Dreamzilla Scholarship Policy
Purpose of Policy:
This Scholarship Policy for Dreamzilla, Inc. (this “Policy”) sets out the procedures that Dreamzilla, the Dreamzilla’s Board, and any Board established Committees must follow in promoting the Dreamzilla Scholarship Program (the “Program”), reviewing applications, selecting Scholarship recipients, and reviewing awardees’ adherence to the Scholarship’s conditions. Compliance with this Policy ensures that the Dreamzilla Scholarship program is conducted in an objective and nondiscriminatory manner, in line with the Dreamzilla’s philanthropic priorities, and in compliance with applicable Internal Revenue Code sections and Treasury Regulations.
Program Mission and Goals:
Dreamzilla’s mission is driven by our unwavering commitment to empowering and supporting neurodivergent individuals in their pursuit of professional dreams or personal fulfillment. We recognize that neurodivergent students bring a wealth of unique perspectives, talents, and innovative ideas to the community. Therefore, we aim to create a nurturing and inclusive environment where they can thrive and reach their full potential.
Through the Program, we seek to advance Dreamzilla’s charitable and educational purposes by:
- Removing financial barriers that often hinder neurodivergent individuals from advancing in their chosen fields
- Easing the burden of educational and professional development costs, allowing neurodivergent individuals to focus on their studies, personal, and professional growth.
- Creating a supportive network that fosters the well-being, self-confidence, and sense of belonging for neurodivergent individuals.
- Rewarding and celebrating the accomplishments of neurodivergent individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievements, creative thinking, and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities, to encourage them and others to continue pushing boundaries and breaking stereotypes.
- Raising awareness and promoting a deeper understanding of neurodiversity within our institutions and society at large.
- Fostering an environment of empathy, respect, and acceptance, where neurodivergent individuals feel valued for their unique contributions.
- Applicants must be above the age of 18.
- Applicants must be a neurodivergent individual limited by financial means from advancing their chosen field or advancing their studies, personal, or professional growth.
- Neither any director, officer, or member of any Selection Committee established for the Program, or any family member of such person shall be eligible for a Scholarship grant.
- Dreamzilla will consider:
- The accomplishments of the candidate and perceived potential of the candidate;
- The commitment of the candidate to sharing his or her story with the community at large; and
- The relevance of the proposed project to bringing awareness to the skills and talents that many in the neurodivergent community possess;
- Dreamzilla will select the recipient(s) who meets the criteria above and for whom a grant would best advance the Program mission and goals listed above.
Scholarships will be awarded through a comprehensive application process designed to identify deserving and qualified candidates. This application-based approach ensures that every applicant has a fair chance to showcase their achievements, personal and professional accomplishments, and aspirations.
Dreamzilla will promote the Scholarship and provide links to the application materials on Dreamzilla’s website.
Applicants will be required to submit:
- Their full name, e-mail address, and phone number, and information on their social media accounts (if applicable)
- A personal statement regarding their neurodiversity, background, talents, and educational, artistic, or professional goals.
- How they heard about Dreamzilla
- Optional: a letter of recommendation from a personal or professional reference.
- A detailed description of how the Applicant would use the Grant if awarded (e.g. tuition for a program, fee for a service, cost of equipment, etc.).
- A statement regarding their financial need for the Scholarship to achieve their goals.
The application process will involve a thorough review of personal statements and letters of recommendation, enabling us to assess each candidate's commitment to making a positive impact in their community, and their alignment with the mission of Dreamzilla. We are committed to transparency and impartiality throughout the application evaluation, ensuring that the most deserving and promising candidates are selected to receive our scholarships. To the extent Dreamzilla makes a determination on the basis of the financial need, Dreamzilla officials may require applicants to provide additional documentation sufficient to confirm their financial need (e.g. asset and income information, tax returns, FAFSA form, etc.).
The Program will be administered under the ultimate supervision of the Dreamzilla Board of Directors. Initially, the Board will vote on the award winners based on the criteria and application provided above. In the future, the Board may, by resolution, establish a Selection Committee and delegate to such Committee the authority to either recommend applicants to the Board or, if the Committee consists exclusively of Dreamzilla directors, the power to select recipients. The authority of such Committee will be determined by the Board resolution establishing the Committee and any further resolutions approved by the Board.
The Dreamzilla Board expects to consider applications on a rolling basis, and, at the beginning of each fiscal year, will set a target number of grants to distribute.
Scholarship grants under the Program will be made and administered as follows:
- The typical Scholarship will be in an amount between $500 and $5,000, but there is no maximum or minimum, and Dreamzilla will determine the size of the grant based on available funds and the nature of the project. In some cases, Scholarships may be renewable based on performance and continued financial need. Recipients will be required to provide updated documentation if applicable
- Each recipient must notify Dreamzilla promptly if plans change and the recipient is unable to continue the Scholarship. The Scholarship cannot be transferred to a different person.
- When applicable and possible, the Grant will be paid to the educational organization or other institution where the recipient will study or receive training or services, to be credited to the recipient’s account. When not applicable or possible to make the Scholarship grant as provided above, the Scholarship grant may be paid directly to the Recipient, but only after the Recipient signs a grant agreement committing the Recipient to use the funds only for the approved purpose, with a requirement a report back to Dreamzilla once the funds have been expended certifying compliance with the requirement and detailing how the funds were spent.
- In addition to any other reports required above, Scholarship recipients will be required to provide a narrative report regarding their progress and how the Scholarship impacted the goals described in their application.
- If the reports submitted under this Policy or other information (including the failure to submit such reports) indicates that all or any part of a Scholarship grant is not being used in furtherance of the purposes of the Scholarship, Dreamzilla must investigate and must withhold any further payments for the Grant recipient (whether made directly to the individual, a guardian, or to the institution at which their work is conducted) to the extent possible until any delinquent reports have been submitted and until the diversion of any Scholarship funds have been resolved. In addition, if Dreamzilla becomes aware that any portion of a Scholarship has been used for improper purposes, Dreamzilla must take all reasonable and appropriate steps either to recover the diverted funds or to ensure the restoration of the diverted funds and the dedication of any other Scholarship funds held by the recipient to the purposes being financed by the Scholarship. Dreamzilla must also withhold all further payments to the recipient (or the recipient’s guardian or institution) until (1) the funds are in fact recovered or restored; (2) Dreamzilla has received the recipient’s assurances that future diversions will not occur; and (3) Dreamzilla has required the recipient to take extraordinary precautions to prevent future diversions from occurring.
For each Scholarship, Dreamzilla must retain records with the following information: (i) the information and criteria that Dreamzilla secured to evaluate the qualification of potential recipients; (ii) the name and address of recipients (including any relationship of any recipient to Dreamzilla sufficient to make such recipient an “insider” of Dreamzilla such as a family member or business partner of a director, officer, or substantial contributor to Dreamzilla); (iii) specification of the amount and purpose of each Scholarship awarded; and (iv) the follow-up reports and other information that Dreamzilla obtains in complying with its obligation to collect reports from each Scholarship recipient. Records must be kept for at least three years after the filing of the 990 for the year in which the Scholarship was given.