The competition is designed to bring attention to college organizations across the country designed to "out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." DOTB creator and Mizzou student Kam Phillips said she hopes the national exposure of the challenge will encourage others to creat similar programs.
Phillips created the program in 2009 to help expose children to experiences they may not typically have, such as fencing, lacrosse or dancing. Phillips got volunteers to come to the Boys and Girls Club in Columbia twice a week to teach the kids about those experiences.
One of those volunteers, Karen Grundy, executive director of Missouri Contemporary Ballet, taught the children ballet moves. Phillips and Grundy then created Dance Outside the Box in the fall of 2011 to branch out from Dream Outside the Box. The dance program brought kids in once a week to teach them basic ballet at no cost to the families.