WINDSOR, COLO. (MAY 17, 2022) – America’s Kids Belong announced today that its Dream Makers Project will spin out to become an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serving the more than 23,000 youth who age out of foster care each year without a family.
Dream Makers Project (dreammakersproject.org) will grow the reach of its mission to connect the community with the needs of aging-out youth by “fulfilling dreams” that help them navigate some of the financial challenges of adulthood. Dream Makers has served more than 2,000 youth in 32 states with recently fulfilled dreams that included, for example, LSAT preparation, a laptop for school, a violin, vocal lessons, a bed and help with transportation to work.
“Dream Makers not only fulfills dreams for a brighter future, it helps these young adults feel seen and valued by their community,” according to Founder, Julie Mavis. “Once a young person has a basic need met through Dream Makers, he or she is empowered to dream about a future career and bravely take additional steps toward independence and personal success.”
As a co-founder of America’s Kids Belong and the key innovator behind many of the organization’s programs, Mavis is compelled by the opportunity to leverage her strengths and experience to turn Dream Makers into a successful organization with a unique, complementary and beautiful mission. The opportunity to stand in the gap for these often marginalized young adults and create hope for their journeys inspires the entire Dream Makers team.
“At America’s Kids Belong we are proud to be part of incubating and launching this valuable organization into the broader marketplace. Giving Dream Makers room to expand and focus on its mission will increase its impact on an often overlooked aspect of the foster care system, aged-out youth,” Todd Kinzle, CEO of America’s Kids Belong, says. “We see this launch as a win-win, because it bears testament to the viability and great need for Dream Makers, while at the same time affirming America’s Kids Belong’s sharp focus on improving the experiences and outcomes of kids in the foster care system.”
According to Kinzle America’s Kids Belong seeks to achieve its mission through three key investment areas:
- Family Recruiting – Help recruit foster and adoptive parents through programs like the I Belong Project, a flagship program that creates videos of kids eligible for adoption. Last year 512 videos were produced that helped more than 360 kids find adoptive families.
- Community Engagement – Equip local businesses, faith communities and civic organizations to become Foster Friendly, and connect these groups to foster families via our innovative Foster Friendly App.
- Coalition for Change – Unify government, child welfare, business, faith communities, civic organizations and strategic partners to create sustainable change in foster care, raise awareness and create conditions that improve the ecosystem for kinship and adoptive families and the children they serve.
About America’s Kids Belong
America’s Kids Belong improves the experiences and changes the outcomes of kids in foster care so they can thrive in safe, loving families, supported by Foster Friendly communities where they belong. We currently operate in 10 states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.