Policy & Procedure Handbook
Thank you for choosing to volunteer with Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, Inc. We appreciate and value your contribution of time, talent, passion, energy and enthusiasm to help us build the best volunteer program ever. We invite you to collaborate with our staff, board of directors, and your peer volunteers. Your vision and leadership skills are essential to the success of KDA. We’re all in this together.
We empower young people 13-26 years old to script their own futures. We help you identify and manage your dreams, develop your thinking power and decision making skills, as well as spotlight your hidden talents so you can personally thrive and give back to your communities now and long term.
Volunteers have been vital to the success of our program since 2001. We hope you will find volunteering with us to be more than you ever dreamed possible.
The purpose of this handbook is to introduce you to our program, its history and its mission. Inside you will also find guidelines, policies and information on how your role on our team will benefit you, our program and our community. The information is intended to inform you of your responsibilities as a volunteer, and as a reference to be utilized at your convenience should you have any questions. The content and materials in this guide may be modified at any time in order to provide you with the most updated information available.
We are a family at Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation and are thrilled and honored to welcome you onboard. We are here to help make your experience enjoyable, productive, and rewarding. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To give young people the tools, courage, and love they need to make wise choices and master the game of life.
To change one life, and, thereby to change a generation by educating, preparing, mentoring and teaching our students, both athletes and non-athletes. Instilling in our students the skills necessary for character, academic, and performance success so they can be college and career ready to thrive in the corporate world, design their own financial future, and give back to their communities through service.
- Servant Leadership
- Honesty for Self and Others
- Respect for Self and Others
- Responsibility and Self Discipline
- Work Ethic
- Economic Growth and Development
- Dreams into Reality
KDA is devoted to teaching our students that everything one does is part of ‘the game of life™’. In order to ‘win the day™’ everyday, students both athletes and non-athletes, must be taught systems in order to learn how to ‘play the game™’. When students learn how to ‘play the game™’ both on the field and off, they have the choice whether or not they want to ‘win the game™’.
KDA provides the opportunities, systems, education, and mentoring with likely outcomes based on how passionate one is about ‘winning the game™’. The ‘KDA Lifestyle™’ fills a void in students’ lives. KDA services at risk youth, and today all kids are at risk. Our success is found in our results and the most compelling of which is the opportunity we provide students to enter the corporate world as an entrepreneur, who then come back and give back to their communities. This is how we ‘change one life, change a generation™’. This is called mastering the game called life. The ultimate game changer.
A rich history, an evolving Foundation with an unwavering commitment to give back
- Benjamin Hanks, President, a product of Overtown, Miami, graduated from University of Florida (Spring, 1995). He played three years in the NFL and is an icon and community leader in Overtown. Hanks continues to coach football at Booker T. Washington High School and work as a Director for Miami Parks & Rec. and KDA.
- KDA- created and established on July 5, 2001.
- KDA-organization and structure was created from Ben’s educational and athletic experiences he developed as a successful student-athlete throughout high school and beyond.
- Hanks had an amazing team of support: his parents, role models, teachers and coaches all who stressed learning strategies such as being an accountable student-athlete, who demonstrates effective organizational and time management skills, off season training strategies, test taking strategies, character education and utilizing tutorial services.
- These same learning strategies had to be incorporated as instructional tools for community service learning.
- All youth who participate in any aspect of Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, Inc. could obtain or improve these skills with assistance from our educators, community leaders and sponsors in a cool, hip-hop atmosphere where learning is fun.
- Patrick Lowe, Founder and Director of Education, is a product of Broward County Schools where he graduated from Dillard High School in 1993 as an All-American Scholar Athlete. After competing for a high school 6A State Championship, he earned a full athletic scholarship to the University of Florida. As the first Dillard Panther to earn a scholarship to UF, he went on to achieve several SEC Championships and one National Championship in 1996. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1998 and came back to Fort Lauderdale as a high school math teacher, coach, and community leader. In 2003, he earned a Masters in Educational Leadership at the Union Institute & University, North Miami, FL. He is now an Assistant Principal in Broward County Public Schools system.
- Patrick Lowe connected with the KDA Foundation™ through UF Teammate, Ben Hanks in 2001. Hanks partnered up with Lowe’s S.M.A.R.T. PROGRAMS™ to incorporate FREE academic and awareness programs for parents, students, coaches, and school board/city officials.
- It started out as a company that generally provided extra-curricular camps only. In 2001, the All Star Youth Clinic was established for at risk teens of Overtown, Miami. The clinic included football/basketball approaches and strategies as an athlete, along with donations from the City of Miami (Miami Love Project). More football and basketball clinics were provided throughout the next two years with support from the Parks & Recreation of Miami. Gift bags with prizes from NFL athletes/teams were continuously donated with each camp. (Ike Hillard-New York Giants, Fred Taylor-Jacksonville Jaguars, Javon Kearse- Tennessee Titans, Dwayne Starks- Baltimore Ravens, Jaquez Green, Reidel Anthony-Tampa Bay Bucs, etc.) In addition to the athletic approaches/strategies, the importance of character education and conditioning/safety tips were implemented often.
- The extra-curricular camps focused on athletic training techniques and off season training tips. We only collaborated with two organizations (Miami Love Project & Parks/Recreation of Miami). Our camps had good results and outcomes, but we agreed that our camps focused on too many athletic trends and issues, and not enough academic (educational) & career development trends and issues.
- The board decided to search for more organizations with activities and programs that relate to school, athletics, and career development.
- Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, Inc. did not provide any community service learning programs this year due to personal situations, lack of sponsors, and no headquarter facility. Our Federal documents were update and filed by the State of Florida.
- Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, Inc. decided to target Dade, Broward, & Palm Beach County with learning programs that focused on schools, athletes, and career development. Our ultimate goal is to partner up with more community leaders/organizations, identify a headquarter facility, and provide more awareness programs with Academic & Extracurricular Camps.
- KDA provided more effective community service learning programs specifically for schools and communities. Our partnership with professional educational programs has given us more opportunities to provide academic awareness and career development activities for college bound students. So far, we have had a 100% positive feedback from all staff, participants, and the communities through surveys, reflections, and questionnaires. Each project met all of the objectives, started and ended on time, and made effective learning gains.
- S.M.A.R.T. Programs – [Academic/Extra Curricular Camps - coordinator, lesson plans, instructional strategies, staff (tutors/coaches), documentation strategies, etc.] (FCAT/SAT Prep Workshops, Critical Thinking/Leadership Strategies, College Bound Activities, Career Development, Financial Planning, Football Camps w/ Academic Notebooks)
- The Athlete’s Edge, Inc. (Sport Training Program for Athletes – coordinator, staff, clinics & sessions for high school, college, and pro athletes)
- David Altshuler, MS – college admission/recruiting counseling, financial aide counseling, test placements for athletes
Recent Projects During This Period
- Rising Stars Football Camp (Deerfield Middle Athletic Complex, Spring 2005) – Sponsors (Broward County Schools, Deerfield Parks & Recreation)
- “New” SAT Prep Workshop (3-Day) (Northeast High, Flanagan High, Urban League of Broward County, Spring 2005) – Instructional Strategies, Staff, Materials
- All Star Football Camp (Gibson Park – Overtown, Miami, Summer 2005) – (Academic Notebooks) Sponsors (Tim Sain-Tampa Bay Bucs, Denver Broncos-Nick Ferguson, Reebok-head/wristbands)
- Rising Stars Football Camp (Flanagan High School, Summer 2005) – (Coordinator/Notebooks/ Competition for Prizes) Sponsors (Keeping Dreams Alive, Inc. – Gift Bags w/ NFL donations, Broward County Schools)
- Basketball/Football Clinics (Gibson Park – Overtown, Miami, Summer 2005) Parks & Recreation of Miami
- Sports Training Clinic (Northeast High-Broward, Atlantic High-Delray, Spanish River- Boca, Booker T. Washington-Miami, Suncoast High-Palm Beach) Extreme Performance Enhancement, Inc. (coordinator, staff, instructional strategies, equipment)
- SAT Prep Workshop (3-Day) (Deerfield High-Broward, Booker T. Washington-Miami, Atlantic High-Delray) Lowe Enterprises (Instructional Strategies, Staff, Materials)
- KDA continued to target at risk teens, college bound student-athletes, and low to moderate income families. In Fall 2006, we targeted two high schools athletic programs to implement our Academic & Extracurricular Camps and incorporate partnerships programs with professional athletes, entertainers, veteran educators, and community leaders. Head coaches in Dade and Broward counties allowed us to house our educational and leadership programs at their schools for the year, although for now we will continue to implement projects at specific schools sites and parks in urban communities. Our ultimate goal is to have a home facility (Dade or Broward) with classrooms for instructional strategies, a computer lab for technology awareness activities, a recreation center (games, movie room, gym), and indoor/outdoor field set ups for Sports Training & Extra Curricular Camps.
- KDA introduced our free academic mentoring programs to the Knox County (Knoxville, TN) & Blount County (Alcoa/Maryville, TN) area schools.
- In the earliest stages of our newest project ‘playing the recruiting game™’ KDA implemented our free academic mentoring program to local high school athletic departments to their football players with Saturday morning mentoring sessions throughout the school year in Broward and Dade Counties.
- KDA partnered up with the BCAA (Broward County Athletic Association) during their free summer camps to provide free food/drinks for the 300+ participants along with providing our free academic mentoring program to the camp participants during the 1 week program.
- KDA partnered with the University of Miami football team (Deserve Victory Tour) and ran a series of free summer camps in urban communities throughout Dade & Broward Counties.
- KDA partnered with NCRA Sports Network™ in February of each year to hold the free ‘Senior College Showcase™’ combine for high school senior football players that had not yet received offers to attend a college and/or university. We also partnered with HSPN Sports™ to broadcast the event live.
- KDA partnered with the ELITE 7v7 NATIONAL FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION™ in June & July to hold the first ever free high school 7v7 football™ tournament in South Florida for high schools from Dade & Broward Counties. We also partnered with HSPN Sports™ to broadcast the event live.
- In October, Director of Female Sports, Shelly Solomon, put on the 1st ANNUAL KDA JUNIOR GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT for free, hosting 22 urban girls from Dade & Broward Counties. We also partnered with HSPN Sports™ to broadcast the event live.
- Vic Robinson (Player Development) organized an event with Jordan Jefferson (LSU Quarterback) partnered with KDA and we put on the 1st ANNUAL JORDAN JEFFERSON SHOOTOUT FOR EDUCATION™ (a round robin basketball tournament that Jordan participated in) on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, LA. Jordan went to 3 local high schools in the Baton Rouge area and introduced the student athletes to the KDA Academic Mentoring Programs™. Proceeds from the benefit went directly to the Arlington Preparatory Academy.
- KDA partnered in February with Booker T Washington (Overtown, Miami), Howard Blum, broadcast department for the Academy Explosion event with Ryan Stoutt (Director of Broadcasting) bringing in the broadcast equipment from HSPN Sports™ to allow the students from the broadcast class do a broadcast of the event from their booth.
- Partnered in February with Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, FL) DECA team as judges (Glenn Stoutt & Shelly Solomon) on a judges panel to prepare the DECA team for the State finals being held in Tallahassee, Florida.
- Shelly Solomon volunteered her day on behalf of the foundation at the Millennium Middle School (Coral Springs, FL) career day empowering the kids.
- Partnered in March & April with Flanagan High School (Pembroke Pines, FL), Cooper City High School (Cooper City, FL) and Piper High School (Sunrise, FL) along with Playing the Recruiting Game™ to introduce to their student athletes for free the ‘playing the recruiting game™’ learning management system website.
- Include a sponsorship budget for limited fees for urban communities.
- High Quality Budget for sponsors/grants (Fully paid camp fees, Gift Bags, Partnership Programs, Community Activities (Awareness Festivals), awards, scholarships, etc.)
- Start-Up Costs (Facility Rentals, Insurance, & Operational Materials )
- Glenn Stoutt III (Director of Operations)
- Eric Hickson (Director of Athletics)
- Cylk Cozart (Director of Entertainment/Education)
- Glenn Stoutt IV (Player Relations)
- Ryan Stoutt (Director of Broadcasting)
- Bob Webster (High School Liaison)
- Antonio Robinson (Chaplain/Player Development)
- Elizabeth Lavulo (Social Media)
- Tanto Irie (Events Planning), Erin Currin (Director of Accounting)
- Shelly Solomon (Legal Counsel/Director of Female Sports & Social Issues/ Anti Bullying)
- Erica Lane (Director of Business System & Web Development)
- Jasmine VanDyke (Director of Dance)
New Businesses (Committed to supporting the endeavors of the foundation)
- SMART Programs™
- National Collegiate Recruiting Association™
- Elite 7 v 7 National Football Association™
- NCRA Sports Review™
- The What It Do™
- Reggae Runnins Media™
- High School Production Network™
- Playing The Recruiting Game™
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Equal Volunteer Opportunity Program
KDA volunteers are protected under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws (EEO). All volunteers are selected without regard to gender, race, age, creed, religion, handicap, sexual orientation, national origin or any other federally protected class. There are no financial, educational or experience requirements to volunteer within our organization.
However, we do require prospective volunteers to provide a personal reference, who will be contacted. Certain assignments could warrant a background check, with the volunteer’s permission. All volunteers who wish to participate in after-school programs will be cross-checked through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement sexual predator website. This is to comply with state law and maximize the safety of our students.
Remember, the most important qualifications to becoming a volunteer are the willingness to serve, an open mind and a love of our environment and our citizens.
Information relating to the activities of KDA or any of its programs or its affiliates is confidential and protected from improper use or disclosure under state and federal law. We value and respect your confidentiality as a volunteer. We will never disclose, sell or distribute any of your information. Volunteers who disclose any confidential information regarding, co-volunteers, staff, peers or employees of KDA are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
KDA has designated people who are responsible for speaking with the press and making written and oral statements for publication. Any request for information or interviews by the media should be referred to the Volunteer Coordinator and if the Volunteer Coordinator is not available to a Board of Director.
What You Can Expect From KDA
Volunteers do not generally replace the paid staff of an agency. They do, however, offer assistance that allows the agency to provide services more effectively and efficiently. Following are some things you should expect from KDA:
All volunteers will receive an orientation to the KDA Foundation. The orientation for one-time event volunteers will start 30 minutes before the scheduled event. Any ongoing volunteers may be scheduled for a group session or 1:1 training as needed. Any paperwork that needs to be completed will be done prior to the start of your volunteer assignment. We will give you all the tools necessary to properly perform any assigned tasks.
The volunteer will not be considered a volunteer-in-training until they have attended a monthly volunteer gathering where they get immersed in the KDA Lifestyle as well as complete twenty (20) hours of volunteer activities.
Volunteers with Speaking Roles will observe the presentation delivered live or on-demand at least three (3) times AND practice the presentation three (3) times in front of a board member or the volunteer coordinator.
Volunteers with Non-Speaking Roles will receive and review a one page description of their duties no less than seven (7) days before the event. This document may be made available via email or within the volunteer’s center through the website KDAFoundation.org website.
New Roles & Presentations
New Volunteers Creating a New Presentation will create an outline for their proposed presentation and get approval from the volunteer coordinator and a board member. Once approval is given, the volunteer will then complete the entire presentation and present it to the volunteer coordinator and a board member for final approval. Each presentation must embrace the KDA philosophy.
New Volunteers Establishing a Role will write a one-page purpose and responsibility and get approval from the volunteer coordinator and a board member.
The individual who interviewed the volunteer will meet with the new volunteer after one (1) month, three (3) months and six (6) months after she/he has started volunteering in order to get and give feedback. Notes from all evaluations are to be made and kept in the volunteer’s folder.
Our scheduling for tasks is flexible—to a point. Certain events and tasks are set, such as special events or after-school programs. We will do our best work around your schedule.
We will inform you regularly about any changes in schedules or locations of events. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. If you would like to switch, or to participate in multiple events, just ask.
We offer surveys of our volunteer operation at regular intervals or upon request.
We appreciate honest feedback from our volunteers.
All volunteers will report directly to the volunteer coordinator. Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to bring them to the volunteer coordinator or any Board of Director.
What We Expect From Our Volunteers
As a volunteer for our organization we are investing a lot of our time, support and love in you. It is a privilege to volunteer. As a volunteer for our organization, you are our public face. Anything you do while volunteering is a reflection of our Foundation and the youth we serve including all of you.
We rely heavily on our scheduled volunteers. Every minute you help us, no matter the capacity, you are helping us carry out the KDA mission and the youth and families we serve. Please keep the volunteer coordinator’s phone number readily accessible, should you need to contact us. Should anything happen prior to your scheduled shift or event, please contact us. We understand that circumstances may arise which interfere with a volunteer’s ability to fulfill their scheduled commitment.
Dress in a fashion that creates a favorable image of our organization. If at a special event, any T-shirts are provided, we request you wear them during the duration of the event. If you have any questions about appropriate attire, please ask the Volunteer Coordinator or a Director.
Volunteer Sign-In Sheets
Your time is very valuable to KDA. It is imperative that we track and document the hours you donate to us. At each event you will be required to sign in and out. If there is not a sign-in sheet at your event, please make the volunteer coordinator aware of this immediately. If you are an on-going volunteer, we ask that you log your daily hours in the volunteer time log book. Volunteer hours can be used for school community service, recognition, grant writing and insurance purposes.
The primary rewards of volunteering one’s time are not physical in nature. The majority of volunteers offer their time because they want to contribute to a cause greater than themselves. Volunteering promotes a heightened sense of self and community, and offers opportunities for personal growth.
However, it is important that individuals and groups be recognized for their efforts. All KDA volunteers who donate 10 or more hours of their time will receive recognition from our department in the form of letters of appreciation. Forms stating the type of service done and number of hours worked are available if desired, or necessary for community service or work-release related recordkeeping.
Also, once a year we will hold an event for our volunteers to offer face-to face recognition and an opportunity to meet others who have shared their time and knowledge with our community. Volunteers who demonstrate exceptional merit should be referred to the Volunteer Coordinator. Individualized recognition will be made as appropriate. This could be in the form of a letter, certificate of appreciation, thank you card, lapel pin, or any other item of appreciation deemed appropriate.
Code of Conduct
While volunteering for KDA, we expect you to conduct yourselves with common courtesy to others at all times. If at any time you are seen or believed to be engaging in the following, you will be dismissed from your volunteer assignment immediately.
These situations/behaviors/acts include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Abusive language towards a staff member, volunteer or another participant.
- Arriving to your volunteer assignment intoxicated or perceived to have been engaging in any drug or alcohol use prior to your assignment.
- Bringing a weapon, knife/gun or anything constructed to be a weapon at any event, sponsored location or assigned volunteer site.
- The use of cigarettes by a minor or the sale or distribution of cigarettes by an adult to a minor.
- Actual or threatened verbal abuse or name-calling towards anyone.
- Actual intentional physical harm or threatened physical caused by you towards anyone.
- Any form of sexual harassment.
- Conduct endangering the life, safety, health or well-being of others.
- Bullying- “systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress.”
- Any theft or removal of KDA property without permission, and;
- Any intentional damage or destruction of KDA property.
Drug-Free Volunteer Policy
KDA maintains a drug-free workplace and volunteer environment in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Law Drug Free Workplace. The KDA Foundation strictly prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any controlled substance in the volunteer environment.
Whether it’s in the form of a joke, comment, picture, or any kind of printed or reproduced article, sexual comments can be offensive and distasteful. You are required to comply with the law at all times while representing KDA in any capacity.
If a volunteer has any problems or concerns related to his or her volunteer position or to other KDA employees, or volunteers, he/she should speak with the volunteer coordinator. KDA will make every attempt to address the concern. If you are not comfortable speaking with the volunteer coordinator, you may bring your concerns to a KDA Director.
Change of address, email or phone
If you should move and have a change of address, email or phone number, please let the volunteer coordinator know at your earliest convenience. We do have change of address forms available online or in the volunteer coordinator’s office.
In an attempt to keep KDA volunteer’s informed and updated on any changes to the volunteer program, an E-Newsletter will be emailed monthly and will also be available online for your review. If you would like to make any comments or suggestions regarding the volunteer program or any of the events, an anonymous suggestion box will be at every volunteer training.
Any incident in which you may be harmed or injured in any way should be immediately reported to the Volunteer Coordinator. A form should be completed including all of the incident information. These forms are available from the Volunteer Coordinator.
Any volunteer applying for an opportunity with KDA who has been convicted of a Class 1, 2 or 3 felony, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A list of alternative volunteer opportunities in the community are available upon request.
This is to acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation Volunteer Handbook. I understand that it is my responsibility to read the handbook. I understand that my assignment is for no definite period of time, and I may terminate my volunteering at any time without notice or cause. I also understand that KDA may relieve or modify the relationship at any time without notice or cause.
I understand that this manual is not a contract of employment and that no express or implied promise or guarantee with regard to the duration or terms of volunteering is contained in the Volunteer Handbook. This manual is subject to change at the sole discretion of Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation.
I agree to release, discharge, indemnify, and hold harmless Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, and any of the programs for any and all damages to me or my personal property while performing my volunteer services to Keeping Dream Alive Foundation in a voluntary capacity.
I recognize that while performing my volunteer services in a voluntary capacity, there exists a risk of injury including personal physical harm. On behalf of myself, my heirs, personal representatives and executors, I hereby release, discharge, indemnify and hold Harmless Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation, its agents, servants and employees, attorneys, accountants, from any and all claims, causes of action or demands of any nature or cause connected with my Volunteer Agreement. This might include costs and attorney’s fees and court costs incurred by Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation in connection with my volunteer services based on damages or injuries which may be incurred or sustained by me in any way. Such damages or injuries might include, but are not limited to accidents, injuries and personal property damage.
I understand that public relations are an important part of volunteering with the KDA and its programs. I therefore agree on behalf of my heirs, personal representatives and executors to allow Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation to use any photographs taken of me for use in public relations efforts. Keeping Dreams Alive will use reasonable efforts to notify me, but such notification is not a condition of the photograph’s release for public relations purposes.
PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN (OF VOLUNTEERS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE)
As a parent or legal guardian of the above named volunteer, I hereby give my consent to allow my child (ward) to volunteer services for Keeping Dreams Alive Foundation as described within this volunteer handbook. I have read this volunteer handbook and fully understand its terms and conditions, paying special attention to the release section herein.
Signature of Parent or legal guardian (if child is under the age of 18) Date
Volunteer Coordinator Signature Date