DREAM, formerly known as Harlem RBI, is all about teamwork. Its mission, “to provide inner-city youth with opportunities to Play, Learn and Grow,” states: “We use the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams.” Its programs have names like Rookie League and Teambuilders, and prominent supporters include Mark Teixeira, the recently retired New York Yankees star first baseman.

Founded in 1991, DREAM provides year-round education, sports, enrichment, and community-building services to more than 2,000 youth in East Harlem and the South Bronx. Its programs and services help 5-22-year-olds from working families acquire the knowledge and social skills to secure college educations and successful careers. In October 2015, it cut the ribbon on a brand-new building to house its DREAM Charter School for grades PreK-8 as well as its other programs.

The NFF-DREAM team dates back to 2002, when we provided a $35,000 Nonprofit Recovery Fund grant to defray fundraising losses after a major benefit sponsor, Cantor Fitzgerald LP, lost two-thirds of its employees in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. In 2013, NFF contributed $10M of a $27M, team-effort New Markets Tax Credit allocation to finance DREAM’s transition to a permanent home. And most recently, we provided a $1.8M bridge loan to renovate a public park for DREAM students and the school’s neighbors.

“We are fortunate to have lenders such as NFF serving the charter school market. DREAM welcomes their value-added participation in future development, and we also highly recommend them to other charter schools seeking financing for facility projects,” said Richard Berlin, Executive Director of DREAM.