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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Washington Imagination Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: To build lifelong learning and problem solving skills in young people; To enhance confidence of young people while they learn to utilize their own abilities and those of their team members to solve complex problems; To teach young people through discovery and development of their talents; to demonstrate that there is no one right way to solve a problem and that the learning comes in the process of solving the problem.

Results: Over 1,400 Washington students participated in DI last year. 10,000 hours of volunteer time were provided for administrative and logistical support for our annual tournaments. 25,000 volunteer hours were donated by individual Team Managers to teach the children the skills needed to compete and, ultimately, solve real-life challenges.

Target demographics: School-age youth, pre-K to college

Direct beneficiaries per year: 320 teams or more than 1,500 students

Geographic areas served: Washington State

Programs: Destination Imagination- Fostering creative problem-solving skills and innovation in youth by providing them with challenges, tournaments and positive environments for experimentation and growth.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My kids have been involved with WIN for 6 years and it is the highlight of their year! Working together with their friends to creatively solve challenges really builds camaraderie and learning to think "outside the box" are skills that will last a life time

1 Katie86

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My kids and I have been involved in this program for 12 years now. I can honestly say that of all the activities they have participated in, this program has had the single largest effect and impact on their lives. They are both well-spoken, confident young adults who know the value of hard work, largely due to WIN. In this program, kids learn life lessons and skills, all while having fun. The importance of this program cannot be stressed enough.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked in education for 38 years and have been involved with Destination Imagination for 25 years through the Washington Imagination Network (WIN). I have seen hundreds of my students and others develop skills in creative problem solving, presentation, drama, technology and team work through this engaging and well developed program. I have used the strategies both in training teachers and across the curriculum in teaching students. I have strengthened my own creative problem solving skills in the process! As a parent, a team manager, an appraiser, a regional director and a state board member - I have watched all facets of W.I.N. work tirelessly to bring this opportunity to the children, K-12, in the state of Washington. W.I.N. provides the structure of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of children to benefit from Destination Imagination.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been in the field of education for 37 years and involved with Destination ImagiNation and other creative problem-solcing programs in WA in many capacities: a mom of a DI participant, a team manager, an appraiser, a trainer, a regional director, a state board member, a global volunteer. Obviously, I believe this is an essential program for a child's academic and affective growth. DI is curriculum that exemplifies best practices in teaching and learning.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with WIN for over 20 years and have watched firsthand the positive impact it has on the students and adults involved. As an educator, it is exactly the kind of problem solving activity we want our kids to be engaged in!

Board Member

Rating: 5

WIN is a fantastic program, the impact on participants is a positive life experience. I've watched hundreds of teams and team members learn, grow and become stronger and more self confident over 20 years. I highly recommend the program.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've seen dozens of team members and all three of my children have a fantastic learning experience, learning how to solve problems on their own, learning lots of new life skills and becoming much more self confident. I highly recommend the program to everyone!

Britt B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with WIN in some manner or another for about three years now. I've been impressed many times by what the smallest of children can accomplish with Destination Imagination's challenges.

But, from where I stand, as a regional director's assistant and the webmaster, what I find most incredible are the organizers. They spend an unbelievable amount of time-- easily as much as a second job-- pulling together all of the necessary pieces and people to make the tournaments special. And then they go beyond that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After seeing the postitive effect WIN (Destination Imagination) was having on my kids, I got involved as a volunteer. That was fifteen years ago and I'm still at it. I continue to volunteer because I continue to see the opportuity kids have to learn such valuable life-skill as team work, communication, creativity and problem solving. The confidence kids get after a few years in DI is amazing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids in Washington State have been so fortunate to have WIN bring such an awesome creative problem solving programs into their lives. My daughter was involved in both Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination for 12 years. It had such a positive impact on her life that I went from being a parent of a team member, to being a volunteer and now I am one of the Challenge Masters for Destination Imagination. Every year I get to see Destination Imagination team members shine with creativity as they work together as a team to solve the challenges that are presented to them. This program reaches all students, regardless if they are in public, private or home school. Thanks WIN!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For nearly two decades I have had the privilege of serving as a team manager for DI in Washington State. It is an amazing program that develops teamwork, creativity, builds confidence and encourages kids to continually challenge themselves. Students work collaboratively to create solutions for well written, well developed Challenges that require a broad base of skills to solve. It is a unique program, as it is completely student driven/adult facilitated. Children's creativity and ingenuity is supported, rather then directed by team managers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Creative Problem Solving (C.P.S.) programs for twenty-five years, first with Odyssey of the Mind, then Destination: ImagiNation (D.I.). I started as a School Coordinator and Coach, then progressed to Team Manager, Globals Appraiser, Regional Director, and International Challenge Master. D.I. provides an outstanding experience for students and guides them to learn an amazing variety of skills.

I am a classroom teacher, and use many of the team building and CPS skills taught through the D.I. curriculum with my students.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WIN organizes the BEST problem solving experience for kids called Destination Imagination (formerly Odyssey of the Mind). I have worked with kids at all ages as a coach/team manager. I am also a classroom teacher and I can share that this process is the best and most creative problem solving experience available for kids. With five different challenges each year, future engineers, musicians, mathematicians, leaders and theatre actors benefit greatly. IN DI there is a creative challenge for every member interested. Learning to work in a team of seven is an added benefit as kids learn to discover and contribute their individual skills to the solution of the challenge. DI offers training and support for new team managers and participants. DIve into DI!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Destination Imagination for the past 8 years as a Team Manager for my daughter's team. I've watched these same group of kids grow from 4th grade to Seniors in High School. They have really learned how to be a highly functional Team. They know each others' strengths and weaknesses. They have learned the value of planning and measuring. They can think quickly and creatively to solve problems, but also can think broadly and deeply to arrive at the best idea. The organization truly values kids and their ideas and gives parents the opportunity to witness the amazing talents their kids have when they are allowed to create and learn independently.

Donald R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Destination Imagination affords students multiple and varied
opportunities to discover, refine, and combine the intangible
qualities of self-expression and imaginative thinking with hands-on,
team-based problem-solving challenges. The kind of personal character
qualities fostered in the Destination Imagination experience serve
its participants well in collaborative efforts over the rest of their life,
benefiting them as individuals, but also the broader communities in
which they live and work.

I have served as a regional and state appraiser in the "Instant Challenge"
division of Destination Imagination annually since 1996.
- Donald L. Recker, Ferndale WA

Pam_27

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with DI, and Washington Imagination Network (WIN) since my son asked to join a team when he was in the 4th grade. Since then, our whole family has been involved -- both children were on teams, and my son, 13 years later, is still volunteering as an appraiser for DI. My husband and I have both volunteered most of those 13 years. Kid in DI learn so much -- team-work, but also the joy of self- motivated learning. They gain confidence in the face of challenging problems. It has been a pleasure to volunteer for this organization -- I have learned so much about working with others, and had a great time!

Kitty G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Destination Imagination is the best program ever! I hope someday to see the future of education based on a DI model, where kids learn the value of team work, problem solving, and creative thinking. The world needs more DI because it helps to create innovation and hands on problem solving, while also teaching people how to work together and draw on each others strengths. If you can do Di, you can do anything.

McFamily

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family became involved in DI, through the Washington Imagination Network (WIN), two years ago when our daughter joined a team. Her experience gave her challenges in a way she felt she could tackle in the most fun ways. She enjoyed it so much that she begged her dad to be a Team Manager last year (and again this year!) What DI does for kids is AMAZING. These kids get to put their ideas into action without us parents getting in the middle of it. In two years, our daughters have made huge strides in their ability to work with others, problem solve, and to really think outside the box. Schools don't often have the time or resources for kids to fully let loose with ideas and DI provides that outlet where critical thinking explodes and real world application is made by implementing their ideas. Also, having volunteered at local workshops, WIN does an incredible job of bringing the community in to support these kids, and they provide relevant, practical and thoughful support to the volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son will be participating in Destination Imagination (Washington Imagination Network) for his fourth year this year! This program is an amazing opportunity to all kids who want to explore creativity, teamwork, problem solving and healthy competition! Bonus: it's fun & Bonus: no parent involvement allowed! Not only do the kids learn an insurmountable amount about themselves, we parents learn how to step back, shut up, and watch the magic that is our child's unique, unbridled, energy. It has been nothing short of amazing watching a group of over-active boys at the age of 8/9 work through complex challenges ALL ON THEIR OWN. The transformation within each year of increased skills socially & scientifically (to name a few) is truly remarkable. Now the kids & parents look back on the last few years and shake our heads in disbelief at the accomplishments and growths. These are immeasurable. These are tools for life. We can only imagine what their team will be doing in six more years when they are participating as seniors! Oh, yes - they have made a pact to continue all the way through! DI must never cease to exist! It is too important, too inspiring, & too meaningful.