Think about it. Thirty years ago, youth dealt with ordinary childhood concerns. Their thoughts were often pre-occupied with age-appropriate dilemmas: “that bully took my milk money,” or “how will I tell my parents ‘I flunked English?’” However, times have changed for children. In the face of escalating school violence and terrorism, the reality of child poverty, fragile families, and the broadening culture of drugs and gangs, many childhoods have been shortened, and equally tragic, young people have stopped dreaming.

In fact, youth grow up fast, often hurrying quickly through childhood bliss to confront adult realities unprepared. In some cases, youth make these hurried transitions without wise guidance and involvement of caring adults. For many, the greatest loss (though sometimes the least visible to adults) is the lack of “dream space,” a safe haven to imagine their human possibilities and to nurture their emerging sense of citizenship. It is this particular crisis of possibility and experimentation - the wasteland of dreams - that Destiny Outreach® (DO!) targets.

Dreams are the underlying ingredient of personal meaning and direction. Without them, I fear, young lives can quickly veer from wholesome to wrong paths. Nevertheless, I believe that simple “belief” is life's greatest starting point. I believe that the answers to our complex problems are within our reach. I believe that ordinary, caring adults can stave back the sense of despair and deprivation that confront too many children. It starts with a willing few, ready to share their time with another. I believe, “there can be miracles when we believe!”

Through an array of interactive, creative educational platforms, products and activities that incorporate entertainment and technology, DO! convenes a community of supporters to recreate spaces for our children to dream. In the end, DO! aims to engage and sustain young people's interest in learning, both in school and for a lifetime. This task and its successful accomplishment is bigger than one dedicated teacher or outgoing parent, it belongs to us all.

I encourage you to continue with renewed commitment today in your home and community. Simple encouragement - a kind word, a smile, a hug - matter and demonstrate your love. Your helping hand and warmth of heart can recreate the necessary dream space young people need to envision their dreams and hopefully fulfill their destinies. In fact, we adults, who serve as their dreamkeepers, are banking on the largeness of their dreams. They need us and we need them. Let's all learn to dream again!!!

On Behalf of Young People's Dreams,

Danita E. Patterson
Founder & CEO