A DREAM Built by Volunteers

by | Apr 24, 2023 | 0 comments

DREAM’s roots have grown out of volunteerism. It was a small group of volunteers who first transformed an abandoned lot into two baseball diamonds for the children of East Harlem in 1991. Those volunteers established our original dream—that those children had a safe, beautiful place to play—and they were the catalysts for what has grown into the DREAM Charter Schools and programs we know today.

Over three decades, more than 4,300 volunteers have given tens of thousands of hours in support of DREAM’s mission. And they continue to play an integral role in our work today—from coaching our littlest scholars on the field to providing college and career opportunities to our high schoolers and alumni, DREAM’s volunteers make an impact on the lives of so many of our scholars.

This Volunteer Appreciation Month, read below for a small sampling of the events DREAM volunteers have joined us for this school year.

College and Career Days
This spring, more than 100 volunteers are coming together at all of DREAM’s schools for our College & Career Days, an annual event that exposes DREAM students to a wide range of college and career pathways. Since the beginning of April, DREAM has hosted the most diverse group of volunteers to ever join us for College & Career Days, including professionals from organizations such as Delta, the NHL, Sotheby’s, and Morgan Stanley. These events will continue into May.

Legends Career Conference
In January, DREAM’s annual Legends Career Conference was held at Yankee Stadium, the perfect setting for DREAM Legends and select DREAM Charter High School students to network with one another, connect with professionals from partner organizations, and have their headshots taken. Representatives from actively hiring companies like Bank of America, St. Nick’s Alliance, Mount Sinai, and Blockboard manned informational tables for DREAM alumni and students, while a record number of volunteers joined us to serve as professional networkers and mentors during the event, connecting with our students and alumni while also helping them sharpen their professional skills.

Holiday Food Distribution
Just before the end of 2022, DREAM volunteers came together for our annual holiday food distributions, held in both East Harlem and Mott Haven. Volunteers organized, packed, and helped distribute holiday meal fixings—including turkeys, sides, desserts, and fresh produce donated by S. Katzman Produce—to 300 DREAM families. Our food distribution volunteers were also crucial during the height of the pandemic, when these events were held weekly to help combat the food insecurity brought on by the pandemic.

Interested in joining DREAM’s team of volunteers? Visit our website to find out more and connect with us today.

<a href="https://blog.wearedream.org/author/liz_white/" target="_self">DREAM</a>


DREAM started in 1991 as Harlem RBI, a volunteer-run Little League for 75 kids in East Harlem. Three decades later, the organization serves 2,500 youth across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a growing network of inclusive, extended-day, extended-year charter schools and community sports-based youth development programs. By developing an education model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success.

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