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Our Partners:

Dare to Dream


Dare to Dream (DTD) began in 1995 as a program to boost self-esteem and provide positive role models for children in elementary and middle schools.  Inspired by the personal accomplishments of Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. , DTD has been co-sponsored for 18 years by the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department and Communities in Schools. Since then, other partners including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have joined the DTD team. 

Program Model

Dare to Dream began as a three-year curriculum focusing on self-improvement (My Self), community service (My Community) and career planning (My World); however, beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the curriculum was combined to create a one-year program covering all three topic areas. Teachers choose one module from each topic area to create a customized curriculum for their students.

The program begins each year with a visit from Dr. Harris, who distributes cards with his personal credo – the ABCs, which stand for “I can Achieve, if  I Believe and Conceive my dream.” Dr. Harris’ personal story inspires the children who are chosen for DTD.  Refusing to believe the odds were against him, he rose from humble beginnings to the height of success as an astronaut, physician and entrepreneur.  Dr. Harris shares with the children that as a child from a broken home, he found encouragement from his mother and family to pursue his education as a physician and later as an astronaut. 

Students in the DTD program are encouraged to participate in multiple years of the student-driven, character building curriculum.  The My Self modules are designed to teach students about respect, responsibility and other important values by utilizing hands-on engaging lessons facilitated weekly by the school sponsor.   The second module, My Community, focuses on planning and executing community service projects.  Finally, in module three, My World introduces students to various career fields and encourages field trips to college campuses. 

Juvenile probation officers volunteer their time to regularly visit the schools, reinforcing Dr. Harris’ ABC credo, as well as underscoring the need for self-esteem, following the rules and getting along with others.  Other special guests include astronauts, FBI agents and educators who visit the DTD classes during each school-year. Students maintain journals throughout the year which are monitored by school sponsors for progress. After their participation, sponsors report that DTD students have an increased desire to stay in school and that due to the program students have set goals for personal achievement.

Each year, DTD ends with a celebration field trip. The program consists of a motivational speech from Dr. Harris as well as school presentations and skits and superstar awards for students who school sponsors believe have shown progress in academic achievement and/or behavior management.

2013-2014 Participants

The ten participating schools for the 2013-2014 school year are listed below. Those schools with a "CIS" listed next to the name are schools which are affiliated with Communities in Schools. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, an affiliation with CIS is mandatory for all new school applicants. Applications to participate in the Dare to Dream program are available each year in mid-May.

For more information on each school, click on the name to view school location, staff names, photos and more!


Atherton (CIS, Houston ISD)

Budewig (CIS, Alief ISD)

Burrus (Houston ISD)                      

Chambers (CIS, Alief ISD

Hamilton (CIS, Houston ISD)

Heflin (CIS, Alief ISD)

Kennedy (CIS, Houston ISD)

Klentzman (CIS, Alief ISD)

Lewis (CIS, Houston ISD)

McNamara (CIS, Houston ISD)

 Port Houston (CIS, Houston ISD)



For more information, please contact Kelly Sauve or Carole Allen.

Kelly Sauve, Program Director-Dare to Dream
Phone:   832.319.7358
Fax:        713.877.8669

Carole Allen, Director Emeritus
Phone:    713.877.1731
Fax:        713.877.8669 


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