I love working with youth and I love cycling so this is a perfect mix of the two! I rode RAGBRAI® a number of years before I decided to check out what the Dream Team was all about. I first joined the Dream Team in 2012 and have absolutely loved it from day one. Seeing the joy, feeling of accomplishment, and pride the riders feel when they reach the Mississippi river in July keeps me coming back each year to help this team's mission. I'm proud to be a part of the team and I'm proud of the youth who step out of their comfort zone, take on this challenge, and succeed. Go Dream Team!
Assistant Executive Director
Jeff Van Genderen
I have been volunteering with the Dream Team since 2017. I love to cycle and ride the trails around central Iowa and have volunteered with other youth programs. My first year I checked out Dream Team by being a support mentor. I enjoyed being part of the team and seeing the smiles, now I volunteer as a riding mentor. What is unique about the Dream Team experience is: Using the power of the bicycle to help teach youth how to overcome life's challenges. To witness the growth in the youth's confidence, both as a person and a cyclist, from the first outdoor training ride all the way through the season, when the youth get to dip their bike tires in the Mississippi, is something I am really proud to be part of.
I first joined the team in 2014 to help create a social media presence for the team during RAGBRAI®, so that family and friends of the riders could see all the fun and excitement they were experiencing throughout the week. After falling in love with the team's mission and many of the youth, I decided to join the team as a riding support member. Most recently, my role has shifted to Youth Recruitment as well, which in my opinion is the best part! We have amazing youth with touching stories, and building relationships with them is why I come back year after year. It's undeniable the impact Dream Team has on so many people, and it's an honor to be a part of that!
Shamin Van Genderen
I am the support director and responsible for keeping the youth fueled during Dream Team rides. I have been with the team for eight years and am a second generation mentor! In 2014, after listening to my dad talk about how much fun he was having with Dream Team, I joined as a riding mentor. The joy the youth bring to my life is unparalleled. I’m truly blessed to have a hand in building confidence and developing life skills with this group.
Mentor & Special Events Coordinator
I have been a mentor with Dream Team since 2013. I've served on the leadership board since 2014 and was director from 2015 to 2018. If I'm not with the team along the RAGBRAI route, I also work for RAGBRAI as information/lost and found near the main campsite! Seeing the youth grow and make positive life choices during their time with the Dream Team is personally one of my favorite things! There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing their hard work awarded with a tire dip at the Mississippi in July.
I coordinate mentor recruiting and onboarding before our season starts, as well as plan team building events through the season.
As a first-year mentor in 2021, I had the opportunity to see first-hand how Dream Team changes the lives of dozens of Central Iowa youth each year. As a volunteer, I also learned how rewarding it is to be part of a time-tested program that helps youth riders build confidence and develop a positive approach to help conquer life’s challenges. Now in its 25th year, Dream Team has an amazing story to tell. Contact me if your organization would like to learn more about how they can support Dream Team or if you are with the media and are interested in learning more about Dream Team.
Indoor Training & Campout Coordinator
I am a retired Business Manager, husband, father and grandfather. I love bicycling and became acquainted with the Dream Team while riding several years of RAGBRAI and serving on it’s Ride Right safety committee. I had the joy of joining the Dream Team in 2005 when “Greenie” was our leader and we were housed at the old Des Moines Register building.
What I enjoy about the team is watching the youth grow throughout the season and year over year. This growth includes building confidence, physical and emotional strength, sense of belonging, working as a team, commitment to achieving a goal and social skills.
I am a riding mentor and often provide support and occasionally drive the truck for campouts.
Outdoor Ride Coordinator
Since joining the Dream Team in 2020 as a riding mentor, it has been inspiring to be a part of the transformation process for these amazing Des Moines-area youth. Nothing short of a metamorphosis takes place - a major and permanent change of their character into something new. I have witnessed youth gain fitness, friendships, self-confidence, and discipline. I’m proud to be seeking the welfare of my greater Des Moines community by investing in the youth of the Dream Team. As a life-long cyclist myself, it is a joy to share my passion for cycling with others.
Bike Maintenance Coordinator
I joined Dream Team in 2016 because I wanted to support a program from which so many kids of diverse backgrounds benefit. I am proud to be part of a program that challenges kids to improve decision making, increases physical fitness, and promotes support and inclusivity. Seeing youth riders mature and grow their confidence from year to year is what I find most rewarding.
Marketing & Digital Media Coordinator
I've been volunteering with Dream Team since 2018. As an avid cyclist, it's been a joy to merge my interests of riding and serving/supporting youth in Central Iowa. The growth I've witnessed among our youth riders over the years is inspiring.
Consider me a "utility player" for the team - I've driven the support truck, ridden the routes, and cooked the meals along the way. Currently, I lead all things marketing and digital media.