Dare to Dream Fund

The Gail Burns-Smith “Dare to Dream” Fund was established in 2004 upon the retirement of Gail Burns-Smith, former Executive Director of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Servicesnow Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. She dedicated twenty-two years to ending and preventing sexual violence in the state of Connecticut. The Fund is composed of voluntary contributions received from supporters and donors who wish to honor her dedication to this cause.

A scholarship or stipend is granted annually to an individual whose work or study in the field of sexual violence most exemplifies Gail Burns-Smith’s commitment to anti-sexual violence awareness, policy, prevention and advocacy on behalf of victims of sexual violence.

Award Information

An award of $1,000 will be presented each year.

However, this amount along with the number of awardees may change at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Required Materials

Applicants must submit the official application form, an essay responding to the questions listed on the application, and two character references submitted as letters of recommendation on behalf of the applicant.

Important Dates

Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2017. The awardee(s) will be announced in April of 2017.

Award Conditions

The recipient of the award must provide a report to Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence one year after receiving the award, indicating how the funding was used and its impact.

This award is open to anyone, regardless of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, familial status, national origin, ancestry, sex, mental disability, learning disability, sexual orientation, and physical disability. People from historically marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be a resident of Connecticut or attend a school that is based in Connecticut.

The applicant must show paid or volunteer work experience in the field of women’s issues or sexual violence and be actively involved in sexual assault awareness activities.

Applicants may apply annually for this award.

Selection Criteria

The applicant must demonstrate leadership and display commitment in the fields of women’s issues or sexual violence prevention and/or advocacy. This work can be on behalf of individual victims or via public policy advocacy.


Complete the application form. Attach your essay answering the application essay prompts. Attach two character references in the form of letters of recommendation. Email your application to gbsfund@endsexualviolencect.org with the subject line “GBS Fund Application” or mail your application materials to:

GBS Fund Application
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
96 Pitkin Street, East Hartford, CT 06108

Your application must be received by March 31, 2017.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Download the Application