Building bridges, making change.

2020 was not the year any of us planned. We had to forgo international travel and completely reimagine curriculum. We had more students and families in crisis and fewer resources to leverage. We learned to act quickly and improvise constantly, preparing for but not knowing what might happen next. 

At a time when it would be natural to isolate and focus inward, our young changemakers turned outward — finding creative ways to connect to their communities and their global network. They built bridges and they made change — participating in our newly pivoted virtual and socially distanced local programming, growing tighter in their global connections, engaging in service, and conceiving and leading innovative new student-led COVID-response programs with direct impact in their schools and communities.


“A giant leap is just a series of small steps.”
— Charles Foster

Some Highs from 2020

  • Keeping 177 international young dreamers in school by preserving their academic scholarships and providing 90 Chromebooks, internet access, and 22 traveling teachers to enable distance learning in remote villages in India and Guatemala
  • Introducing new local and virtual programming for 704 students to stay engaged in their home communities and connected to our partner communities during quarantine
  • Supporting over 55 new changemaker projects designed by students in our brand new Dream Big Now! program
  • Implementing new access programs to increase participation for 143 young changemakers from disadvantaged communities in the U.S.
  • Logging more than 6,600 hours of service giving back and providing needed support in our communities!

We need your help…

As we wrap up 2020, proud of the change we and our students have made, we now ask you to join our year-end giving campaign, Building Bridges, Making Change: Connecting Socially-Minded Youth to the Resources and Relationships They Need to Move Our World Forward. 

Connecting young people around the world through changemaking requires us to build strong bridges. In order to fund the remainder of our 177 academic scholarships for 2020 and to continue our new programs, we have set a goal to raise $50,000 by December 31. And with early donations, we’re already at $17,000. Just $33k to go!!  But we need your help!

Help us build bridges. Help create change.

Your gift can create change.

$75 Purchases a year’s worth of school supplies for a student abroad
$100 Enables 10 students to participate in online cultural exchange
$250 Covers 1 month of a teacher’s salary at DV-operated schools
$500 Allows 2 disadvantaged teens to participate in Dream Big Now! 
$1000 Pays for a full international academic scholarship for 1 year

Empowering young changemakers






Lucia & Mihika

COVID interrupted summer travel plans but it did not deter Lucia & Mihika.  Determined to connect and learn with our Guatemalan Young Dreamers, these two Bay Area students launched “Mind the Gap,” an online English tutoring program for our students at DV’s Young Dreamer Academy in Guatemala. They held online classes 4 times a week for 5 weeks during the summer and saw students growing and connecting with each other. The program has been a massive success and they are in process to launch another 5-week session soon! Together, Mihika and Lucia are bringing online tutoring across borders where distance learning options are far more limited. They are making a positive impact in the lives of students in Guatemala and inspiring others!

Filled educational gaps with distance learning for 100 children in Guatemala

Alex & Chloe

2020 has been challenging. There’s been a need for hope, kindness, and support. Alex and Chloe wanted to provide just that. During our summer Dream Big Now! program, their project was to create hygiene kits to provide personal hygiene products to teenage girls in economically disadvantaged communities. They have now raised nearly $2,000 and it has all been used to create hygiene kits that will include snacks, feminine products, first aid kits, and more! .

Raised $2K for COVID emergency relief

Young Dreamers volunteering with local community


Telma was the second woman in her village, to ever graduate high school. She wanted to change the narrative in Guatemala that keeps girls working at home and instead motivate young girls to continue their schooling. Now, she has graduated and is working as a teacher in her community to keep young girls on track despite ongoing challenges faced. 

When COVID hit, she reframed her way of teaching and is now delivering distance learning.  Her motivation to make a change and close the educational gap within the indigenous community of Guatemala has sparked those around her to shift their mindset about education and support that education is important for all, no matter your gender!

Fighting for gender and educational equity

Vera’s Story

Growing up in Ghana, Vera remembers being frustrated by the large amounts of plastic strewn along the roadside and in waterways. As a member of the Dream Volunteers network, she learned about ecobricks from our Young Dreamers in Costa Rica. Ecobricks are disposable single-use plastic bottles, filled densely with plastic trash, that are used to build structures such as homes, benches, planters and more.

Vera initiated an ecobrick project on her college campus to reduce single-use plastic waste and by building a bench in the shade for students to enjoy. Her project not only brought awareness to her community about plastic waste, but also inspired those around her.  Halfway across the country, one of Vera’s classmates Ernestina introduced the concept to her peers, resulting in an ecobrick bench at a busy bus stop in her hometown. Now, students in multiple communities across the globe are using ecobricks to reduce single-use plastic!

What began with our Young Dreamers in Costa Rica has rippled out across the globe to create positive change in our world.

Support bold young changemakers like Vera.

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

We need your help and we need your support. We are always eager to collaborate. Have questions about other ways to contribute? Contact Us.