February 24, 2015

Whether it is cultivating the unique capabilities and leadership skills of its employees, or supporting the missions of the nonprofit organizations that it partners with each year, DPR believes in the power of empowerment.

Nowhere is that better illustrated than through DPR’s ongoing relationship with the Milagro Center in South Florida. Established in 1997 to provide art education, academic enrichment and mentoring programs for local at-risk children, youth and families, the organization relies on DPR’s unrestricted grant funding and hands-on involvement to achieve its goals.

This January, the DPR Foundation presented Milagro Center with a $40,000 grant to help fund its important work in the year ahead.

“Milagro Center is extremely fortunate to have DPR as a loyal supporter and even more fortunate that this grant is unrestricted in its use,” commented Barbara Stark, Milagro Center President/CEO. “DPR’s generous support provides Milagro Center the ability to remain flexible as it moves forward in advancing its mission.”

“Just as important as the monetary support is the additional support DPR provides by helping with carpentry projects, providing volunteers and its additional support in the way of event sponsorships,” Stark added. “Without DPR, we can honestly say that Milagro Center would not be able to do what it does best and provide the excellent programming to its students – and have them succeed as they do!”

Success Story

Just one example of that success is a youngster named Brayan, who started at Milagro Center in kindergarten. Born into a Spanish-speaking home where English is his second language, Brayan has struggled with academics at school. He had begun to improve both his social and academic skills with the benefit of attention from Milagro staff and a one-on-one mentor, when he suffered a setback in testing at his school and was held back at the end of the 2013/14 school year. It dealt a major blow to his hard-won self-esteem and confidence.

Milagro Center staff members understand the impact that such academic struggles can have on youngsters like Brayan. As part of its efforts to serve students and provide alternative paths to helping them succeed, the Center had recently started a music program. Though reluctant at first, Brayan finally decided to sign up.

“Studies show that music has an incredibly positive impact on children, and Bryan is absolutely a shining example of that,” Stark said. “Even though he was weeks behind everyone else, he surprised our music teacher and the rest of us. He not only caught up with the lessons, he surpassed everyone. The music teacher has told him he has real talent. This success has renewed his confidence, helped rebuild his self-esteem and even though he still struggles academically, he is returning to the happy, sweet young boy he had previously become.”

DPR’s unrestricted grants were instrumental (no pun intended) in helping Milagro Center develop that music program, supporting the purchase of items such as microphones, mp3 cords and a portable boom box. Future planned purchases include additional musical instrument inventory, among other things.

And in addition to the financial backing it provides, DPR continues to maintain a hands-on presence at Milagro Center. This year that involvement will include expanded focus on career development for teens, with four events planned, as well as continued work with and events planned for the younger students in the program.