The Make Dreams Real Programs

With your support, the Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund is able to enrich and nurture the minds and bodies of thousands of Stanislaus County school-aged children and their families through a variety of educational programs.

Our Programs Impact Real Kids in Really Big Ways

youth were granted scholarships to attend Boy Scout Camp at no cost to them 


were granted scholarships to participate in YES! Company


were added to The First Tee DRIVE Program

1,400 KIDS

were provided after school and summer youth programs with Make Dreams Real

kids suffering from heart disease were able to attend Camp Taylor


who experience trauma were able to get the counseling and assistance they needed through Art Restores Kids

Kids attended a robotics summer camp


who wanted (or whose parents wanted them) to go to camp were able to go at Riverbank Language Academy

grade students were about to attend field trips to the Carnegie Arts Center

students to participate in MSO’s Link Up Program

students received free or reduced dance classes and performed at a recital with Juline’s School of Dance

hours of service learning logged


youth from Modesto were able to participate in the yearlong TRAC program


who experienced extreme trauma were able to go to Camp Hope

children were able to receive advocacy and mentoring from CASA.

Gave access to over


students to the National Ag Science Center

2023 Programs

Make Dreams Real offers support through a variety of programs across Stanislaus County. Learn how these opportunities can make a significant difference in our local youth, teens and their families by clicking the + icon beside each program:

Bel Passi Baseball

The funds used from Make Dreams Real would subsidize the enrollment fees for low income players to keep the costs of registration affordable for youth players. Bel Passi baseball is a youth baseball recreation league in Modesto.

Beyer Robotics Club: Robotics Summer Camp

The Patriot Robotics program was founded by Dr. Liliana Lazo and Heidi Pagani at Beyer High School in late 2011 and first competed in 2012 to motivate students future involvement in STEM fields. The after-school program is comprised of students ages 14 to 18 years old. The students participate in building, wiring, and programming of the robots for regional competitions. In the 2017-2018 season, the team officially added a business/outreach component. 

The Patriot Robotics teams include two FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC) teams and one FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) team. With the guidance of coaches and mentors, the students have had success at winning awards and qualifying for World Championships.

Boy Scouts of America: Camp McConnell River Adventures

Camp McConnell River Adventures

The funds donated from Make Dreams Real will go towards making scouting available to children who are not financially able to participate. 

Boys and Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County: Summer Camp Programming

Since 2012, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County operates club sites at C.F. Brown and Sylvan Elementary Schools, and Somerset Middle School and West Modesto. The outcomes for children and youth are embodied, enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Boys and Girls Club does this by assisting with academic success, good character & citizenship, and adopt healthy lifestyles. Clubs are fun, safe places where youth learn new skills, connect with positive peers, and receive support and guidance from caring adults. Each Club provides a wide range of experiences for youth, offering them a foundation of support as they grown, develop and ultimately chart a path for their own adult lives. The grant money from Make Dreams Real goes directly to the Junior Staff program. The Junior Staff program Today is a practical small-group program that assists Club teens in exploring a career in youth development or other human services, with a particular focus on Boys & Girls Club work.

Community Hospice: Camp Erin

Being a grieving child or teen can be a lonely experience. He or she may often be the only one in class who has lost a mom or dad, a brother or sister. At a time in life when it feels very important to fit in, grief can make him or her feel different, isolated. Camp Erin of the Central Valley allows grieving children and teens to be with others who share similar feelings. It is such a relief for them to know that they are not alone. Children and teens from military families are invited and encouraged to apply.

Camp Erin of the Central Valley shows children that what they are experiencing, although painful, is perfectly normal. Camp provides an opportunity for campers to address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. Children and teens often do not have an avenue to express their grief or to honor and remember the person they held dear. Through a variety of activities including drama, arts and crafts, creative writing and physical activities, children have the opportunity to “get their feelings out” while memorializing their loved one.

Camp Taylor: Kids Heart Camp

The money from Make Dreams Real provides a new camp experience for about 18 children battling heart disease. Camp Taylor operates a 5-day, medically supervised camp for children with high medical needs. At camp, they are able to participate in fun and challenging recreational activities, making them not longer feel “different” from their peers.

Carnegie Arts Center: Discover Art Field Trips

In keeping with the Carnegie Arts Center’s mission to be the community’s resource for discovering and learning through the arts, a major component of our ongoing programming targets arts education through the schools. Our Discover Art field trips have brought students from Kindergarten through High School to see exhibitions every year since our opening in Fall 2011. Each school visit includes a gallery tour and a hands-on art lesson, allowing students to connect the ideas and concepts presented by the art they see in the gallery to an actual work of art they make themselves. 

With each new exhibition in our gallery, a new tour and art-making activity are developed. Field trips have introduced students to the works of Ansel Adams, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso and José Guadalupe Posada. Other exhibitions students have visited include Japanese ceramics, art quilts, and pastel paintings. Field trip lessons have covered elements in art such as the use of space, color, light, balance, and emphasis. Themes for discussions and projects are drawn from the exhibitions, such as developing narrative, use of graphic design in advertising, and exploring satire or caricature. 

City Ministry Network: Latino Leadership Initiative

The City Ministry Network’s Hispanic Youth Council is a group of young people from Hispanic backgrounds who come together to serve their communities and grow in their faith. The council is a part of the larger City Ministry Network, which seeks to empower urban churches to serve their communities more effectively.

The Hispanic Youth Council provides a platform for Hispanic youth to develop leadership skills, build relationships with other young people, and serve their communities through various outreach programs. The council members are encouraged to live out their faith by serving others and being positive role models in their communities.

Overall, the City Ministry Network’s Hispanic Youth Council aims to empower Hispanic youth to become leaders in their communities and grow in their faith, while also equipping churches and youth leaders to better serve Hispanic youth.

Cricket's Hope: Cricket's Hope Ranch Camp

The MDR grant will send 60 children to camp at Cricket’s Hope. The camp supports children who are tremendously underserved and have experienced immense trauma. The camp serves these children by teaching art therapy and coping mechanisms.  

Gallo Center for the Arts: YES Company!

The Gallo Center for the Arts (GCA) has recently partnered with the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) to produce YES (Youth Entertainment Stage) Company, a nine-week theater intensive for youth, grades 7-12. This summer-long experience culminates in a full-scale Broadway-style musical for the community. Prior to 2018, YES Company was exclusively managed by SCOE, under the direction of Melanee Wyatt. Upon the announcement of her retirement, SCOE invited GCA to partner with them, in order to ensure the future of this program. After much deliberation, GCA agreed to expand its arts education programming to include YES Company, as it understood the value YES Company brought to the community, especially its youth. Under this new agreement, GCA oversees all of the artistic, administrative, and operational components of the program. SCOE provides some financial support, use of facility space and storage, as well as mentoring support.

Haven Youth Center: HAART Program

The money from Make Dreams Real would go to fund the HAART program- Healthy and Responsible Relationships Troop. It is a 5 week program for youth at risk of witnessing and/or experiencing intimate partner violence. Haven and HARRT peer educators will improve the social and emotional competence of youth participants by supporting them to develop and engage in self-regulating behaviors; to interact positively with others; to use words and language skills; and to communicate emotions more effectively.

First Tee: Central Valley Youth Programs

First Tee is an international youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to kids and teens. Through after-school and in-school programs, we help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect, and perseverance through the game of golf. And it’s making a difference. The funds from Make Dreams Real allows First Tee to increase the number of diverse participants in its DRIVE program.

Jessica's House: School Group Program

Jessica’s House School Group Program is a grief support program designed for school-aged children who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The program is run by Jessica’s House, a non-profit organization that provides grief support services to individuals and families in Stanislaus County, California.

The School Group Program provides a safe and supportive space for children to process their grief and learn healthy coping mechanisms. The program is facilitated by trained grief support professionals who help children understand and express their feelings in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. The program also incorporates art, music, and other therapeutic activities to help children express themselves and work through their grief.

The School Group Program is offered to schools in Stanislaus County, with a goal of reaching as many children as possible who are dealing with loss. The program is free of charge to participating schools, and the curriculum is tailored to meet the specific needs of each school and student population.

Overall, the Jessica’s House School Group Program aims to provide grief support and education to school-aged children who have experienced loss, while also raising awareness about the importance of grief support in the community. By helping children work through their grief in a healthy way, the program hopes to promote healing and resilience in the face of loss.

Juline Foundation: Everett School Outreach Dance Program

The money granted from Make Dreams Real made it possible for 15 classrooms of children to receive 8 hours of dance instruction for eight weeks. The eight weeks of dance instruction culminated in a performance showcasing the students at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Some exceptional students were also offered in-depth dance education classes during the school year as well.

Junior Navy SEALS

The Goal of the Junior Navy Seals is to empower high school students between the ages of 13-18 within Stanislaus County to develop the leadership skills required to become successful in ALL aspects of life, and to someday give back to the community. We achieve these goals through developing the student’s self-image and self-esteem. We help them define a purpose in life, and give them opportunities to become leaders. We incorporate team building, physical training, and volunteer opportunities that instill our six CORE elements: communication, team work, situational awareness, goal setting, stress control and etiquette. The majority of the students come from broken homes and are on assisted living. However, our OUTCOME is as follows: about 53% of the alumni go on to college, around 42% are accepted into the military, and about 3% enter the workforce. 100% graduate High School, and NONE require assisted living. Because of funding from Make Dreams Real 20 more students will be able to participate in the program tuition free.

Modesto Performing Arts: Modesto Youth Theater

Modesto Performing Arts’ Youth Theater Program is a performing arts program designed for children and youth in Modesto, California. The program aims to provide an inclusive and supportive environment where young people can learn about and engage in all aspects of theater production, including acting, singing, dancing, and technical theater.

The Youth Theater Program offers a variety of classes, workshops, and productions throughout the year. Classes are taught by experienced theater professionals who help children develop their skills and confidence in a fun and nurturing environment. Workshops focus on specific aspects of theater production, such as audition techniques, stage combat, and musical theater performance.

The program also produces several full-length productions each year, featuring children and youth in all roles both onstage and behind the scenes. These productions allow young people to apply the skills they have learned in class and workshops, while also building teamwork and collaboration skills.

The Youth Theater Program strives to create a community of young artists who support and encourage each other’s growth and development. The program also seeks to provide affordable access to high-quality performing arts education for all children and youth in the community.

Overall, the Modesto Performing Arts’ Youth Theater Program aims to provide children and youth with opportunities to explore their creativity, build their confidence, and develop lifelong skills through the performing arts.

Modesto Sound: Recording Arts Music Summer Camp

The grant from Make Dreams Real Foundation pays for kids from low income families to be able to attend a music technology camp designed and run by the non-profit Modesto Sound (Recording | Live Sound | Education) organization.

 Activities include:

  • Learning about microphones, recording, and interviewing people
  • Writing and voicing a public service announcement for public radio
  • Field trips
  • Creating an original song
  • Recording songs
  • Learning about live sound
  • Teamwork building
  • Making a drum and having drum circles
  • Holding a concert including performance of the original song

Before camp even begins Modesto Sound staff meet with campers and their families and perform community service work to get to know everyone while volunteering. During camp, they acquire valuable skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication as well as music and technology knowledge. 

Modesto Symphony Orchestra: Link-Up

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra’s Link Up program works with 3rd to 5th graders all over Stanislaus County by teaching them the recorder in the classroom. Using a student guide and with instruction from their teacher, students learn multiple recorder songs and later attend a concert performed by Modesto Symphony and get to interact with the musicians. This event is truly electric and it is such a fun time seeing the kids perform and love music!

Opera Modesto: Young Artists Program

The TOP Young Artists Program and all of its activities are the creation of the new Opera Modesto Leadership Team (2018); General & Artistic Director, Roy Stevens, and Artistic Consultant, Annalisa Winberg, who believe in the power of the arts to inspire indelible cross-disciplinary learning. They also believe deeply in the power of “selfless” community collaborations; with traditional arts partners and especially with non-traditional partners. They have begun many successful, exciting community collaborations that are already paying dividends for the community partners and for Opera Modesto.

Outdoor Education: Wilderness-based Learning Opportunities for Kids

Salida Unified School District- Because of the funding provided by Make Dreams Real, 50 additional students were able to attend Outdoor Education who would not have been able to attend without the scholarship opportunity.

Stanislaus Union School District- Stanislaus Union School District has a 70% poverty rate. Because of the funding provided from Make Dreams Real, no child is excluded from Outdoor Education due to a lack of ability to pay.

Sylvan Union School District- 58 students in the Sylvan Union School District were able to attend camp because of the grant given by Make Dreams Real. Without the grant, because of financial reasons, these children would have never been able to experience this highly collaborative experience.

Additional school districts:
Patterson Unified School District
Riverbank Language Academy

Patterson Recreation: Recreation Scholarship Program

The Patterson Recreation Scholarship Program is provided for any individual 18 years and under, who wish to participate in City of Patterson Recreation programs and is not financially able to! Applicants must live in the city limits of Patterson and provide proof of residency. They must meet the age qualifications and show proof of financial need. Applicants are accepted on a first come, first served basis and are awarded up to $100 / youth. 

With the funding from the Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund, we were able to in provide 58 youth the opportunity to participate in Summer Camp, arts classes, cooking for youth, swim lessons and youth soccer. Each of the programs listed have components that meet our objectives of healthy options for Patterson’s youth by getting them outside and active. The success of the grant was immediate, with the outpouring of youth scholarship applications, resulting in the use of all grant funds prior to the start of summer programming, in June 2018.

Roberts Ferry Union Elementary School: Exploratorium and Tech Interactive Museum Field Trips

The money from Make Dreams Real goes to fun Exploratorium field trips for 4th and 5th graders at Roberts Ferry Elementary. The funds are also used for the Tech Interactive Museum for 2nd and 3rd graders.

Sierra Vista Child & Family Services: Service Learning for Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista Child and Family Services Kirk Baucher Non-Public School and Sierra Vista Learning Center provides special education for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, serving our community for over 30 years. Our school specializes in providing educational and mental health services to students who qualify for special education under the primary disabilities of Autism, emotional disturbance and other health impairments. This specialized school setting offers individualized education services, social skills development, behavior management, crisis intervention, and family support. Our schools are certified by the California State Department of Education. The program provides full academic assessment, a specialized curriculum for students with learning disabilities, vocational education, crisis intervention, an activity program, and family counseling. Education plans are designed to fit the individual needs of each student. Social skills training, art, music, drama, and community outings are some of the self-esteem building activities of the school program. At Kirk Baucher, we take a “whole child” approach while using a nurtured heart approach to help students become successful not only at school, but also in their homes and communities. Our school enrollment is currently at 75 students. In the past, we have had an Activity Department on our campus that teaches hands on activities to students to support what they are learning in the classroom. We are looking for a community partner that could come alongside and help to financially support this team with a budget that allowed for community based instruction as well as get our subscription box dream off the ground which in turn will help to support this team on its own moving forward. We have dreamed of an opportunity for our students to make items, and assemble subscription boxes and distribute them to members in our 3 of 6 Program Budget (ALL) community that would bring awareness and understanding to special education and mental health needs. Having a budget to make this happen would give our students an incredible experience as we teach new skills that will in turn help others in our community. Thank you for taking the time to consider us as we cast vision to call out the greatness of our students by giving them a purpose for their gifts and talents. The funds from Make Dreams Real allow the schools to engage in more artistic and musical opportunities.

The Salvation Army: Red Shield Youth Program

The Salvation Army Modesto Red Shield After-School programs provide children a safe haven from gang-ridden areas with positive mentors to help build character and establish positive role models. Because of the economic environment of South Modesto, many families struggle to provide adequate, nutritional meals for their families. The After-School program steps in and ensures that every child receives a snack when they arrive and a hot, nutritious meal before they leave. This program helps fill the gap for the families that cannot provide consistent, healthy meals to their children. The Red Shield also offers academic tutoring, computer literacy, teen gang prevention, water safety (swim lessons, junior lifeguarding certification), boxing, baseball, and basketball. As a result of the programs offered, children will increase their academic performance, become more food secure, and stay safe from dangerous environments. This grant would help us reach out to approximately 20 additional youth in the program we serve. This will help us to revitalize the program in a safe environment. The prior two years have been anomalies due to COVID-19.

Society for disABILITIES: Adapted Bike Camp

We at Society want to thank everyone with Make Dreams Real for the continued support of our Adapted Bike Camp. The purpose of the camp is to provide an “immersion” experience in bicycling using specially designed equipment and teaching methods. Because of grants like Make Dreams Real, we are able to host a bike camp to teach individuals with diverse abilities how to ride a bike.

 We had two new campers that registered who were a little older than our usual participants. Upon talking to them a little more, we learned that they were sisters who wanted to learn to ride a bike to ride alongside their son/nephew. In the years prior, the son was a participant who learned to ride through our program and has successfully been riding on his own. The mom and her sister were determined to complete the camp so that they can ride alongside him. At the end of the week they both completed the camp successfully, riding a two-wheeled bike on their own. In a follow up survey, the daughter said that “They ride their bikes together all the time now, and I love seeing how happy and social that makes my brother. Thank you a million times over.”

Stanislaus Family Justice Center: Camp Hope

The grant money from Make Dreams Real supported 24 children ages 7-11 who have been victims of and/or exposed to domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and/or family violence to attend Camp HOPE. Camp Hope provides evidence-based mentoring and camping experiences for these children.

Tuolumne River Trust: Adventure Club

The Tuolumne River Adventure Club (TRAC) seeks to increase participation in outdoor recreation and community service by underserved youth and families in Modesto’s Airport Neighborhood as a means of improving health and well-being while nurturing a positive sense of place. Eighteen youth, ages 12 – 16, have participated in TRAC activities since June 2017.  An additional 38 youth have been reached through our partnership with the Police Activities League (PAL) and the Airport Bicycle Club (ABC). As a result, we estimate that support from the Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund has helped us engage approximately 30 families in healthy outdoor activities. In addition to our weekly Club meetings, over the past 10 months TRAC youth have participated in 12 field trips/activities throughout the watershed and completed 13 community service projects.

Turlock Performing Arts: Turlock Youth Theater

Turlock Performing Arts’ Youth theater program is a performing arts program designed for children and youth in Turlock, California. The program provides a creative and supportive environment where young people can learn about and engage in all aspects of theater production, including acting, singing, dancing, and technical theater.

The Youth Theater Program offers a variety of classes and workshops throughout the year. Classes are taught by experienced theater professionals who help children develop their skills and confidence in a fun and nurturing environment. Workshops focus on specific aspects of theater production, such as audition techniques, improvisation, and stage makeup.

The program also produces several full-length productions each year, featuring children and youth in all roles both onstage and behind the scenes. These productions provide opportunities for young people to showcase their talents and build their confidence while working together as a team.

The Youth Theater Program is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment where all children and youth can participate and feel valued. The program also seeks to provide affordable access to high-quality performing arts education for all children and youth in the community.

Outdoor Education Camp Experiences

Foothill Horizon’s Outdoor School provided an opportunity for students to take their learning outdoors. This experience was the first time several students in my class spent time in the out-of-doors hiking and exploring nature. Students learned about the Mi-Wuk Indians, worms and decomposition, fire, and the importance of bees to our world. Students learned how to help and support each other. Laugh, and how to take care of themselves away from home.

I was amazed at the staff at Foothill. They were knowledgeable and built relationships with students in a short amount of time. The grounds, dorms, health office and the dining hall were clean, well organized and well supported with staff all hours of the day and the night. Even though it rained while we were there, they were able to provide raincoats and boots. Students loved hiking in the rain! What an experience!

The kids had a great time! They were engaged all the time! I had a “student reporter” record each hike and activity with video and pictures on a student iPad. They shared the duty willingly, and created a great compilation of Outdoor Ed from their own perspective… PRICELESS!

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