2021 In Review

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Our Mission:

We inspire and empower the next generation with the opportunity, tools and voice to make an impact on the world around them. 

Our programs lead the next generation to become change-makers in their community by providing access to education, cultivating creativity, social consciousness, and leadership.

Hope & Optimism

We started 2021 with optimism. A new year, a new opportunity to make a difference, a chance to grow.

And we did.

Amanda Gorman challenged us…

For there is always light… if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

More voices, more causes, more community impact.

Some amazing teens joined the Youth Ambassadors family ~ Cameron, Lorelei, Gabriella, Keenon, Ayden, Kavya as well as Nylah and Justice, our newly graduated Dreamcatchers.

IAPW Youth Ambassadors
IAPW Youth Ambassadors
IAPW Youth Ambassadors
IAPW Youth Ambassadors
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Leveling up…

Five of our senior youth ambassadors were invited to form our newest Youth Advisory Council, giving them the platform to provide a youth perspective, shape curriculum, and mentor new recruits to the team.

Congratulations Logan, Samara, Hazel, Noah, and Bella!

IAPW Youth Ambassadors

More congratulations all around

In 2021, Katie and Logan graduated high school and went off to college (Loyola Marymount and Hampton University respectively). And Jeremiah made the move from middle school to high school!

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Young Changemakers

Not to be outdone, our Dreamcatchers (including some new faces!) held their own. They cultivated their own superhero changemakers by learning about social causes through inspiring stories and hands on art projects, and pledging to make a difference.

From empathy to action!

We asked the Dreamcatchers how they wanted to help in their communities & Nicholas told us that he wanted to help animals.

And he did… by making his own no-sew blankets and pillows to donate to an animal shelter in his community.

Lucia & Luna’s backpack drive expanded again…

helping hundreds of students from low-income families with school supplies, food, and technology support from Los Angeles to Oakland. We’re thankful to our Youth Ambassadors and one of our favorite Dreamcatchers, Violet, who joined in on the fun!

The drive not only benefited those struggling in our community, but it also taught our pint-sized activists about empathy and how when we work together, little by little, a little becomes a lot.

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A new group of beneficiaries

Through our new partnership with the Starlight Foundation, we also provided backpacks full of school supplies to hospitalized children with serious illnesses, like Kassandra.

Taking student support to the next level.

Lucia and Luna heard the story of Wilson, a 10-year-old boy with autism, who had donated his birthday to build a sensory room in his school. As Lucia and Luna learned more about autism and how important it is for neurodiverse kids to have a place at school to reset and calm their emotions, it inspired them to support Wilson and his birthday campaign.

From Wilson to 1,100 students!

Lucia and Luna garnered so much support ~ including from the Tyler Perry Foundation ~ that they not only helped Wilson reach his goal, but also provided support to 1100 students with special needs in 17 different states!

RiRi joined in and earned her pint-size activist award!

All the way in New Orleans, amidst the aftermath of hurricane Ida, RiRi still found the time to give back by fundraising alongside Lucia and Luna to bring much needed support to low-income and students with special needs!

We recharged with Joyfully You

As many of us have learned the hard way during the last few years, we cannot pour from an empty cup. As our changemakers go out into the world, we are prioritizing their mental health by helping them navigate the ups and downs of empathetic leadership. We’re thankful to Dr. Patrina Clark for hosting our YAMs and giving them a chance to turn inward and focus on themselves. Bonus, we got to spend time together in person!

Our young people were honored.

Luna and Noah earned spots on the coveted Points of Light Honor Roll ~ Luna for her history of service and Noah for his BabyLove Project, where he collected donations and supplies for women with infants and expectant mothers experiencing homelessness.

And created ripples of change…

When Lucia and Luna heard about Noah’s project, they gathered up their own baby blankets and toys, and wrapped them up with special notes of love for the new moms and their babies!

Be True to You!

Not to be outdone by her brother Noah, Dreamcatcher True, launched True Eden’s Shea Soufflé & Soapery . As CEO of the kid-owned and operated company, True’s mission is to becoming the best version of herself, a fearless business lady and a socially conscious giver.

Learn More

Lucia used her voice to inspire others…

After being chosen as a Point of Light honoree, Lucia did her first interview ever, sharing her story of service and why she feels it’s important to inspire others to do their part.

Learn More

“Music is the strongest form of magic”

 Elementary Music Teacher, North Minneapolis

From Los Angeles to D.C., we changed lives.

Through our Love 4 One Another initiative, we continued empowering students in Minneapolis, providing musical instruments and the tools for music therapy interventions, giving them the chance to strengthen their academics and have their voices heard.

Education as the great equalizer – at home and abroad.

We know that with all of the social causes we impact, education is key to empowering the next generation of changemakers. So we continued to invest in the education of children not only in the U.S. but in Guatemala, where children had not stepped foot in a classroom in almost 2 years.

We found solutions to provide continuity in education

Through our partnership with School the World, we’ve been able to support students in El Arenal as they continued to learn from home. By providing a library of books for every family and tablets pre-loaded with educational lessons and apps, students were able to reinforce their work with tutors. This support has been critical in closing the gap between students in this remote, Indigenous community and their peers in urban centers.

A long overdue success in Malawi

In partnership with buildOn, Raising Malawi and the Alan O’Connor and Anne Studabaker Foundation, our first secondary school came to life. The school in Central Malawi includes 6 classrooms hosting 186 students, a science lab, teacher housing, private washrooms, solar electricity and a solar water system installed by another valued partner, Formidable Joy.

and there was more JOY

Formidable Joy also installed another state of the art solar water system for our project in the community of Mitula. The long-awaited project began in 2019 and faced many challenges. Now complete, the system brings clean water to 700 incredible students and their families.

The project also provides access to water for the school kitchen, teacher housing, community preschool and health clinic, as well as separate restrooms for the boys and private washroom facilities for girls.

Providing access to education is just the first step in empowering these young students.

By taking a holistic approach, we identify areas of highest need and build sustainable infrastructure to break the cycles of poverty and illiteracy.

In Malawi, this has meant:

– clean water so that girls do not spend hours fetching (dirty) water from faraway places instead of learning in the classroom.

– a school farm through which students and their families can learn about and employ sustainable farming practices.

– a daily meal program using fresh produce from the farm, because children who are hungry are not energized to learn.

– solar electricity, so that older students without electricity at home can study in the evenings.

Thank you to Empower Malawi and Formidable Joy for joining us in providing wrap-around support to this community.

Hand in hand, we thrive.

We have an exponential impact across all of our programs because we collaborate with likeminded organizations and individuals across the country and across the globe. In 2021, ServiceMax, AMGEN and the Tyler Perry Foundation brought much-needed corporate and foundation support, while Dr. Alex Naini (one of our favorite advisors) opened up her home to bring us together in support of our mission.

Ending on a high note!

We ended another incredible year by bringing some of our Youth Ambassadors and Dreamcatchers together to support Los Angeles ambassador Lorelei and her annual Teens 4 Teens holiday drive supporting over 100 young people who have aged out of the foster care system.

We are so grateful to you ~ our community, our donors, and our partners. Thank you for helping us unlock the infinite potential of young people.