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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dreams for Kids, Inc.

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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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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!!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dream For Kids is one of the most amazing charities that I have ever come across, and had the pleasure to work with! Tom Tuohy is an admirable, caring, and amazing founder of an organization that has affected so many people across the board. Dream For Kids helps both directly and indirectly the communities of Chicago where help is needed so much in today's landscape especially! After serving for over 8 years on DuPage County's Positive Parenting Board of Directors, I worked with and was exposed to over hundreds of Chicago's best non-profits affecting children, parents, and professionals exposed to our youth on a daily basis. Based on my experience, I would rate Dream For Kids at the VERY top for not only their mission, drive, and dedication to improving the lives of Chicago youth, but also for their laser-focused execution in making dreams really become reality! We can all HOPE and WISH for better, but Tom, Shelly, and their team really MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE for all those people they intersect with - they make a better future possible for the youth of Chicago!

Sarah Quinn

Comments ( 1 )


Tom Tuohy 10/08/2016

Thank you Sarah for your kind words and recognizing Dreams for Kids and for your many contributions in the community!