Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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

10 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!!

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.

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.

spoli13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dreams For Kids is one of the most amazing organizations I know and am honored to be a volunteer! DFK and its founder, Tom Tuohy, have been helping the students at my school for the past 16 years, with all sorts of adapted sports, adapted water skiing and scuba diving. DFK helps build self-worth and self esteem with those individuals who need it the most! This is truly one of Chicago's finest!!

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Tom Tuohy 10/08/2016

Thank you Ron. You and ICRE inspire us all every day, and for so many years. You all represent the beauty of what is possible in life!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about Tom Tuohy, the staff or volunteers at Dreams For Kids. The work, programs, and special events that they offer to so many people is immeasurable. I met Tom and DFK more than a decade ago when I got my students at ICRE involved in a weekend sports program through DFK and RIC. Since then, not only has Dreams For Kids been instrumental with assisting my students on 6 life-changing adapted scuba diving trips with Diveheart, they have also gotten some of my students to become mentors in the Dream Leaders Program. Besides all the good things that have been afforded to my students, Dreams For Kids has brought so much joy and hope to countless other kids locally, nationally and internationally, including having fundraisers to send wheelchairs to needy children in Africa. I wish nothing but the best for Tom Tuohy and Dreams For Kids as they continue to change lives...one kid at a time!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met Tom in March, 2010 and was very impressed with his leadership, his work and passion for Dreams For Kids. In April, 2011, I invited Tom as a thought leader for the Chicago Chapter of the COO Forum following Tom's visit to the White House to meet with the President to honor the Blackhawks for their Stanley Cup! The topic of Tom's presentation was "Strategic Social Entrepreneurship--Values and Opportunities". The feedback from COO Forum members was so positive that I invited Tom again in May of this year to be our thought leader on "Social Enterprise:  The End of Charity". Two of Tom's Dream Leaders, Cortez Alexander and Richard Babatunde were included at the meeting and invited to speak and tell their stories at our annual social event that followed the meeting. Comments from the members who attended included:
"Thank you for bringing these inspirations into my life...this is a reminder of what commitment can achieve and how much more we can each do to influence outcomes"; "You gave us a great deal to think about in terms of our own personal contribution to society and the critical need to be positive role models for children"; "Thanks for the experience this evening, what fine young men even though it left me with a feeling of inadequacy in terms of what I may leave as a legacy on this planet. Can only strive to do more, inspired by their example"; "Thank you for the inspiring talk and for meeting two great men. When I got back to my office, both my partner and I talked about the evening and we feel strongly that we would like to help out in some way. Please let me know how both of us can become involved in the program either as a volunteer or raising donations"; and last but certainly not least: "Thank you for a great inspirational presentation. I felt more compelled than ever to make a difference the next few days. The world is a better place due to your efforts." The bottom line for me personally is that I feel fortunate to have such an inspirational colleague and friend in my life.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Chicago District of the United States Tennis Association is honored to work with Dreams For Kids. With a shared passion to create opportunities and support children of all backgrounds, the CDTA is proud to work closely with Dreams for Kids. This past August, we partnered to run a Tennis Festival for over 100 children. These children had never played the sport before. With excited kids, even more energetic volunteers, these children had an incredible afternoon on the campus of University of Chicago. All walked away with a racquet and possibly a new passion! Dreams For Kids makes it possible for children to go beyond the walls of their community to meet new kids, learn unique skills, and create a pathway for their future that might have seem impossible. Dreams For Kids truly makes dreams into realities for thousands of kids. Keep going Dreams For Kids and thank you for including us in the fun!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Dreams for Kids team is awesome. The vision and passion they bring to their mission helps change lives. Their ability to inspire young people to grow, face challenges and help others is "Off The Charts". Diveheart is proud to be a strategic partners with Dreams for Kids in building confidence, independence and self esteem in young people around the world Jim Elliott President & Founder www.Diveheart.org

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an advisor to several families of wealth, I research and visit with promising organizations that meet my donors' needs. Dreams for Kids is one of these organizations. Founder and head cheerleader Tom Touhy invited me to attend the first after-school session of a new program in a Wicker Park school. The energy the volunteers brought to the introductory session created the space for these students to immediately buy into to the concept of learning key entrepreneurial skills while using what they earned to help other chldren. Their eyes were dancing with excitement and they started discussing ideas. They walked into the classroom as students but they left as more confident individuals, enthused and excited for the next session. It was obvious they felt listened to, understood. No idea they put forth was rejected. The success of Dreans for Kids has grown through the years and best practices are now in place. I endorse Dreams for Kids as one of the most innovative and effective programs fir youth that I have encountered.