Dandelions Are Flowers Too
D.A.F.T. is doing amazing things in the fight for social justice, read on!
Tell us all about you and your organization!
Dandelions Are Flowers Too was started by a long-time educator and school administrator with a desire to enact change and fight to correct a social injustice. With students of color facing more punitive disciplinary action than their white counterparts, a new approach was necessary. D.A.F.T utilizes a Social Emotional Learning curriculum and approach to youth development. With this focus, we’re able to empower students to become the best version of themselves. Equipped with successes, confidence, and knowledge to be the best version of themselves in society. It is our mission to eradicate the school to prison pipeline theory prevalent to students of color.
Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
It is imperative that our youth are well informed and engaged with their community. Having a voice and advocating for themselves is essential in life. It leads to increased self-esteem and confidence.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
As young people become more self-aware, given the accessibility of information and the world becoming more connected, there’s reason to be optimistic for the future.
What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
With knowledge more readily available the failures that exist within our education system have become even more poignant. Educators are stifled and increasingly ill equipped to face the challenges that students present in the classroom. A student needs to feel supported. Educators can be too quick to dismiss students whom they deem “problematic.”
This leads to an increase in frustration and burnout in educators that directly impacts our students. This dynamic then creates what we call the “dandelion effect” the ones that are often dismissed and ostracized and eventually pushed out. However, we believe that “Dandelions” Are Flowers Too and shouldn’t be mistreated or singled out for indifferences. If we believe that our students are our future, then the issues within the education system pose a serious risk.
What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
At D.A.F.T we serve our young people with a focus on social emotional learning and self-awareness. We provide a multitude of supportive services that include academic support, mental health counseling, mentorship, restorative justice techniques and financial literacy. These supports lead to more responsible, well rounded and self-aware adolescents. When students feel supported and see success academically, they are more likely to graduate high school and continue on to higher education. This, in turn, results in students’ seeking out careers instead of jobs, with higher income potential. Studies have shown that parents who have college degrees and careers are more likely to pass on similar values to their children.
Will you be voting in the next election?
Yes, I will be voting in the next election.
Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects and endeavors.
With a GoFundMe fundraiser, we’ve seen great success, far surpassing our targeted goal. Additionally, this summer we built and launched our first series of workshops. These include, “Summer Bridge” a program that aims to help ease the transition for students leaving the eighth grade and entering high school. We focus on the nuanced changes in curriculum, highlights the importance of a guidance counselor, and outlines how to tackle some of the difficulties freshman year present. All donations can be excepted at:
With our focus on student support, we are also providing a “Jumpstart Program”. Jumpstart students will work one on one with tutors and prepare for the upcoming years, new content. We hope that this will provide an academic advantage and mitigate a slow start to the school year. Finally, we’re offering our Financial Literacy program that teaches money management, the differences between credit and debit, what it means to save saving money and much more.
In terms of professional development, we are also providing resume writing workshop for parents. This will help them to start their job search once the pandemic subsides.
Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
We can be found on ig @daftorg and on Facebook, at We are Flowers Too.
If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
We are currently enrolling new students ages 11-17. If anyone is interested and feel our program is a good fit for you or a family member, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 3474247872.