On April 15, 2002 Dustin finished his last class of the day and hopped into a friend's car for a short ride across campus. Less than two minutes into the trip, the driver didn't see a red light. He crossed into a busy intersection and his car was struck by oncoming traffic. Dustin was thrown from the vehicle and killed.
There is an old Hebrew saying that states, "My death is not my own but yours, and its significance depends on what you do with it." After Dustin's death we knew there was only one thing we could do - keep his memory alive by making the world a brighter place for others. It's because of Dustin that "hope grows here."
High school is a formative and vulnerable experience for most students, and arguably one of the most pivotal chapters in a child’s life. It represents a period of time during which academic successes and failures, extra-curricular activities and personal/life choices begin to have a direct impact on the opportunities that will (or will not) be available to a student in the future. High school is also a time when self-esteem seems to dissipate, family dynamics are tested and new levels of negative influence begin to surface at every turn.
Recognizing that we cannot possibly serve all high school students, DGH has chosen to focus on the kids in the “gray” zone. These are students who are not recognized for exceptional talents or achievements. Nor are they classified as “at risk.” These are the under-nurtured students who too often are overlooked because they do not draw attention to themselves – through positive or negative behavior, and the results of these omissions mean untapped potential and missed opportunities.
While there is an abundance of government funding and programming targeting children in their early years, there is an absence of such resources aimed at addressing continued growth in the lives of high school students. This gap results in a “lose-lose;” it detracts from the value of previous investments, and it postures us (as a society) for increased costs and risk in the future. By focusing on high school students, and particularly those who are under-served and under-recognized, Dustin’s GreenHouse is able to bring new possibility to life. We work to empower and inspire students to take control over their academic, social and professional futures.
Dustin's GreenHouse is 100% volunteer run. The organization began as a donor advised fund under the High Point Community Foundation. In September of 2006 we became a recognized 501(c)(3). The GreenHouse undergoes annual audits through an independent agency and continues its long-standing relationship with the High Point Community Foundation.