Giving Back

Spotlight Date: 
May 30, 2016
Jonathan Van Dyke
Many of the School of the Arts Foundation donors are Board Members, members of the community, family foundations, and parents of Dreyfoos students. Some donors, however, are those people who have felt firsthand the impact of a Dreyfoos education – our alumni. Jonathan Van Dyke and his wife, Ashley, met while attending Dreyfoos as Communication Arts students. They understand that all donations – large and small – make a difference. 
 
Jonathan, who graduated from Dreyfoos in 2011 and went on to study Telecommunications at the University of Florida, talked to us about why he and his wife decided to set up a monthly donation to our Campaign for the Arts. “My wife and I set up a monthly donation because Dreyfoos meant more than any college experience ever will to us. Ensuring that ALL the possible resources are available (both material and artist-in-residence) for future generations of young artists to have the same immersive experience that we did is something we couldn't pass up. When it comes down to it, no donation is too small. $10/month is a Netflix subscription, but it's also a small gesture you likely won't even notice that profoundly furthers the Dreyfoos experience.”
 
The Campaign for the Arts funds the Artists in Residence that instruct Dreyfoos students in a variety of classes, like drawing, music theory, stagecraft, ballet, digital video, photography, and so much more. Jonathan and Ashley chose this program to support because “The fact that the Artists in Residence are ALL experts in their field, bringing real-world knowledge to the classroom allowed for an intimate learning experience for us. Losing an Artist in Residence drastically enlarges the class size, and everyone involved (including our educators) suffer.”
 
Now a Manager with Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Jonathan believes that Dreyfoos taught him the interpersonal skills required for a position in the Customer Service industry. “Most people will talk about the phenomenal teachers, and the unique atmosphere that is provided by no other school in the county. Those opportunities are unparalleled, but that alone simply creates a good school. What separates Dreyfoos from the rest is being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of my peers who are BETTER than I am. The constant, continued growth every day I set foot on campus (both in academics and in the arts) were a college-timed change I had the fortune of going through in 9th grade.”
 
Jonathan and Ashley know that their monthly donation not only impacts Dreyfoos, but the local community as well. “Supporting the School of the Arts Foundation allows for the true Dreyfoos experience, impacting the local West Palm community both artistically (performances both in Meyer Hall and the Kravis Center) as well as academically (well educated students who stay locally). Supporting SOAFI ensures we continue to foster and grow a new generation of our Dreyfoos family.”
 
“Dreyfoos provides such an unparalleled experience that it's difficult to wish for it to be better, but I know it can be. It's filled with hundreds of students, each better than the next, consistently pushing each other to strive for better, even when perfection has been reached. My wish is that we, the Dreyfoos Alumni, ensure that OUR school has the funds to provide a world class education, both academically and in the arts.”