News Release

Dream Catcher Program scholarships available

Based on the Community Needs Assessment survey conducted by the Community Action Board, Youth Services ranked as the top need in San Benito County for the past several years.

Information provided by Community Services Workforce Development 

The San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency, Community Services and Workforce Development Department (CSWD) announces that it has received Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) CARES funding to assist children and youth enroll in enrichment activities including recreation, sports, tutoring, music, art programs, after school activities and tutoring.

The DREAM CATCHER PROGRAM will provide scholarships to low-income children and youth to participate in tutoring in all subject matters as it relates to the adopted curriculum and instruction of all local schools and enrichment activities. Without this financial support, children and youth will be unable to participate in these many programs, especially during the times when left more unsupervised during the summer, school breaks and after school hours. According to law enforcement agencies and the health department, the result of children of low-income families being unable to take advantage of community enrichment activities is a health and safety risk by exposure to gangs and other negative activity. By participating in these activities, children and youth will increase their self-esteem, feel connected to their peers, increase academic performance, make wise choices and better prepare them for success in adulthood. According to census data, 18.1% of the under 18 age population are growing up in homes that are 200% below the poverty level in San Benito County. The majority of these families cannot afford to pay fees for their children to receive tutoring and participate in the social and recreational activities being sponsored by the project.

It all started with the vision of CSWD Deputy Director, Enrique Arreola, who stated, “As families struggle to pay

Youth Rally 2015 -Think Kindness

their rent, bills and other necessities children are often the most affected.” CSWD received their first funding for the Dream Catcher program in 2014 and provided 124 youth with scholarships totaling $34,160.71. Since its meager beginnings, the Dream Catcher Program has provided 317 youth with scholarships and 118 youth with equipment or supplies needed to participate in programs. To date, $101,492.29 has been paid out to low-income youth in San Benito County.

As a result of the pandemic, the low-income community is one of the most impacted communities by COVID-19 and with the move to virtual online learning/education, many low-income households are unable to have access to Wi-Fi/internet. In addition, low-income children in need of assistance with tutoring, chrome books, educational supplies, etc. These funds will support low-income children including children from migrant seasonal farm worker families.

Community Needs Assessment

Based on the Community Needs Assessment survey conducted by the Community Action Board, Youth Services has ranked as the top need in San Benito County for the past several years. San Benito County will continue to work towards providing for the youth in our community. The Community Action Board recently added a youth ad hoc committee that will be working on recruiting youth to assist the local CAB members determine additional needs for youth and they will be completing a survey to assist in the near futures. Anyone interested in participating can get information on the CAB website at

Children and Youth will have access to this program through referrals from probation, school personnel, City of Hollister Recreation, YMCA, Youth Alliance as well as direct application by parents. Low-Income Children and Youth will benefit greatly by being engaged in healthy activities rather than having too much unproductive time which can lead to negative behaviors.

The DREAM CATCHER PROGRAM will offer scholarships, tuition assistance and equipment & supplies to low-income families that qualify based on family size and income. The program will run for the period now through May 31, 2022 or as soon as funds are depleted.

Interested families and individuals may call (831) 637-9293 or visit our website at for information on all of our services.

Community Services Workforce Development