Dance Programs Empowering Youth

by DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Dance Programs Empowering Youth
Students with Dancing Earth dancers, Nambe Pueblo
Students with Dancing Earth dancers, Nambe Pueblo

This year, the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance program continued to grow and thrive, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. Combined with our other youth programming, we expanded to 69 cities, and kept thousands of students engaged with a positive and healthy after-school alternative to drugs in virtual, hybrid and in-person classes throughout the year. Our biggest youth program, the DEAEF Youth Dance Program, reached dozens of cities across the United States and featured many styles of dance including ballet, hip hop, cultural dance and more.  As we reflect on the past year, we would like to thank all our amazing teachers, program partners and Youth Dance Program staff and consultants who helped the kids to live their dreams in 2021 and beyond! In November, we did a special recognition of our teachers that have dedicated their time as role models to the youth. 

 

In 2022, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our partnership with DEA’s Operation Engage, “a comprehensive approach that will target the top drug threat identified by the local DEA division while continuing to focus on drug trafficking, violence, and crime reduction.” In Year One of DEA’s Operation Engage, the DEA Educational Foundation provided youth programs, many of which were dance, in eleven cities throughout the United States. As we look toward Year 2, new programs including dance, baseball, basketball, martial arts, art and more will be delivered to youth and communities in our Operation Engage partnership cities. 

 

As we conclude this 2021 year and the Foundation’s celebration of “20 Years of Impact,” we reflect on how many lives we have positively impacted, one step at a time. Still, with a staggering number of drug overdoses last year alone, we know our mission is more important than ever. In 2022, we will celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance program, our flagship youth program. We look forward to continuing to reach young people with positive messaging and programming that keeps them active and engaged after-school. With gratitude, we thank you for your support to help keep our programs strong in 2022; it is because of you that we will continue to reach youth in our communities, allowing kids to dance and express themselves in a healthy way.

Outdoor assembly with NYC teaching artists
Outdoor assembly with NYC teaching artists
Final assembly, Tribal Youth Center, Maine
Final assembly, Tribal Youth Center, Maine
Some of our incredible partners and teachers
Some of our incredible partners and teachers
Our amazing Youth Program role models!
Our amazing Youth Program role models!
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Getting Silly with students in Washington, DC
Getting Silly with students in Washington, DC

The DEA Educational Foundation was thrilled to keep students dancing this summer through various summer workshops and camps! Thanks to great summer weather and some state and local openings, as well as due to the diligence of staff and instructors, the DEAEF was able to host some in-person programs for the first time in 15 months. And, whether dance programs were in-person, virtual or hybrid, our instructors brought their best, modeling positive and healthy choices like committing to activities like dance. Due to the success of the Youth Dance Program, the DEA Educational Foundation has launched other youth programs in the past couple of years such as art, baseball, martial arts, soccer and basketball. 

 

Also this year, the DEAEF is honored to have been selected to work with the DEA through their latest endeavor Operation Engage. Operation Engage is a “comprehensive approach that will target the top drug threat identified by the local DEA division while continuing to focus on drug trafficking, violence, and crime reduction.” As a community partner, we are offering dance, baseball, soccer, basketball, martial arts and more to support students and their families with quality afterschool programming. Following state and local guidelines, we will continue reaching students whether it be in-person or online, and offering positive mentorship and connection through the art of dance and beyond. 

 

As we celebrate 20 YEARS OF IMPACT at the Foundation, we thank you for your generosity in encouraging young people in over 50 cities throughout the US who make the commitment to dance with the DEA Educational Foundation. Your support is invaluable as we expand our flagship youth dance program, as well as develop and increase our other youth programs across the country. 

Passamaquoddy Youth Ctr Shawl Dance in Maine
Passamaquoddy Youth Ctr Shawl Dance in Maine
Jumping for Joy in Tennessee!
Jumping for Joy in Tennessee!
Dancers at Granite State Dance Ctr. strike a pose
Dancers at Granite State Dance Ctr. strike a pose
Youth Baseball at PS20 New York
Youth Baseball at PS20 New York
Dancers reach for the stars in Sacramento, CA
Dancers reach for the stars in Sacramento, CA
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Happy at Home with the DEAEF YDP
Happy at Home with the DEAEF YDP

The DEA Educational Foundation has been busy this spring with continued virtual dance programs, and we will continue to provide students with amazing and positive virtual classes through the end of the school year. Program reach has been very successful and extremely critical during this pandemic; especially as drug overdose death statistics have shown an increase through 2020 and 2021.

 

As we move into summer and plan for programming in fall of 2021, the Foundation will evaluate state and local COVID-19 restrictions and make decisions regarding online, hybrid or in-person programming. Regardless of format, we will continue to bring the power of dance to students, as well as positive mentorship, connection with their peers and self-esteem building opportunities. 

 

In March, stars of Broadway gathered to show their support for the Foundation through an evening of song, dance and incredible speakers. Gary Morris and Rema Webb hosted this event, featuring entertainment by Michael James Scott, Emily Skinner, Eric Nelsen, Danny Gardner, Kelli James and more! Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame), Elizabeth Stanley (star of Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill) and Alexandra Billings (Wicked) shared incredibly moving remarks on the power of arts education and the DEA Educational Foundation’s important reach to our nation’s youth. The student stars of the DEAEF Youth Dance Program performed in a video captured all via Zoom, which was a highlight of the event. 

 

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with DEA’s Operation Engage, and are honored to have been selected as a Youth Engagement vendor to assist with the Operation Engage endeavor in all 11 cities in its first year of program implementation. Please visit dea.gov for more information on this important effort. 

 

We cannot do this work without your support, and students need you more than ever as we continue to navigate the challenging times of this ongoing pandemic. Together, we can make a difference in the life of a child! 

Staying active at home!
Staying active at home!
Nothing can stop these students from dancing!
Nothing can stop these students from dancing!
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Dream Academy Virtual Class with Instructor Kelly
Dream Academy Virtual Class with Instructor Kelly

The DEA Educational Foundation didn’t miss a beat this Fall, reaching most of our program cities with unique, high-quality virtual dance classes. In spite of the challenges of this year, the DEAEF YDP programs were a tremendous success at a time when many students are in critical need of positive after-school activities and ways to stay active at home. We partnered with dozens of schools, youth sites and youth organizations, such as the Dream Academy,  to bring valuable programming to the community, and inspirational prevention messages through the power of dance. 

 

The DEAEF Youth Dance Program continued our partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration through participation in DEA’s 2020 Virtual Red Ribbon Rally as part of the “Dance Challenge,” as well as DEA 360 Strategy programs in Las Vegas, Columbus, and Portland ME. We look forward to announcing exciting new programming through community service efforts with  DEA in 2021. 

 

The DEAEF YDP participated in this year’s DEA Educational Foundation Gala “Our Youth. Our Future.” in October, 2020. Hosted by country music artist Gary Morris and radio broadcaster Devon O’Day, this star-studded event featured musicians such as Jay Allen, Kathy Mattea and the Bellamy brothers, with special appearances by actor Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and DEA agent Steve Murphy (one of the agents who brought down Pablo Escobar, as portrayed in the hit series Narcos). Funds generated from this event support educational efforts by the Foundation to help youth and their families by providing positive prevention programs and education on the dangers of drug use and abuse. 

 

We are proud to have developed several new ways of reaching students and families in this difficult time, including our “Happy at Home” social media initiative. This season, we reached our community with messages of hope through the “Happy at Home for the Holidays” social media campaign. Our DEAEF YDP Instructors, like Cody from Cleveland, offered students and their families short pieces of choreography and inspiring messages to keep them motivated and moving throughout the holidays. 

 

This Fall, 35 instructors and consultants from our youth programs across the country came together for a virtual training session. The training covered topics such as current trends in drug use, strategies for reaching young people in virtual settings, and a keynote address from DEA Chief of Community Outreach Sean Ferns. We are proud of all our instructors and consultants for sharing their passion for dance and continuing to reach students virtually during this challenging time. 

 

Evaluations collected from our virtual dance classes indicate an extremely positive response from both students and their families. One parent said “We appreciate the opportunity to have a class for our daughter during this time, where she can take class with familiar teachers and to participate in an activity she enjoys with other students she knows.” Another parent noted “My son had a fun time. He wasn’t sure if he would like it. He dances around the house but never tried a formal class. He really enjoyed it and was proud of himself for completing the whole class.” 100% of caregivers surveyed following our pilot program this summer indicated the online DEAEF YDP dance class positively affected their child’s mood. While nothing beats human-to-human contact in education, we are grateful to be able to continue our mission of providing young people with a free, healthy after-school activity. 

 

Thank you for your support of the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Virtual Training Event - DEAEF Youth Programs
Virtual Training Event - DEAEF Youth Programs
Happy at Home for the Holidays video with Cody
Happy at Home for the Holidays video with Cody
Virtual Dance class in LA with Instructor Jon
Virtual Dance class in LA with Instructor Jon
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Las Vegas YDP Drug Abuse Education Seminar
Las Vegas YDP Drug Abuse Education Seminar

As last reported, in March 2020, the DEA Educational Foundation had to quickly pivot to online learning in order to make a critical reach to the youth and neighborhoods we serve. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to many challenges, especially for an organization that strongly believes in human-to-human interaction. But, in spite of the challenges, we quickly realized that our youth need positive programming and mentors in their lives at this time more than ever. Throughout the summer the foundation continued with the Happy at Home project, reaching current students through mini-video where instructors sent inspirational messages and short choreography clips to our current Youth Dance Program (YDP) students.  In addition, the foundation continued to reach children across the country through our school partnerships, the Boys and Girls Club, multiple youth centers and the Dream Academy. We offered multipe virtual dance class series and workshops, virtual drug education presentations with our partner, DEA, and we came together with our partners for special projects such as "United We Dance," to show our unity in staying healthy, strong, and drugfree. 

As we enter into the fall we anticipate reaching nearly every one of our 2019 cities, as well as new cities, through our recently piloted virtual dance class programming and through special awareness performances as well. We have begun to work with school and youth center partners across the country to establish regular scheduling through in school and after school programming, we are working with DEA on a Red Ribbon "dance challenge" and we are developing awareness projects in multiple cities, such as a youth summit in Las Vegas. In addition to dance, the DEA Educational Foundation will be offering classes in art, baseball, martial arts and soccer, starting a virtual educational speaker series for both parents and teens and the foundaiton will host a drug abuse awareness concert/gala in Nashville, Tennessee. The DEA Educational Foundation looks forward to continuing to reach thousands of youth this fall, bringing them hope, empowerment, happiness and a healthy focus. 

Wilmington, DE YDP Virtual Class
Wilmington, DE YDP Virtual Class
YDP Class with Dream Academy
YDP Class with Dream Academy

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Organization Information

DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jill Roberts
Washington, DC United States
$33,371 raised of $75,000 goal
 
226 donations
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