East Harlem, NY
Executive Director: Richard Berlin
DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI) uses the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams.
“If an organization is serious about growing and getting better, you have to think about doing the work differently. I can’t imagine doing a theory of change without very thoughtful work, and PropelNext helped us look at our work and improve it. We know this will help our organization and, ultimately, the youth we serve now and many years from now.”
– Richard Berlin, Executive Director, DREAM
The organization targets youth from the East Harlem and South Bronx neighborhoods of New York City, which include many Latino and African-American families who are rich in history and culture but economically poor. These communities are defined by public housing projects, high crime rates and the pervasive use of drugs, which, along with low high school graduation rates, reduce youths’ ability to thrive and prolong the cycle of poverty.
The TeamBuilders program, which was the focus of DREAM’s PropelNext work, helps youth in grades 6-8 form supportive relationships with their peers, families and community members. Program components include competitive baseball and softball, case management, academic support, and social and emotional life skills development. Youth also participate in service learning projects and receive individual guidance and support in the New York City high school selection process, a key step toward achieving high school and postsecondary success.
Since 2005, 97 percent of DREAM seniors have graduated from high school, 94 percent have gained acceptance to post-secondary educational institutions, and 99 percent have avoided teen parenthood.
Watch Rich Berlin talk about his organization’s experiences