Oct 16, 2019

Making a Difference, One Step at a Time

Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey

     Every day we hear in the news about tragic loss of human life to an opioid overdose, young lungs failing due to vaping and reports about some of the latest street drugs being so strong that even one pill can be deadly. Now more than ever we need to offer positive and healthy outlets to youth, led by strong mentors, to show them that there are ways without drug abuse to feel free, express themselves and to be happy through building self-confidence and friendships. This fall, the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program has continued its powerful work in reaching thousands of kids through the 2019-2020 assembly launch programs, Youth Summits, National Dance Day, The DEA Educational Foundation NYC Gala and weekly dance classes right at their schools. And, in honor of Red Ribbon month, a uniform way for communities nationwide to take a stand against drugs and drug use, this fall DEA EF YDP students have been pledging to stay in school and remain drug free.

     The past few months have been so busy, it is hard to know where to begin. With the program launching in nearly 50 cities and through numerous special events, we are reaching communities with important messaging far and wide. At the end of the summer, we reached Knoxville and Tampa for the very first time. And, on September 21st, 2019, The DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program was thrilled to once again be invited as a performing guest at the Kennedy Center on National Dance Day! With our partner DEA joining us to speak with the audience about the dangers of drug abuse and the importance of positive activities, then a performance by a group of our Baltimore students, it was an exceptionally impactful day for those in the Washington, D.C. community and beyond.

     In New Orleans we expanded our program and participated in a DEA led youth summit. In New York City, we had the fabulous opportunity to showcase work by one of our professional partners, Rainbow Tribe and students from New York City Schools to law enforcement, business leaders and community officials in the community. In Philadelphia, we brought nearly 150 students from one of the hardest hit communities in the opioid epidemic to experience professional dance classes at the Rock School of Dance. And, in Las Vegas, we began to pave our way for our first yearlong program.

      In the words of some of some of our community partners:

“The students of Abington Avenue School were lucky to have received the opportunity to have dance instruction through the DEA Youth Dance Program, funded through their educational foundation. If the assembly, presented by professional dancers, is any indication, our children will develop a passion for dance that will sustain them through their later years. They left the assembly energized and excited, both about dance and about the message of respect and kindness in the choreographed and narrated dance program. The program is open to 25 students. Before school even started the morning after the assembly, students were lined up at my office door, applications in hand. Less than 24 hours after receiving the applications, I had 20 students with completed applications, eager to become dancers. Thank you, DEA EF Youth Dance Program, for opening up this opportunity to my 5th graders!” (Vice Principal)

“I want to thank the DEA EF YDP and Rock School for providing our students from Bayard Taylor Elementary School the opportunity to visit their dance school. I saw students dance who I rarely see raise their hands. I watched them have conversations for days about how cool it is that there are kids who go to school just to be dancer and about how hard what they were doing looked. I had students come up to me to ask for participation forms for the DEA Dance classes that will be held at our school, as well as students showing increased interest in our already established dance program. You opened their eyes to an opportunity they didn't know existed, and every pathway toward the future that they see gives them one more option that isn't what so many of them see in the neighborhoods in which they live. Thank you for this experience, they will never forget it.” (5th Grade Teacher)

     As we near the end of the 2019 year, we are thrilled to have reached our goals, one step at a time, in now providing programming in 50 cities since our very first pilot program in 2012. However, the program impact is so strong and the waitlist for programming is long; we have only just begun our important work! Generous donations and funding is more critical than ever as we prepare for 2020. We must maintain our critical programming and reach to the children, we wish to bring programming to schools on our waitlist and to more communities, we hope to build upon our current programming so more kids can join us in long-term dance classes and we want to reach feeder schools in communities for even a longer-term impact. Please support the DEA EF Youth Dance Program to help us continue to bring kids joy, passion and a positive outlet as they navigate the awe and challenges of adolescence in this ever-changing world.

Newark, NJ
Newark, NJ
National Dance Day, Kennedy Center
National Dance Day, Kennedy Center
National Dance Day!
National Dance Day!
Youth Summit, New Orleans
Youth Summit, New Orleans
Philadelphia YDP Field Trip, Rock School of Dance
Philadelphia YDP Field Trip, Rock School of Dance
DEA EF New York City Gala
DEA EF New York City Gala

Links:

Jul 22, 2019

DEA YDP Summer 2019

Young Marines in awe of Henry's amazing moves!
Young Marines in awe of Henry's amazing moves!

At the end of our 2019 spring sessions, The DEA Youth Dance Program energized communities across the country through end of the school year student classes and performances. Also during this time the DEA YDP was thrilled to offer a workshop with the Fall River Young Marines in Massachusetts.  DEA YDP Instructor Henry led students through a breakdancing and hip hop class with an enthusiastic group of Young Marines, while a DEA YDP Regional Director spoke to the kids about the importance of a positive alternative to drug abuse through a healthy alternative such as dance.

 

Now, after a fun summer offering continuing classes for students across the country through dance studio scholarships, summer camps, and special workshops, we are gearing up for a far-reaching and exciting fall! The DEA Youth Dance Program new school year launches start nationwide in August! We are thrilled to be expanding our reach to include Knoxville TN, Flagstaff AZ, Tampa FL, Cleveland OH, New Bedford MA, and New Orleans LA as community partner with the DEA 360 Strategy.

 

This year, National Dance Day will fall on September 21st, and we can’t wait to celebrate with American Dance Movement (formerly Dizzy Feet Foundation) and spread our message of healthy living through dance!

 

Also, in October, we will celebrate the Red Ribbon Campaign at our fall dance launches to honor the legacy of DEA agent Enrique (Kiki) Camarena who tragically lost his life to drug traffickers in Mexico. We will remember Agent Camarena’s fight against violent drug crime and addiction and help to reflect the National Red Ribbon Campaign in building awareness about the dangers of drugs, and encouraging youth to make positive choices. Students attending DEA Youth Dance Program launch assemblies this fall will receive red ribbons and learn how professional dancers keep themselves healthy to pursue their passion for dance by choosing to say “no” to drugs and violence.

 

As we embark on our most active year-to-date, we count on your support to further our mission of providing safe and positive alternative to drugs through long-term dance classes for students across the country. Please consider a recurring monthly donation that will help us support children throughout the entire year through free dance classes. Your financial contribution makes a difference in the life of a child who otherwise may not have access to dance, and we are grateful for your continued support!  

Young Marines learning hip hop and breakdancing
Young Marines learning hip hop and breakdancing
Instructor Henry with the Young Marines
Instructor Henry with the Young Marines
Apr 22, 2019

DEA Youth Dance Program Spring Update

Students with their Certificates of Achievement
Students with their Certificates of Achievement

This spring, the DEA Youth Dance Program thrilled audiences from coast to coast! In schools across the nation, final performance assemblies featuring DEA Youth Dance Program Dancers gave students a positive and exciting opportunity to showcase their new dance skills, with the support and encouragement of their peers, family, and school. The DEA Youth Dance Program was happy to partner with Culture Shock Las Vegas to provide an exciting performance at DEA’s 2nd Las Vegas Youth Opioid Summit, reaching hundreds of students with the positive power of dance as a healthy alternative to drug use.

 

We look forward to a dance-filled summer, with DEA YDP summer camps and DEA YDP scholarship students enjoying free dance classes at local dance studios! At National Dance Day, we plan to once again join dozens of dancers from across the country in an inspiring performance day celebrating dance and dance education.

 

In national programming news, our partnership with DEA 360 Strategy is still going strong. A comprehensive approach to fight opioid and heroin addiction, DEA 360 Strategy brings together local law enforcement, DEA, DOJ, and community partners with the same goal – serve communities by working to prevent substance abuse. As a proud community partner, the DEA Youth Dance Program is currently offering programming in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Knoxville, Salt Lake City, and Baltimore, with more new cities to be added in the fall!

 

As we round out the school year, we look forward to next fall – these students need your support more than ever! Efforts to prevent substance abuse are proving effective in many cities, which is why we need to continue this important work of bringing positive afterschool dance classes to youth as an alternative to drugs. Underserved young people deserve quality programming and opportunities to stretch their wings and fly through dance! Please join us in our mission to spread this message by making a donation today! 

Students celebrate their Final Performance
Students celebrate their Final Performance
Culture Shock LV performers at the Youth Summit
Culture Shock LV performers at the Youth Summit
DEA YDP Instructor Jennifer with two students
DEA YDP Instructor Jennifer with two students
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.