DMT mentoring program gains national attention

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April 2010 – Dare Mighty Things (DMT) has been engaged to design, develop, and launch a pilot mentoring component for STARBASE Academies located across the country known as STARBASE 2.0. Nebraska, along with Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, was chosen as a pilot site for STARBASE 2.0. Hundreds of middle school students are expected to enter into mentoring relationships by the end of the pilot roll-out in the summer of 2010.

STARBASE, a program designed and supported by DMT and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), mentors at-risk youth and develops their skills in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, providing for a highly educated and skilled American workforce that can meet the advanced technological requirements of the DoD. STARBASE has national reach with sixty sites in the U.S., where fifth graders from populations that are socio-economically disadvantaged and traditionally underrepresented in the technology fields, participate in “hands-on, minds-on” STEM opportunities.

Read more about the STARBASE 2.0 Nebraska pilot program here.

Additional information about the STARBASE program can be found at

DMT Awarded Contract with the National Committee for Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve

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January 2008 – Dare Mighty Things, Inc is proud to announce the recent award of a strategic review contract for the National Committee for Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve (NCESGR). Through this ten week engagement, DMT will conduct an organizational assessment of the national ESGR Field Committee structure to measure operational efficiency and determine business reengineering support requirements. At the completion of this project, DMT will provide NCESGR with a report of findings and recommendations to assist NCESGR with achieving breakthroughs in national scale and effectiveness.

NCESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitments. Today NCESGR operates through a network of more than 4,200 volunteers throughout 56 Field Committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe. NCESGR is a Department of Defense organization, and a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (OASD/RA).

As a management consulting firm located in Portsmouth, NH and Arlington, VA, Dare Mighty Things has been specializing in program research and organizational assessment for more than sixteen years.

DMT Awarded Contract with YouthBuild U.S.A.

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February 2008 – Dare Mighty Things, Inc. is proud to announce the recent award of a program design contract with YouthBuild U.S.A. Through this twelve month engagement, DMT will conduct research in order to design a national mentoring program for a select group of YouthBuild sites around the country. DMT will attend site visits, survey the field, and convene a panel of national experts in mentoring to customize the design of a mentoring program to be embedded within the YouthBuild program model.

At the completion of this project, DMT will provide kick-off training to the leadership of fifteen pilot sites in July, and supply follow-on technical assistance through December 2008.

YouthBuild is a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives and communities of the low-income public between the ages of 16-24. Young people voluntarily participate in this program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. Through YouthBuild U.S.A., “low-income young people work toward their GED or high school diploma, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.”[1]

As a management consulting firm located in Portsmouth, NH and Arlington, VA, Dare Mighty Things has been specializing in program research and organizational assessment for more than sixteen years. Among their areas of experience, DMT’s history of designing and implementing mentoring programs for government agencies, private foundations and not-for-profit organizations has aided their clients in achieving important social solutions.

DMT leads at HHS White House Summit

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February 2008 – Dare Mighty Things, Inc. announces the successful execution of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Intermediary Summit. The Summit brought leaders from eleven different intermediary organizations around the Nation to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for the purpose of identifying promising practices and innovations for inclusion in a guidebook currently being produced by DMT’s DC-based office.

Throughout the two-day event, DMT staff facilitated conversations among participants to help identify those practices that may be replicated in other organizations and thereby improve intermediary organizations across the board.

The next and final phase of the Intermediary Summit project is to develop a comprehensive guidebook featuring those practices, to then be distributed to funders, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations, encouraging these best practices be driven down to the local level, further contributing to the quiet revolution in grassroots social service provision that has been a hallmark of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The summit was attended by officials from The Department of Health and Human Services and The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, as well as the invited intermediary leaders.

Mentoring Vouchers Distributed to Children of Prisoners

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May 2008 – For the first time, mentoring vouchers have been distributed to children of prisoners through Caregiver’s Choice. These children are the first of 24,000 children of prisoners who will receive mentoring vouchers over the course of the next three years.

Caregiver’s Choice is a new national program, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, and operated by MENTOR and Dare Mighty Things. It is open to all qualified mentoring agencies, programs, and children from age 4 up to age 18 with incarcerated parent(s) in state or federal facilities. The initiative is designed to connect parents of caregivers with pre-approved high-quality mentoring programs and to financially support the resulting mentoring relationships.

The first two vouchers were released to a family and will be used at Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth, a project of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. “Because of these vouchers, six and seven-year old brothers in Oregon will now be connected to stable adult role models through a mentoring relationship,” said Daniel Schneider, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families.

DMT in partnership with MENTOR, and on behalf of HHS, will work to enroll and equip mentoring programs, identify and enroll eligible children, support subsequent mentoring relationships, and develop the necessary infrastructure to successfully evaluate the program’s efficiency and efficacy. MENTOR and DMT will help establish a national call center to provide families and caregivers with information about the vouchers and direct them to appropriate programs.

Dare Mighty Things continues to lend its mentoring expertise to numerous organizations around the world. Our efforts include the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program (MCP) sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP) among others. DMT provides management consulting, training and technical assistance solutions to government organizations, foundations, and non-profits.

DMT Presents at White House FBCI Conference

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June 2008 – The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives hosted Innovations in Effective Compassion, a national conference event held in Washington, DC. June 26 and 27 to highlight results from the President’s Faith Based and Community Initiative. The conference, which included a keynote speech from President Bush, as well as presentations from cabinet secretaries, governors, researchers, and practitioners focused on outcomes, evaluations, and results from the Initiative’s eight year run.

Dare Mighty Things’ Dawn Pilkington offered a presentation on the best practices applied to capacity building and implemented by the most successful programs funded through this initiative. Speaking to a group of more than 200 attendees, Pilkington focused on issues of Supplying Capacity to Nontraditional Providers. Much of the content of her discussion featured results gleaned from an Intermediary Summit hosted by DMT at the White House in February 2008. Information from that summit was captured in a guidebook, Breakthrough Results: Ten Emerging Practices of Leading Intermediaries, soon to be distributed to funders, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations through the following website The Guide aims to help those at the local level apply these “best practices” and further strengthen the grassroots community that has been a hallmark of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The FBCI has sought to transform the way government reacts to human need by placing front-line community groups, faith-based charities and other social entrepreneurs at the center of responses to critical issues like addiction, homelessness, prisoner reentry, HIV/AIDS, orphan care, malaria and other concerns affecting high risk populations.

From the first days of his administration, President Bush has encouraged the Federal government to support these locally-rooted solutions both at home and abroad, removing barriers to government’s support for them, and expanding promising new strategies. Dare Mighty Things, Inc. has been privileged to support the FBCI through its involvement in several such programs, including Mentoring Children of PrisonersCompassion Capital Fund, Communities Empowering Youth and others.

DMT Honored with ESGR Patriot Award

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September 2008 – The New Hampshire Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, announced that Dare Mighty Things, Inc. was honored with the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employee, CAPT Karen Baetzel, who serves in the United States Naval Reserve.

According to Ted Kehr, New Hampshire ESGR Committee member“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. DMT President, Dave Van Patten, and VP, Carlos Campos, were nominated for being highly supportive of the United States Reserve Service by their Reserve component employee CAPT Karen Baetzel, of East Kingston, NH, who serves in the United States Naval Reserve. “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.” View related article here.

Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT), a Portsmouth-based, veteran-owned business, founded by Van Patten in 1991, assists clients in launching social ventures that impact high risk populations. DMT provides training and consulting services to over 3000 public and not for profit agencies, helping them launch and grow national mentoring programs, leadership development programs, educational initiatives, and correctional programs. DMT operates the National Challenge Institute and provides state of the art training to thousands of social service providers and youth workers each year from its facilities in Portsmouth, NH and Arlington, VA. Visit our client engagements page to learn more.

DMT Awarded Contract to Develop National School-based Mentoring Program

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September 2008 – Dare Mighty Things, Inc. has been engaged by STARBASE, Inc., a Department of Defense educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, to design and develop a school-based team mentoring component for STARBASE Academies located across the United States.

Currently, students involved with STARBASE participate in challenging “hands-on, minds-on” activities in aviation, science, technology, engineering, math, and space exploration. They interact with military personnel to explore careers and make connections with the “real world.” Students also learn teamwork, goal setting, and the importance of staying off drugs. The program provides students with 20-25 hours of stimulating experiences over the course of five weeks at National Guard, Navy, Marine, Air Force Reserve and Air Force bases. The mentoring component will deepen and extend the positive impact of the STARBASE program over an even longer period of time.

As part of this contract, running through September 2009, DMT will also provide training, technical assistance, and operational materials for the pilot programs involved in the new mentoring initiative. Visit our site to learn more about DMT’s program development services.

3,000 Voucher Milestone Exceeded by the MCP: Caregiver’s Choice team

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3,000 Voucher Milestone Exceeded by the MCP: Caregiver’s Choice team


September 2008 – The MCP: Caregiver’s Choice team has exceeded its first year goal to distribute 3,000 vouchers for mentoring services to children with incarcerated parents. Dare Mighty Things, in partnership with MENTOR, has been tasked by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), to run the MCP: Caregiver’s Choice program.

This National demonstration provides caregivers with a $1,000 voucher that can be exchanged for a year of mentoring services with a provider of their choice. Mentoring programs meeting the highest quality standards are authorized to redeem these vouchers, and are specially trained to work with children impacted by parental incarceration.

Intentions are to have 24,000 vouchers distributed over the course of three years. To learn more about the Caregiver’s Choice initiative, visit:

DMT Wins Bid for CCF National Resource Center Contract

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October 2008 – Dare Mighty Things‘ partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services will continue for five more years (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2013) with a new contract to serve as the Compassion Capital Fund’s National Resource Center (NRC). DMT has served as the NRC since its inception in 2002. With this award, DMT will continue to provide capacity-building and program-related training and technical assistance products and services to grantees of CCF’s three programs: Demonstration, CEY, and Targeted Capacity Building. DMT will also provide coordination and oversight, performance assessment, and onsite support to the CCF Federal program staff.