“The Bronx has a history of systemic injustice, yet, there still exists determination, ingenuity, and remarkable individual and community stories on every corner. The Bronx marches forward with great hope and promise. When the power of the community is centered, we can be a model of what’s possible for our nation,” says Jason Duchin, Co-Executive Director of DreamYard.

Even with COVID-19 budget cuts, DreamYard marches forward, too. For more than 25 years, DreamYard has collaborated with Bronx youth, families, and schools to build pathways to equity and opportunity through the arts and social justice. This summer will be no different.

As soon as the city made budget cuts to the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), DreamYard, along with their partner, Here to Here and many other community groups, quickly raised enough money from private sources to support the summer employment of 546 teenagers. When DreamYard team reached out to us about including a financial capability collaboration in the program, we jumped at the opportunity.

“We are offering a financial literacy component to the program so the youth can learn how to be a steward of their finances and plan for the future,” says Jason. “Spring Bank will offer support in multiple languages and explain why banking is a healthier choice than check-cashing, for example. Through this program, Spring Bank is caring for our young people in the Bronx.”

We are proud to partner with DreamYard this summer to open bank accounts for any young adult who needs one. Students of DreamYard’s virtual, summer employment program will also learn about entrepreneurship, creative career options, and develop their professional networks.

“Spring Bank is a hometown bank for the Bronx. The Spring Bank team is invested and receptive to the needs of the community. They truly have place-based stewardship for the Bronx,” says Jason.

The same is true of DreamYard. The DreamYard team remains committed to the recovery and growth of the Bronx. Immediately after COVID-19 hit New York City, DreamYard joined dozens of community leaders and community-based organizations to launch the Bronx Community Relief Effort. This local initiative has raised over $12 million to support effective, on-the-ground operations that are focused on meeting the essential needs of the Bronx community.

“The Bronx Community Relief Effort exists to address the immediate problems, we are putting out the  post-COVID-19 fires—the systemic inequities and racism which COVID-19 exposed for all to see,” says Jason. “We can hold, uplift, and support the Bronx—and we have to do it collectively.”

We could not agree with you more, Jason. Thanks to you and your team for your service to our community.

Support DreamYard and their programs. Learn how you can get involved with the Bronx Community Relief Effort. Read about a previous collaboration we supported with DreamYard, Thinkubator, and Fordham University. Check out our accounts and lending options specifically designed for nonprofits.