Our Blog

Kanisha — Age 15

KanishaGreenMcClainKanisha is a 15-year-old rising basketball star for Rock Bridge High School. She said that she loves playing basketball because, “it keeps me out of trouble and helps me to meet a lot of new people and gives me a promising future.” When Kanisha isn’t hitting the hardwood she’s working hard to bring her dream of becoming an entrepreneur to life. She hopes to get there one day through studying hard and becoming a better leader. She has some lofty goals she would like to one day achieve, but Kanisha knows that she has to get better every day to become the person she hopes to be. She said that she has a goal of “becoming known as someone who will always be there for you” and hopes that she can show that by becoming closer to her teammates. She is a wonderful student and said that she would like to make the A Honor Roll next semester. Kanisha is the ideal Day Dreams scholarship recipient because she would like to eat healthier, volunteer more, and because she says, “I’m great at basically every sport.” Welcome to Day Dreams, Kanisha!

#Donate4Dreams on #GivingTuesday

All day long, our board members will be sharing stories about why they chose to give of their time to the Day Dreams Foundation. We’ll update this post throughout the day with more stories! Please consider donating to the Day Dreams Foundation today. Click HERE to make a one-time, weekly or monthly contribution.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.48.51 PMMegan Peres, Board Member

After returning from my internship at Walt Disney World, I was going through a lot of withdrawals. The biggest one being I missed making kids dreams come true. I missed seeing those bright smiles when I got to give a child a little extra pixie dust. I missed being a fairygod mother to a sweet little prince or princess. That’s when the Day Dreams Foundation came along.

The first time I handed out a scholarship to a child, I knew the Day Dreams Foundation gave me the chance to spread magic again. Amahdjhe was so excited when I told him he was going to play for Columbia Orange Basketball. His mother explained to me that she heard about the Day Dreams Foundation from some of Amahdjhe’s teammates and thought it was too good to be true but applied for the scholarship anyways. She also told me how Amahdjhe and his friends always talk about how they are going to go pro one day. This short conversation is what made me realize that Columbia, MO can also be the place where dreams come true.

This Giving Tuesday I encourage you all to donate to the Day Dreams Foundation because you would not just be donating your money but giving an opportunity to make a child’s dreams come true! ‪#‎donate4dreams‬

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.49.30 PMKatelyn Sanders, Board Member

While the story of how I came to be involved with the Day Dreams Foundation might be anti-climatic, I think it’s one that paints a very accurate picture of the organization and what it’s about. I moved to Columbia in February. Not long after the move I met several of the current Day Dreams board members, and was eventually asked to join. I can’t say enough about the board members. These individuals lead by example in the way their lives reflect their passion: helping others in the most humble and selfless of ways. So if for no other reason, I knew that an opportunity to be part of an organization run by people like this was one I would be silly to pass up. Of course Day Dream’s mission of making it possible for all children to participate in extra-curricular activities is one I can easily stand behind. A person doesn’t have to look far to see the benefits children reap when acting in a play, kicking a ball, displaying their artwork, learning how to be part of a team…donating to the Day Dreams Foundation helps ensure children can pursue these passions. Help us help these kids and‪#‎donate4dreams‬!

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.49.38 PMJoe Bradley, President

I started playing golf when I was 8 years old. No one in my family played, but I watched Tiger Woods win the 1997 Masters and was hooked. I convinced my mom to sign me up for junior lessons through a local community college. I remember the night before my first lesson we went to buy my first set of clubs — there was only one junior set available at the store back then. I took the clubs out of the box and slept with them in my bed that night. I still have the clubs in my garage — my Little Brother Ja’shaun plays with them now.

My parents were nothing but supportive of my dream to become a pro golfer. Junior golf is definitely not one of the cheaper endeavors I could have pursued. There were clubs, shoes, golf balls, lessons, junior leagues, out of town tournaments, driving range passes, greens fees, and much more. I started Day Dreams because I wanted to give every kid that chance. The chance to pursue a dream. Money should never stand in the way of a child and his or her dream. Obviously, I didn’t become a pro golfer. However, I’m confident that the people I met chasing that little white ball around a golf course and the life lessons I learned around the along the way were pivotal to me becoming the man I am today. Thank you to my mom and dad for giving me the chance to dream — a dream that has manifest itself into the Day Dreams Foundation. I hope I never wake up.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 7.18.50 PMKelsey Louder, Board Member

I first found out about Day Dreams Foundation after Ellen asked me if I could include scholarship applications in the resources I give to families at work. After hearing about this wonderful organization I was thrilled when Ellen asked if I was interested in joining the board. Upon leaving my first board meeting I was nothing short of inspired. Inspired by the other people on the board. Inspired by the Day Dreams Foundation’s mission. Most of all, inspired by the stories I heard about the kids and families. During my first meeting to hand out a scholarship I met an amazing family. This little girl and her mother were fun, enthusiastic and motivated. It was impossible not to leave with that same attitude. She told me that acting classes would not only help her do well in the upcoming play, but also help her to make friends and be more social. I give my time to being a board member because in the short time I have been involved I have seen the impact these scholarships have on kids and their families.

Donating money to Day Dreams Foundation doesn’t just help children participate in an extracurricular activities, it gives them the opportunity to learn about themselves, accomplish goals, and work towards their dreams! ‪#‎donate4dreams‬

Drevon and DeteriesMarcus Williams, Vice President

My involvement in the Day Dreams Foundation comes from simple reasons. I like giving back, so that of course made it an easy choice. But on a more personal level, it presented me an opportunity to be apart of something that I would have needed as a young man. There were many times growing up where my mother, mostly raising two boys on her own,couldn’t afford to pay for us to do the things we wanted, both in and out of school. When a scholarship application is read during our board meetings, I feel a subdued-but-sharp twinge of familiarity as we hear about the desperate circumstances that lead families to reach out to us. I know those situations all too well. But that’s why I know it’s imperative that I do what I can to help now that I’m blessed to have the chance to help. I couldn’t accept Joe’s invitation to join the foundation fast enough.

On this Giving Tuesday, I implore those of you with the means to do so to make a charitable donation because extracurriculars are things that many of us take for granted every day, but for hundreds of kids in just Columbia, it’s not as easily accessible. Think back to what you wanted to do after school in your formative years; now think about those options, for reasons outside of your own control, suddenly not being on the table. That’s the harsh reality facing so many children in Columbia today. But if you give, that could very well mean one less family in that position. When put that way to me, the choice to serve was unquestionably easy.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.52.48 PMEllen Huch — Secretary

I started taking piano lesson’s in 3rd grade. I wasn’t so sure about the idea, but my dad had taken them as a kid and insisted I at least give it a shot. My teacher was a recommendation from a neighbor who my parents had never met before signing me up for lessons. From my first lesson I knew I would like her. She has a way about her that makes you feel important. When she listens to you, it’s easy to tell that she truly cares what you have to say. She lights up the room with her smile and infectious laugh and is easily on of the most vivacious people I have ever met. I took piano lessons from that first lesson in 3rd grade, all the way until I graduated high school. Over the years, she became so much more than a piano teacher to my family and I.

Beverly makes all of her students feel like part of the family. She hosts annual Halloween and Christmas parties, filled with piano performances, but also filled with laughter and a sense of belonging. She encourages her students to get to know one another by having us participate in duets, and even quartets. Every year, all the high-schoolers are invited to “piano camp” at her lake house with a little bit of piano, and a lot of tubing, swimming, and fun.

Beverly is an expert at helping her students reach their full potential. She chooses pieces for them that are within their skill level, but always just a little harder than the last piece. More than that, she truly believes you can do it. She knows just how to console you after you blew a performance or competition, and no one is prouder when you go home with a trophy or a blue ribbon.

I looked forward to my lesson with Beverly every week, and it had nothing to do with playing piano. Beverly was someone to talk to, someone who I knew would listen to me without judgment, and offer truly heartfelt advice and love. When my father passed away suddenly, it was speaking with Beverly every week that I remember as being one of the most helpful ways of dealing with my grief.

Beverly taught me how to play piano, but she also taught me how to embrace what life throws at you and make the best of it. She taught me how to read music, but she also taught me that your relationships with others are what are truly important. She taught me that practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. She taught me to use the acronym, “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” to remember the lines on a treble clef, but she also taught me to work hard and not to use shortcuts. She taught me to make a plan and set goals, but also to go with the flow when your plans fell through. She taught me that my best is good enough.

I am a better person today because of Beverly. I can only hope that all children have the opportunity to have a mentor like her, whether it’s through piano lessons, a sport, or another extracurricular activity. The Day Dream Foundation works to ensure that all children have that chance, and that’s why I am honored to serve on it’s board of directors. Please consider making a donation today in honor of an important mentor in your life!

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.49.47 PMEugenia Nathan, Board Member

I absolutely love being involved with Day Dreams because it means another child gets to smile. I get to work with a lot of students in an academic setting, but seeing the positive impacts of participation in an extra-curricular have shown me what a stepping stone of opportunity a scholarship can be. I have had the blessing of meeting with a Day Dreams scholarship recipient and seeing how she is growing as a leader and a talented artist. This is just one part of Day Dreams that makes my heart happy.

Another part is you! The community involvement and support to make more and more dreams possible always blows me away. When so many people rally around something that builds so much good it reminds me what a wonderful world we live in.




Maria (age 6) and Marcus (age 9)



Maria: 6 year-old Maria is quick to give an inviting smile and show off her self-taught gymnastics skills. “That was a well executed hand-stand! Who taught you that??” Maria: “…myself!” After putting on her new Day Dreams t-shirt, Maria struck a quick pose and was right away back to hand-stands and cartwheels. Maria’s scholarship will allow her to participate in a tumbling class at Flipz USA! This class will help build a foundation for her to become a future cheerleader. Maria is especially excited to pick out her first leotard! From the performance she gave me, it’s clear Maria will be an excellent fit in her new tumbling class. Welcome to the Day Dreams team!

Marcus: Meet 9 year-old Marcus! Always wanting to be the fastest runner, aiming for plenty of goals, and ultimately to be like his father, Marcus is an aspiring soccer star! When he is old enough, Marcus hopes to play on the same team as his father. On a typical weeknight Marcus can be found giving it his all on the indoor soccer court, and continues even after the game with some kicking practice with his father. Described by his teachers as an encouraging and hard working student, Marcus especially enjoys art, reading, and physical education. Marcus’ dreams don’t stop on the soccer field! His ultimate goal is to “become a soldier in the Army!” A person doesn’t have to know Marcus for long to see that he will put his Day Dreams scholarship to great use, spreading positive energy and making those goals!

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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.

Enter your pledge amount