Dream Camp Foundation started, as many things do, with a little seed of inspiration. After a chance meeting, sitting next to each other on a short-haul west coast flight, Joe Patane was inspired by the entrepreneurial talent and enthusiastic passion of nine year old Janelle Ginestra, who sold the then-stranger a ticket to her school Peter Pan performance.

As Joe, Janelle, and her family became friends, Joe noticed that in the crowded dance classes Janelle and her friends attended, the kids learned more from each other then from the middle-aged instructor, so Joe used his newly-founded foundation to start a makeshift kids-teaching-kids production operation. With Joe's encouragement, Janelle and her friends created the only dance class in town with instructors under the age of ten!

The project spread like wildfire from there, however, Joe's father had been hospitalized back on the east coast and Joe himself experienced two injuries on the west coast that he needed years of physical therapy to recuperate from, so he returned to University in New York & New Jersey to complete a Masters in Social Work while spending time with his dad in the hospital and getting his own body back in the groove. During this time, he had the kids' hip-hop dance routines in LA filmed so he could keep up with what was going on. Those eventually turned into the first successful line of hip-hop videos for-kids-by-kids.

Joe took the lessons learned with Janelle and crew to create a program that could apply similar principles of working with youth and channeling their energy to positive outlets, to the kids most in need - the seeds of the very first Dream Camp were born. NOTE: ALL of our proceeds from any project, book, video, etc. linked on this site go directly back to the Dream Camp Foundation's activities.

About Joe Patane

Joe Patane is a licensed clinical social worker and the chairman of Dream Camp Foundation. He is a former computer-business owner and holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Fordham University in New York City. Joe is an advocate of peer-to-peer youth leadership and counseling initiatives and he lectures on the considerable issues that teens face today. He is also the author of Livin’ in Joe’s World: Unauthorized, Uncut, and Unreal! (HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), an autobiography written about his experiences as a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: Miami, in which he utilized his pop-culture influence to show teens that there is more to life than the shallow portraits of cast members shown on television. More recently, Joe authored It's All Good, It's All Love: Tales of an undiagnosed ADHD kid turned MTV personality turned Licensed Clinical Social Worker which is a more personal journey memoir. Now Joe is whole-heartedly involved not only in the management of the foundation, but also as a mentor and friend to Dream Camp and other Program participants.

What Dream Foundation Does

Dream Camp Foundation sponsors and runs programs aimed at assisting high-need youth from challenging backgrounds to positively influence their lives. We have a focus on not just short-term enjoyment and opportunities but creating outlets for growth and development through an ongoing relationship.

Our primary focus is the Dream Camps themselves where we take ten young adults from very challenging circumstances and expose them to opportunities and ideas they have never dreamed of. All of the philosophies of the Dream Camp Foundation are embodied in the camp; from strengthening foundations for long-term growth and development, to providing ongoing support, and the powerful cycle of kids teaching kids. Past participants of Dream Camp events come back as mentors, film crew, presenters, and more. Dream Camp Foundation also runs or participates in a number of smaller and one-time programs that meet our goals, which have in the past included such activities Grannie Camp, Adoption Day Photo Booth, Family Ranch Day for Terminally Ill Children, Holiday Shop for Kids, Justin's Video, Turn a Frown Upside Down for the Mentally Ill, Wheelchair Accessible Van for Alberto, Project Haiti - check out the first ever Haiti newspaper for-youth-by-youth in English format. There's a Creole version, too - and much, much more!