“I joined Create Your Dreams (CYD) at age 11 and it truly shaped the individual that I was to become. Through CYD, I was exposed to things that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience. With the help and support of CYD I am a first generation high school graduate, college graduate and I recently earned my Masters in Perfusion Science. Today, I am a member of an open-heart surgery team at UAB, in Birmingham, Alabama. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have without the support, examples and love that was provided by CYD.” ~Willie Glaze, CYD ’05 & University of Nebraska Medical Center ‘15
Create Your Dreams (CYD) provides a support system for some of Atlanta’s most disconnected and vulnerable children. Unlike most youth development programs, CYD is long-term, year-round and individualized – providing for each young person from age 8 through adulthood. When school is closed, CYD is open!
Tracking and maintaining the relationships and progress of the children CYD serves is daunting. Leveraging Cloud Essesntials for Nonprofits, a proven data management tool, will enable CYD to stay on top of the needs of each individual child, track and report on the successes of the program as a whole, and easily manage relationships with volunteers and funders.
About Create Your Dreams
CYD develops the whole child, creates a culture of success, sets high expectations and creates opportunities through their Five Core Programs: AfterSchool, Weekend Enrichment, Tutoring, College Dreamers, and Summer Camp. CYD also provide access to higher education and ultimately economic empowerment through our College Needs Fund. Because most CYD students are first generation high school graduates and the first in their families to attend college, they require additional support understanding the pathways to college and the financial assistance to make college a reality.
- AfterSchool Students receive support, encouragement and enrichment in academics, social development and life planning. Curriculum includes personal leadership, financial literacy, decision-making, goal setting, civic involvement, arts and health.
- Weekend Enrichment This program complements our AfterSchool program, and includes book club, art club and fitness club, community service projects and field trips. Weekend Enrichment provides additional programming in the evening, on weekends and during school breaks and holidays.
- CYD Tutoring Mandatory for students struggling to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Program gives students positive role models through the volunteers who serve as tutors. Students work one-on-one with a tutor each week on the skills in which they have the greatest weaknesses. Students with “B” or better averages attend CYD Tutoring weekly on a voluntary basis for homework assistance and/or to have access to technology.
- College Dreamers Begins formally in 9th grade, students focus on activities making them college-ready, including essay writing, application preparation, standardized testing, college campus visits, and career development. CYD assists with all the fees associated with applying to college: application fees, ACT test fees/prep classes, and sending transcripts.
- Summer Camp Throughout the summer we provide ten weeks of camp, allowing students to enjoy the fun of childhood and explore new topics and skills, while avoiding negative influences in their community. In addition to fun enrichment, we also host a six-week academic camp for elementary and middle school students. Without summer camp, students would return to school with a larger achievement gap and worn down from the lack of structure and enrichment within their communities.
More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).
Summer Camp also provides food for CYD families, because food insecurity is highest in the summer when students are not in school to receive breakfast and lunch.
CYD provides year-round, wraparound programming for 50 families and 60 graduates. Approximately 80 children between the ages of 8 and 18, and 60 young adults receive CYD programming. Students are 100% minority (99% African-American, 1% Latino) and we serve equally boys and girls.
- 100% of CYD students are eligible to receive a free lunch
- Students attend Douglas High School Cluster where the graduation rate is only 43%
- Boyd Elementary (the primary elementary school we serve in the Douglas Cluster) has 5x’s the rate of economic aid, 3x’s the suspension rates, and 3x’s the amount of child abuse for the district
- Average yearly income of a child participating in CYD is $15,000
CYD depends on volunteers year-round for tutoring, chaperoning weekend fieldtrips, baking birthday cakes, and for providing seasonal help for all holidays. Learn more here.