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WHO WE ARE

DASH Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides teens and young adults (primarily those from foster care) with experiential learning opportunities and resources that educate, develop, and support their personal and professional development. 

 

When most teens enter foster care, they are promised a safe home where they can connect to a family, be supported, and valued while waiting to reunify with their family. But for many teens, these promises are just empty words that have no meaning, and end up often living in a reality where they are “forgotten about or last priority”. Better yet, these are visions that teens build hope around, but then are re-traumatized time after time when a family or "home" rejects them for who they are and judges them for their history of decisions or experiences. 

But we don't just communicate these experiences through stories we have heard, the genesis of DASH Foundation emerged from the remarkable journey of our founder, Mike Williams, a foster alumnus who endured the challenges of living in over 40 homes during his time in foster care. After aging out of the system at 18, Mike faced a turbulent path, finding himself entangled in poor choices that ultimately led to homelessness by the tender age of 21. Motivated by his own hardships and determined to make a difference, Mike envisioned an organization that would uplift and empower others who shared his struggles.

As statistics show, many young adults who age out of the foster care system have nowhere to go for support. More than 20,000 teenagers age out of the US foster care system every year. But, rather than reaching the age of 18 and being excited to go off to college like most households prepare their young adults for, these young adults end up in a pipeline of horrific statistics, such as:

  • 25% will be arrested within 2 years.

  • 50% will be homeless within 18 months.

  • 70% will be pregnant before the age of 21.

  • 97% will be on government assistance or incarcerated after the age of 23.

According to the Annie E Casey Foundation, if aged-out foster youth had the same outcomes as youth who didn’t age out, the US taxpayers would save $4.1 billion

Our therapeutic empowerment housing and coaching model provides teens and young adults with principles that allow them to show up confident when pursuing their DREAMS:

  • D - Driver (Learns how to be in control of their life)

  • R - Relationships (Learns how to build and manage a SAFE team)

  • E - Education (Learns that education is more than just high school and college)

  • A - Accountability Team (Learns how to establish accountability for themselves)

  • M - Motivation (Learns how to identify their WHY and how to be resilient to stay motivated)

  • S - Spirituality (Learns how to seek out their purpose and define life bigger than themselves)

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