Experiential Learning Events


City of Dreams hosts weekend Experiential Learning Events (ELEs) designed to encourage youth to think critically and engage their environment. We believe that learning through experience and reflection is critical to retention and understanding. We create events that expose our youth to new experiences and promote a healthy avenue to explore, take risks and learn about themselves and others. Each experience challenges them to solve problems, overcome fears, work as a team, try new things, explore creativity, embrace support and identify their options.

Program Description

The City of Dreams program builds kids’ developmental assets through fun and challenging experiential learning events that teach 12 Essential Life Values with the support of caring, trained mentors.

• Our central focus is on building kids’ developmental assets – positive experiences and qualities that reduce the probability of drug use, violence, truancy, and teen pregnancy, and help kids become caring, responsible adults.

• Through the 60 Experiential Learning Events we provide each year, kids learn to solve problems, overcome fears, work as a team, try new things, explore creativity, embrace support, and identify their options. They make discoveries and experiment with knowledge themselves, instead of hearing or reading about the experiences of others. Experiential Learning Events include challenge ropes courses, camping, museum visits, golfing, sailing, organic farming, skiing, and rock climbing. We also host Community Development Days as a way for our kids to learn to give back to the community.

• We nurture adolescents’ emotional and social development by providing a curriculum of “12 Life Values.”

• Experienced, trained mentors support each kid in City of Dreams. Mentors help their kids “connect the dots” between what they encounter in Experiential Learning Events, and the life values embedded in those events. Through journaling and reflection with their mentors, kids develop new skills, new attitudes, and new ways of thinking. Above all, we inspire young people to face life with courage, gratitude, and commitment to building a better world for themselves and their community.

Our Partners

City of Dreams works with over 26 community-based organizations and service providers that provide free theatre tickets, youth workshops, meeting space, school uniforms, skills instruction and more.

  • Alice Griffith Opportunity Center
  • Ashbury Images
  • Bayview Library
  • BMAGIC
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Call of the Sea
  • Camp Choice
  • First Tee Golf Program
  • Challenge Learning Center
  • Community Access Ticket Services
  • Dress for Success
  • Exploratorium
  • Mission Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Miwok Livery Stables
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Northstar-at-Tahoe
  • Oakdale Opportunity Center
  • Operation Dream
  • Oregon Creek Camping
  • PSI Seminars
  • Save the Bay
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Dance
  • The San Francisco Housing Authority
  • Slide Ranch
  • Sunnydale Opportunity Center
  • Yerba Buena Skating Rink
  • Youth Speaks
  • SF Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services