and visions come to past! Thousands on thousands will say that the power of the Dare to Dream program has encouraged them to dream big, set goals and be responsible to take measures for achievement. I have and are being an encourager to others in my church and on my job, using the DTD methods.

Comments ( 1 )


jan Tennyson 11/12/2011

Thank you so much for your comments on the effectiveness of Dare to Dream. It is an honor to serve. Jan Tennyson

1 jan Tennyson

Board Member

Rating: 5

Growing up in the foster-care system in New York City has caused me to be passionate about children subjected to abuse. I started Dare to Dream Children's Foundation in 1987 and in 2007 earned the Governor's Lonestar Achievement Award. Knowing that there are people in the community who care and will be involved in helping those less fortunate gives them hope for a positive tomorrow. More at www.daretodream-dallas.org

Comments ( 1 )


jan Tennyson 12/26/2011

It was a wonderful Dare to Dream session this past Thursday at a Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center. Most of the youth never had a chance to sing Christmas carols with their families. For the first time, many teenagers were smiling and lifting their voices singing The First Noel, Silent Night, Away in the Manger and more. When asked what they liked most about our volunteer time with them - one boy said "I guess we do really still have some joy inside." Another said, "You've reminded us of the real meaning of Christmas.