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
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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Pure joy! Dance is for EVERYONE!
Pure joy! Dance is for EVERYONE!

Prior to March 15, 2020 some of our DEA EF YDP students across the country had the opportunity to present their new dance skills at final performances for their school community and parents. Students bravely spoke at these assemblies about the power of dance in their life, and the benefit of having a positive after school activity through the DEA EF YDP. However, before we could finish our final performance season in each region, the DEA EF YDP suspended in-person instruction due to COVID-19. As a program that puts the safety and well-being of our students first and foremost, it was imperative that we follow CDC and local health authorities’ guidelines to keep students and their families healthy. The DEA Educational Foundation then determined that it was equally as imperative that we continue to work with the children we serve through virtual dance classes. 

During these unusual and challenging times, we feel it is as important as ever to reach our communities. Kids are feeling the pressure and stress of the unknown and many have lost their safe-haven of school where they find structure, meals, positive programming and mentorship. Parents are feeling more pressure than ever with financial concerns, job loss, at home schooling and anxious children. And, as reported in the news in Philadelphia, though the  COVID-19 outbreak is making its way through the streets, the illegal drug market has not slowed down; drug dealers have simply adapted wearing masks and gloves. 

It is our goal to continue to reach our communities, even if virtually, to bring families and youth critical education, a healthy physical outlet and positive messaging. 

The Foundation has developed several programs including “Happy at Home with the DEA EF Youth Dance Program.” This project focuses on having our dance instructors create mini-video clips to reach their students with positive messaging and a short combination to learn. These videos will reach students directly where districts have on-line learning and will be posted to our social media. Soon, our registered students will be able to send posts with their own dance creations back to their teachers as well! We are also piloting on-line dance classes in several regions across the United States to reach currently enrolled spring students who have access to online learning. We are currently reaching children in D.C. Public Schools, Baltimore, Flagstaff, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and more. Our hope is to continue reaching kids through summer “camp” programs, whether in person or virtually. And, The Foundation is also currently developing an online parent education series and rolling out additional youth mentorship classes. 

 Of course nothing beats human to human contact when it comes to education, programming and role-modeling, but we can’t give up on making a difference for those who we serve. Please consider a donation to support our ongoing efforts to reach students with positive messaging, get them moving and exercising, and help them process their feelings through the art of dance. You can follow us, enjoy our #happyathome videos, and share our mission with your friends on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @deaedfoundation.

Prior to shutdowns, students at final performance!
Prior to shutdowns, students at final performance!
Warm-up for final performance!
Warm-up for final performance!
Proud DEA EF YDP students! You did it!
Proud DEA EF YDP students! You did it!
Students enjoy online classes with the DEA EF YDP
Students enjoy online classes with the DEA EF YDP

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Massachusetts
Massachusetts

At the end of 2019, the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Dance Program team joined a national conference call to discuss all of the successes and challenges in 2019. One of the most common themes echoed throughout the country is how so many of the children in our programs struggle for even basic necessities in their lives, let alone a means to find a way to express themselves positively and joy. We also discussed how so many are faced with difficult choices and home lives and often face negative outlets. And, despite the efforts of many organizations here in the United States, opioid use declined only slightly in 2019 and other drugs are ramping back up, with methamphetamine production at an all-time high. As we discussed our goals for 2020, and we all agreed that drug abuse education and positive mentorship in the lives of children is critical. We want to reach more children and families than ever through our informative and fun launch assemblies, through our partnership with our impressive law enforcement partner, DEA, and through weekly inspiring mentorship through our caring and impressive Youth Dance Program instructors.

Programmatically, the DEA EF YDP ended on a very positive note. We launched dozens and dozens of programs across the United States in the fall, celebrated National Dance Day, created new partners to help us to expand and reached thousands of children through the joy of dance. Our dedicated Regional Managers and instructors took important programming to schools, community centers, youth summits, and more. In addition, students from Philadelphia had the opportunity to view professional Nutcracker performances and professional dancers taught a workshop to the Young Marines.

We are proud to announce that in 2020 we will be reaching news cities including Las Vegas and Columbus and we will be expanding within many of our current cities. In addition to growing the Youth Dance Program, the DEA Educational Foundation is in the process of developing new youth programming, such as martial arts, soccer, baseball and basketball all based upon the successful model of the DEA Youth Dance Program. We are honored to be a respected partner in communities across the United States and we look forward to an impactful 2020 year!

Massachusetts 2
Massachusetts 2
West Virginia
West Virginia
Young Marines
Young Marines
Young Marines 2
Young Marines 2

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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
$34,518 raised of $75,000 goal
 
230 donations
$40,482 to go
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