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Day Dreams Foundation: More Than Scholarships

Columbia Business Times Nonprofit Spotlight

By Nina Hebrank 

July 26, 2017

Most of us remember what is was like to play soccer after school with friends or be a part of a team or club after school — it’s routine for some kids, something that comes without a second thought. But often we don’t realize how important extracurricular activities can be for our youth. After-school programs can be a vital help for students on the way to becoming well-rounded adults.

Not everyone can afford the cost of a soccer uniform or activity fees. That’s what the Day Dreams Foundation focuses on — eliminating the financial barriers for students to participate in extracurricular activities. Since its founding in 2014, Day Dreams has helped nearly 150 kids participate in extracurricular activities, providing over $27,830 in activity fees, $3,184 in equipment costs, and $1,500 in college scholarships.

Kids 18 and under who are Columbia or Boone County residents and receive a free or reduced lunch are eligible for these scholarships. Day Dreams Foundation has also extended eligibility to students who are homeschooled if they fit the financial income requirements.

“I think it’s so important for kids growing up to have additional people in their life trying to put them on the right track,” founder and president Joe Bradley says. “Oftentimes, that person is a coach or an instructor in those extracurriculars.”

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Matthew Jr. (MJ)

The Day Dreams Foundation is proud to introduce our newest Day Dreams Kid. MJ received a scholarship to play football this fall and he can’t wait to learn how to be a running back. MJ and his teammates are learning the fundamentals and the rules of the game.  While he is playing football now, that doesn’t mean that’s the only sport he plays. He is an avid basketball player, and wants to be a professional basketball player when he grows up. Always good to keep your options open. :) When he isn’t playing sports, he focuses on math because that’s his favorite subject in school. It was great getting to know MJ and his father, Matthew Sr. They are a wonderful father team, and we can see why MJ said his role model is his dad. We are happy to have you both in the Day Dreams Family. Good Luck with Football!

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Tyrik

This past week, we awarded a scholarship to Tyrik Smith so he can play football with the Columbia Youth Football League. Tyrik is 8 years old but he’s already racing his way to the top in math class (which is his favorite subject in school!) And when we say racing, we mean that because Tyrik is fast! At tryouts last week, the coaches told him he was one of the fastest runners so he’s hoping to be a running back when he starts playing! “I want to play football because it’s fun. You get to run and I like running. I am excited to learn new footwork and new plays.”

We are so excited that Tyrik is ready to hit the ground running not only in football but in school and the community. He wants to help people learn new things and work on his math skills! Plus, he said he’s going to try to eat more veggies and drink a lot of water in the next few months. That should definitely help him put on that burst of speed! Congratulations, Tyrik, we are so excited to have you as a Day Dreams kid!

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MeAhjai

This past weekend, we were so excited to award a basketball scholarship to MeAhjai! MeAhjai has loved the game since a young age when her cousins taught her to play, and she’s been playing with the boys ever since she can remember. She’s excited to play with the girls this summer, and they’re headed to Oklahoma this weekend for nationals. She loves the sport so much that when she gets older she hopes to continue playing or coaching. Good luck MeAhjai and keep chasing your dreams!

MeAhjai

Saryia

The Day Dreams Foundation is proud to introduce our newest scholarship recipient, eleven year-old Saryia! Eventually she’d like to be a vet, but right now Saryia’s focus is on basketball, specifically “shooting, scoring, and learning how not to travel.” Saryia has grown up playing casual games of basketball, and her Day Dreams scholarship will get her involved in an organized league to help develop her game even further. Getting ready to start middle school, Saryia’s excited to make new friends – but just as importantly she plans on “keeping the old ones” too. We’re excited for Saryia and her upcoming season, join us in congratulating her!

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VIDEO: Local nonprofit hosts bubble soccer tournament

Day Dreams Foundation raises money to help underprivileged children in Columbia, Missouri participate in extracurricular activities. On March 11, 2017, the organization held a bubble soccer tournament as a fundraiser. Produced by Mengtong Qian for VOX Magazine.

PHOTO GALLERY: Bubble soccer event raises money for Day Dreams Foundation

For the second year, Day Dreams Foundation hosted its bubble soccer tournament Saturday at the Missouri Athletic Center. Teams consisted of three to five players, and the minimum cost to participate was $30. All proceeds from the event go toward the foundation, which offers scholarships to children who face financial barriers and helps them take part in extracurricular activities.

CLICK HERE to view the photo gallery by Claire Rounkles

Bubble soccer benefits children’s activities

By Shanna Grove, KOMU Reporter

COLUMBIA — The Bubble Soccer Tournament Saturday is fundraising to help Columbia’s children participate in extracurricular activities.

“I know how important it is for kids to be able to participate in extracurricular activities, it gives them something to do, something to strive for,” participant Dan Pearce said.

During bubble soccer, players wear a plastic bubble that covers their head to their thighs, leaving most of their legs and feet free to run and kick the ball.

Day Dreams Foundation President Joe Bradley said he wants people to come out and have a good time and learn more about the foundation.

“The thing I’m looking forward to the most is one, raising a lot of money for the foundation, that’s the most important thing,” Bradley said. “But, secondly bubble soccer is just, even if you can’t play, it’s one of the most fun things to watch. As soon as that first game starts and you see them set the ball down in the middle, and three on three people just running full force at each other and go flying, it’s a pretty entertaining time.”

Participant Elise Henn said it is cool that the foundation provides opportunities to so many kids.

She said this is her first time playing bubble soccer.

“I’m most looking forward to watching other people and the knocking into each other and falling down,” Henn said.

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Sydney

SydneyKingWe also awarded a ballet scholarship to Sydney on Thursday. She loves ballet because “you get to dance and I love dancing.” She even loves rehearsing! Her next big ballet goal is to work on her foot work to make her toes be as pointy as possible.

Not only does she have a favorite color, she has four favorite colors: pink, purple, blue and black. Her favorite subject is math, and her favorite thing to do is, of course, ballet. When Sydney grows up, she wants to be a popstar like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. She wasn’t able to pick a favorite song because she loves them all!

We asked her to tell us something special about herself, and she had a great response. “I’m cute!” Her oldest sister added that she’s cute because she has cheeks that feel like marshmallows. Sydney will do just great in ballet!

Aubree

AubreeKingWe awarded Aubree a gymnastics scholarship. Aubree likes gymnastics because she likes spending time with her friends and of course, she loves learning about gymnastics. Her next big gymnastics goal is to learn how to do a cartwheel on the balance beam. What a big goal!

Aubree’s favorite colors are purple and black, and her favorite subjects in school are math and science. Both will be helpful when she either becomes an artist or a vet when she grows up. Her role model is her oldest sister, and they both sure can be silly together. We asked Aubree what was something special about her, and she said playing pranks. After meeting Aubree this is definitely true because my purse mysteriously went missing as part of one of her pranks.

Aubree will do wonderfully in gymnastics, and we know she’ll always keep things entertaining for those around her.

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