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Ski’Asia — Age 12

SkiAsiaMeet Ski’Asia! Ski-Asia is a motivated and intelligent 7th grader who has been playing basketball since 3rd grade and can light up a room with her infectious style. She dreams of one day playing in the WNBA and considers Skylar Green one of her inspirations and role models. But Ski’Asia has also had a lot of success off the basketball court as well. She says Social Studies and Math are to of her favorite subjects, and along with carrying a 3.4 GPA this semester, she is also involved with Mac Scholars and Avid through her school. Ski’Asia’s teachers say she is passionate, full of wisdom, and has a natural ability to adapt to new situations. Having met Ski’Asia myself, I can definitely agree. Welcome to Day Dreams Ski’Asia!

Bubble soccer tourney raises money for Columbia students

COLUMBIA — Three young men slipped into plastic bubbles that covered them from head to thighs and stood on the goal line of an indoor soccer field waiting for the whistle to blow.

At the sound of the whistle, the three men, all of whom played for the team Engineers That Matter, ran toward the center line.

The engineers beat the other team, called Houlihan’s, to the ball, shot at the goal and scored. They bumped into each other to celebrate.

Houlihan’s and Engineers That Matter were two of the 22 teams that participated Sunday morning in the inaugural Bubble Soccer Tournament at the Missouri Athletic Center.

The event, organized by Day Dreams Foundation, raised funds to help Columbia children 15 and younger buy equipment and cover fees for recreational sports.

Each player had a minimum fee of $30 for the tournament, which consisted of 3-on-3 games. Participants, who had to be 18 and older to play, were encouraged to raise more money through donations.

Continue Reading… 

Bubble soccer tournament to benefit Day Dreams Foundation

An event Sunday at the Missouri Athletic Center, 2900 Forum Blvd., will feature players attempting to play soccer while inside plastic bubbles that surround everything but their legs and feet.

The bubble soccer tournament from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is a fundraiser for the Day Dreams Foundation. The local not-for-profit organization aims to remove financial barriers for children wanting to participate in extracurricular activities.

Joe Bradley, founder and president, said the bubble soccer idea was pitched at a board meeting and the board was sold on the idea after watching videos of bubble soccer games.

He said there are bubble soccer leagues in Kansas City and St. Louis.

“It’s not something that’s been done in Columbia, yet,” Bradley said.

Continue Reading… 

Also, check out the Tribune Photo Gallery from the event HERE.


Keira — Age 9

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After reading Keira’s scholarship application I was excited to meet the quirky, creative, and energetic girl described. Keira was exactly that. Into the meeting walked a giggling girl with blue streaks in her hair. She was excited to tell us about the acting classes and why she enjoys being in plays. Keira said she was most excited to participate in acting classes because she wants to learn to be social and not so shy. Even though her bubbly personality in the meeting made it hard to believe she would ever be shy, we praised Keira for stepping outside her comfort zone!

Not only does Keira enjoy acting but she love animals. We talked quite a bit about our pets and favorite animals. Keira said she particularly likes turtles. She would like to be veterinarian when she grows up. However, if that doesn’t happen she is also interested in paleontology. She definitely has a wide range of interests and enjoys learning!

It was such a pleasure getting to know Keira and her mom. The room was full of laughter and smiles throughout the meeting. At the end of the meeting I asked Keira if I could take a picture of her with the Day Dreams Foundation t-shirt and her certificate. After smiling for photo I requested she demonstrate her best actress pose. Without a second thought she strikes a dramatic pose that elicits a laugh out of everyone in the room. We are so excited that Keira gets the opportunity to show off this star quality in acting classes at PACE and her next big play.

Written by Kelsey Louder


Brianna — Age 10

BriannaChiu“Hey there, you must be Brianna.”

“Yes, I really am! And this is my sister, Marley,” Brianna says cheerfully as she sat talking, laughing, and sharing a snack with her baby sister in the library.

“So, why do you want to participate in ballet?”

“Well, because it’s fun!”

“What sorts of things are you excited to learn from this activity?”


So went the meeting to award a scholarship to Brianna, a kind, goofy, and imaginative 10-year-old who is enthusiastic about ballet, among many other things. Her favorite color, something her mom said is highly variable, is black on this day. She loves writing, reading, math, and art and is an astute student. As a role model, she looks up to her mom, and hopes that her baby sister will look up to her in this way some day (and I’m certain she will). Some of her goals for the semester include healthy eating, to stay calm in stressful situations, and to “practice everything” that she can remember.

It was a joy to talk with Brianna, her mother, and her little sister during our meeting. I learned about how helpful and compassionate Brianna is with her family and at school, and about her sprightly and positive approach toward life. I learned about her flexibility and work ethic, transitioning on a few occasions between languages and cultures, in Columbia and Mexico (the country). I learned about how ballet classes have impacted her, through exercise, learning about commitment, fostering friendships, and creating a space for fun, to be a kid. Brianna, her family, and the Day Dreams Foundation team are all very excited and grateful for Brianna to be able to participate in ballet at the School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet for another year. Who knows? We might just have the next Anna Pavlova in our midst.

“Yes, a ballet dancer. That’s what I want to be when I grow up. Well, either that or a miner… someone who looks for interesting things that nobody has even thought up yet.”

We’ll see if she pursues ballet, mining, or any number of additional undertakings in the future. We’re delighted that she is happy to participate in dance classes now.

The Tom Bradley Show Interview

Thanks to The Tom Bradley Show for having Joe Bradley on this morning to talk about the Day Dreams Foundation and the upcoming bubble soccer tournament! Sign up for the tournament by Sept. 31 at www.classy.org/daydreamsbubblesoccer. You can listen to the interview below. It starts at about the 49:25 mark.


Day Dreams Kids: Kaiden and Ashley

Congratulations to two of our new scholarship winners, Kaiden and Ashley!

Kaiden, 8, was awarded a scholarship to play for Sporting Columbia SC as well as a gift card to purchase shoes and shin guards. According to Kaiden’s letter of recommendation, he is “well-liked by his peers and a true team player” as well as “a ver appreciative young man.”  We’re confident Kaiden is going to give his best on the field and in the classroom!

Ashley, 13, was awarded a scholarship to continue classes over the summer at Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Ashley is part of the First Position Dance Group with Boys and Girls Club of Columbia Missouri during the school year. According to her letter of recommendation, Ashley  “is a beautiful dancer that is quick to catch on. We often call her the Choreography Queen because can pick it up so very quickly… She is talented and is on my short list of girls that I believe could pursue dance within higher education.”


Seven Benefits of Extracurriculars — By Eugenia Nathan

EugeniaNathanI am the product of extracurriculars, lots of love and support. Essentially, that is what the Day Dreams Foundation is all about. Through fundraising, generous donations, and passion for the good that comes from a child participating in an after-school activity, the foundation is able to eliminate financial barriers that keep Columbia children from taking part in activities that shape who they are.

A little about me. Growing, up I was fortunate enough to have parents with endless patience. I am one of 3 girls. My older sister was pretty athletic. After playing on a city recreational soccer league, she quickly found her niche. She learned about working as a team, respecting adults and rules, how to form friendships, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle; she applied these life lesson in other facets of her life and still does today.  It wasn’t so quick and easy for me. I tried ballet, tap, jazz, t-ball, piano, basketball, soccer, track and volleyball before I found writing. The school Newspaper became my thing- I was extremely fascinated with all things words. I learned how to write something more useful than a 5 paragraph essay and how great it was to meet new people and tell their stories. Here’s the kicker! Even though I bounced around from activity to activity, I learned something important while trying several after-school activities. Lessons about honesty, friendship, humility, and perseverance followed me even as I moved onto writing.

When you stop and ask why it is important for a community to rally around making extracurriculars accessible to their children the answer is simple: it makes better, happier children.

Think about a child you know. Now think about how each of these benefits will impact that child.

Benefit #1: Forming Relationship Skills

Put a bunch of kids on one team, give them a goal, and they somehow learn to get along with each other, work through conflict, and learn how to appropriately act in social situations.

Benefit #2: Kids learn ‘there is no I in team’

Extracurricular involvement gives kids the opportunity to walk away from the idea of only thinking of themselves, but rather contributing to something else.

Benefit #3: Getting involved in diverse interests

It is important for kids to find something that they can make their own. This fosters ownership and helps kids form their unique personality. Diverse activities allow kids to explore various interests they might have. Day Dreams Kids are also required to complete service hours for each month they are on scholarship, further expanding their interests.

Benefit #4: Bumping Self-Esteem

Everyone wants to find something they can excel in. Extracurriculars give kids a way to get involved in something that they can shine in, giving them a self-esteem boost.

Benefit #5: Learning Time Management

Juggling activities and commitments are something our children will one day have to deal with. After-school activities are great practice for this important life skill in prioritizing.

Benefit #6: Encouraging academic success

This may be more relevant as kids enter into middle school. Several programs require their participants to be in good academic standing. Day Dreams kids are required to have their teacher sign off that they gave their best effort in the classroom if they would like to have their scholarship renewed for another season/activity. A healthy love for learning and maintaining good grades can grow from a rooted love for extracurriculars.

Benefit #7: A smile

Memories, smiles, and laughs make for a happy child. The children in our community today will one day be our doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Let’s build the foundation for a happy and healthy future.

To learn more about how you can build this happy and healthy future, explore this website. You can learn about how we started, the kids who are fulfilling their dreams, upcoming fundraising events, how to apply for scholarships and other ways you can support the community.


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Playground Equipment

Over the past few weeks, our board members have been running around Columbia dropping off new playground equipment to five elementary schools in Columbia. The following schools were selected by the Day Dreams Foundation board to receive the donations: Shepard Elementary, Blue Ridge Elementary, Benton Elementary, Alpha Hart Elementary and Derby Ridge Elementary. The schools received an equipment bag full of new basketballs, soccer balls and kickballs. It was a joy to drop off the new equipment and meet some of the great people in the Columbia elementary schools! We hope the kids enjoy the new balls!

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