Our mission
& maxims

DREAM’s mission fuels our “why,” serving as the overarching purpose of our work. Our maxims build on our mission, and are the core beliefs that guide our everyday practice.


Originally founded as Harlem RBI, DREAM traces its beginnings to 1991, when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem. Over three decades later, we serve thousands of children across East Harlem and the Bronx through a network of free, extended-day, extended-year DREAM Charter Schools and community-based youth programs.

By developing a whole child 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.

Our mission

DREAM provides youth with opportunities to play, learn, and grow. Our mission is to level the field by empowering all children to recognize their potential and realize their dreams.

we believe in
all kids


of DREAM scholars live below the poverty line


of DREAM students have identified special needs, compared to the city’s average of 20%


teachers in every elementary school classroom as part of our unique integrated co-teaching model

Our Maxims

DREAM's maxims amplify the values that have guided us since 1991 and will carry us into the future.

all kids can.
this kid can.

DREAM believes in the potential of all children in the face of a society that limits agency and access for some. Our culture of care is responsive to the unique needs of every child with one goal in mind: to ensure our students have the tools and opportunities to make their dreams real.

DREAM is Family.

At DREAM, we are more than students, teachers, youth workers, parents, volunteers, and staff. We are family. We love and care for one another—especially when the going gets tough. Because setting kids up for success takes more than a vision and determination. It takes a community of people who understand that support is a verb.

Teamwork Makes the DREAM Work.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. At DREAM, we lean on each other. We inspire one another to do better. We trust in the power of teams and are most proud of what we accomplish together.

Fun is a Serious Value.

DREAM’s work is important and challenging. But it is also fun, and we take our fun seriously. After all, DREAM was founded as a place for kids to do what they love most: play. So we work hard and we play hard. We celebrate the big and the small. And we always find our joy, on and off the field.


We dream big. We believe bigger. Because one person’s garbage-strewn lot can be another’s field of dreams. A baseball league for 75 kids can become a network of schools for thousands. And a kindergarten class can become the next generation of changemakers in the community and the world.

Fail. Persist. Exceed.

In baseball, failing 7 out of 10 times makes you an all-star. From our roots in this game, we know that excellence is a journey and a habit. So we commit to our goals. We learn from our losses. We raise the bar for ourselves—and our teammates—every day.

Imagine there were no word for limit

At DREAM, we believe that all young people have unlimited potential and deserve to realize their dreams. But don’t just take it from us. Hear it from our students, in their own words.

DREAM’s mission and our maxims enhance our Grow the Whole Child Model. Find out more.