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Dreamstarter™ FAQ

Find answers in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Dreamstarter

What is a DreamstarterTM Grant?

What are the application dates and deadlines?

Who is eligible to apply for a Dreamstarter grant?

How do I know if my dream project is applicable?

Do the applicants need to be Native youth? 

Does my project have to take place on a reservation to be eligible? 

Could you help me connect with a potential Mentor organization?

What are the qualifications for the Mentor organization?

Could you help me connect with a potential Dreamstarter applicant for my organization? 

Can a young person receive Dreamstarter funding for more than one year?

Can a nonprofit community organization be a mentor for more than one Dreamstarter grant?

Do I have to have a mentor organization at the time of application? 

Is there a way to ask for a hard copy application form?

What is included in a strong application?

How do I submit a completed application?

What kinds of projects can receive Dreamstarter funding?

Can I apply for a Year 2-5 Dreamstarter grant?

What is included under the "Wellness" theme?

What kinds of projects can't receive Dreamstarter funding?

Can I buy things for my own personal use using grant money?

What happens if I get picked?

What is the Dreamstarter Academy?

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Can a school be a mentor organization?

Can two (or more) youth apply to be Dreamstarters on the same application?


What is a DreamstarterTM Grant?

$10,000 grant award from Running Strong for American Indian Youth to help make your dream come true.
An expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC to participate in Dreamstarter Academy, learn how to tell your story, meet your fellow Dreamstarters and Billy Mills!

A “I am a Dreamstarter” $500 for the Applicant at the successful completion of the grant period.

What are the application dates and deadlines?

Applications for Dreamstarter Year 3: Education is NOW OPEN.

Important Dates for Dreamstarter Year 3:   2017-2018 (Education):

  • 10/14/16: Dreamstarter Year 3: Education Applications open
  • 11/17/16: Online question & answer chat with Running Strong Staff & past Dreamstarters
  • 12/16/16: Complete Dreamstarter applications due by 6:00pm EST via email or postmarked by that date.
  • 3/1/17:  Successful applicants will be notified.
  • 4/26/17:  Dreamstarter Academy will be held during the week of 4/26/17 in Washington, DC. All successful applicants and their mentor from the organizationmust attend.
  • 4/30/17:  Funds ($10,000 per chosen Dreamstarter project) disbursed to mentor organization.
  • 6/30/18:  Projects must be completed.
    A $500 Dreamstarter award granted to each Dreamstarter once all necessary reporting is received from the Dreamstarter mentor organization
  • Applications for Year 4 will be announced Fall 2017

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Who is eligible to apply for a Dreamstarter grant?

Please see our Eligibility and Requirements page.
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How do I know if my dream project is applicable?

Please see our Eligibility and Requirements page. If you have further questions, email Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org
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Do the applicants need to be Native youth? 

Yes.  Successful applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 30 at the time of the application deadline (12/16/16) and enrolled members in either federally or state- recognized American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Nations located in the United States.
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Does my project have to take place on a reservation to be eligible? 

No, projects may serve Native populations in off-reservation and/or urban areas.
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Could you help me connect with a potential Mentor organization? 

No.  Applicants must identify their own willing Mentor organization. The organization and mentor play an important role during the Dreamstarter grant year, so a good relationship is vital.
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What are the qualifications for the Mentor organization?

Please see our Eligibility and Requirements page.
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Could you help me connect with a potential Dreamstarter applicant for my organization? 

No.  Mentor organizations in Native communities know their kids and communities and should be able to identify an American Indian youth who needs a dream, a chance, and a mentor who can help their dream come true.
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Can a young person receive Dreamstarter funding for more than one year?

No. Each young Dreamstarter may participate only once. Applicants who are not accepted are invited to apply again with a different project in the following years. Successful Dreamstaters will have additional resources available to them. 
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Can a nonprofit community organization be a mentor for more than one Dreamstarter grant?

An organization can apply for only one Dreamstarter grant each year, but may apply as a mentor on more than one project over the five years.
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Do I have to have a mentor organization at the time of application? 

Yes.  All Dreamstarter applicants must apply together with their mentor organization.
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Is there a way to ask for a hard copy application form?

Please contact Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org  for a hard-copy application to be mailed to you via regular USPS mail.
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What is included in a strong application?

A compelling idea and need which reflects the year’s theme and involves/inspires other Native youth, a clear plan, and a strong partnership between the Dreamstarter applicant and the mentor organization. Be sure to submit a completed application with all necessary signatures. 
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How do I submit a completed application?

You can send your completed application by email* at Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org or by mail* to:

Running Strong for American Indian Youth
8301 Richmond Highway, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22309
Attn: Dreamstarter

*Applications will NOT be accepted via FAX.
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What kinds of projects can receive Dreamstarter funding?

Projects should be inspired by the dream the youth team member has for her or his community.
Each year, Dreamstarter grants will be awarded to projects addressing a different theme. The themes are:

Year 1 (2015-2016):  Wellness, currently accepting applications

Year 2 (2016-2017):  Arts & Culture

Year 3 (2017-2018):  Education

Year 4 (2018-2019):  Science & the Environment

Year 5 (2019-2020):  Any of the above: Wellness, Arts, Education, and Environment
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Can I apply for a Year 4-5 Dreamstarter grant?

No, we are not currently accepting applications for other years. We are only accepting applications under this year’s Education theme, starting 10/14/16. All applications for Year 3 are due by December 16, 2016. 
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What is included under the “Education” theme?

Ideas that promote educational endeavors in your community.  Examples of Education include, but are not limited to: workshops, community classes, after school programming, and etc. If you have a question about your project, please email Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org

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What kinds of projects can’t receive Dreamstarter funding?

Projects that do not relate to the annual theme; individual scholarships; and projects that do not involve the input of Native youth are not eligible for Dreamstarter funding.
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Can I buy things for my own personal use using grant money?

The Dreamstarter grant is designated to be used for the completion of the project outlined in the initial application and expenses associated with that endeavor.  Each Dreamstarter will receive a “I am a Dreamstarter” $500 award at the end of the grant period.  This $500 Award has no restrictions and can be spent as the successful Dreamstarter chooses.
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What happens if I get picked?

Dreamstarter youth and mentoring organizations are required to participate in Dreamstarter Academy, a four-day training program in Washington DC, which will help you get ready for your Dreamstarter grant.  During the grant period, Dreamstarter youth are expected to document their Dreamstarter journey for Running Strong to share with the general public, as well as work with their Mentor organization to complete the reporting and fiscal management necessary for the grant.
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What is the Dreamstarter Academy?

Youth and their nonprofit organization mentors from Dreamstarter-funded projects will participate in Dreamstarter Academy, a four-day training program to be held in Washington, DC during the week of April 26, 2017. Dreamstarter Academy will develop leadership skills and help participants tell their stories in person, in writing, and online. Workshops will train participants on working with media, spokesperson and public speaking skills, social media, storytelling, and more. Dreamstarter Academy is also the place for participants to meet the other Dreamstarters for their year’s theme and meet Billy Mills and the Running Strong team.  Travel, lodging, meals, workshops, and materials necessary for Dreamstarters and their nonprofit mentors to attend the Dreamstarter Academy will be provided by Running Strong.
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Who can I contact with additional questions? 

Please email us at Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org for any additional questions or to request the application in an alternative format.                                                                                                                                       
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Can a school be a mentor organization?

Yes! A school can serve as a mentor organization as long as there is one clearly identified staff member serving as the mentor for the applicant.
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Can two (or more) youth apply to be Dreamstarters on the same application?

We ask for each Dreamstarter application to identify only one youth as the "Dreamstarter." However, we do support working with other youth and members of the community in order to complete the project.
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DreamstarterTM Grant Program



Join the Dreamstarter Email List


How to Apply


Eligibility Requirements


Donate to Dreamstarters


See Also View All

  • Application & How to Apply

    Dreamstarter applicants and Mentor Organizations team up to apply for a Dreamstarter grant together. Each Dreamstarter Application must be signed and submitted by both the Applicant and the Mentor Organization.

  • Dreamstarter chat

    Chat Live on 11/74/16 at 6pm Eastern Standard Time. Join Running Strong staff and some previous Dreamstarters to talk about Dreamstarter Year 3: Education

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