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The U.S. Dream Academy's mission is "To empower at-risk children and youth to maximize their potential by providing them with academic, social, and values enrichment through supportive mentoring and the use of technology." Too often children who are not effectively educated become the adults we incarcerate. Predictably, two-thirds of those juveniles already in the criminal justice system have an incarcerated parent or are otherwise closely related to a prisoner. We are dedicated to ending this cycle of intergenerational incarceration and demonstrating that with the right tools and guidance, a child can achieve anything. The vision that spawned the U.S. Dream Academy arises from the experiences of our founder, Wintley Phipps, a world-renowned vocal artist who has devoted much of his ministerial life in service to prison inmates and their families. Mr. Phipps observed the intergenerational cycle of incarceration, fueled by academic underachievement, failure in school, high drop-out rates, and ultimately for too many, decisions that run afoul of the law. To counter this pattern of academic failure and subsequent incarceration, we have since 1998, provided after-school programs to some of our nation's most vulnerable children: children of prisoners, children with family histories of incarceration, and children falling behind in school. Studies consistently demonstrate that our target children are at high risk for substance abuse, future incarceration, and many develop behavioral problems that lead to anti-social behavior.
We offer our DreamKids, children in grades 3 through 8, daily after-school programming that includes on-line academic enrichment, values training, one-to-one mentoring, homework assistance, arts and crafts, healthy snacks, character building, and dream building.