A Year of Impact: DreamWakers’ 2019–2020 Progress Report

Dear DreamWakers Community:

Robert Frost once said, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Even in the midst of a school year plagued by the unparalleled challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen first-hand the Herculean effort of our educators, who have stopped at nothing to continue awakening the future hopes and dreams of their students. Often with limited infrastructure, scarce technical resources, and no roadmap to follow, our educators have quickly adapted to chaotic circumstances and charted their own course forward in order to continue exposing their scholars to DreamWakers’ professional role models.

The resilience and ingenuity of our educators has continually inspired our team and broader volunteer network in this trying 2019–2020 school year. Though deeply challenging in many ways, the past school year also propelled us forward to reach new milestones in service to our students, which we are pleased to feature throughout our latest progress report highlighted below.

In each flashchat, DreamSpeakers share their stories, career journeys, and advice they have learned along the way. Thanks to our DreamSpeakers, students learn about resilience in the face of adversity and are encouraged to believe in themselves and chase their dreams. Carrying us into 2021–2022, check out 20 pieces of advice from our community here.

On May 8, 2020, DreamWakers partnered with Twitter for their first-ever remote #TwitterForGood Day. As part of Twitter’s commitment to improving communities around the world, this biannual event encourages employees to give back through volunteerism, platform activation, and corporate giving. An astounding 75 Tweeps joined forces with us to inspire students across the U.S.

Virtual flashchats offer students the opportunity to not only connect with inspiring career role models but to also be transported into unique workplaces without geographical limitations.

DreamWakers launched a series of virtual field trips early in the school year, bringing students directly inside the recording studio, throughout the halls of the United States Institute of Peace, into laboratories, and even to an Olympic track — all without ever stepping foot outside the classroom! Through exposure to diverse work environments, students can more easily envision themselves in the workplace and are inspired by the unique environments that each career affords.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first caused schools across the country to transition to virtual environments in March 2020, DreamWakers saw a unique opportunity to adapt our model to continue connecting classrooms to diverse career professionals.

This series of interview-style flashchats streamed live every day via DreamWakers’ Facebook page and were later uploaded to YouTube, enabling students, educators, and parents to access a wealth of career inspiration and advice from their own homes.

DreamWakers Daily flashchats are still available for educators to share with their students outside and inside the classroom. Check out the career conversations on YouTube.

Looking forward, the unique career exploration opportunities DreamWakers provides will be more important than ever as students crave connection, inspiration, and engagement with compelling career role models in this complex era of learning. With your support, DreamWakers is honored to be able to continue providing our teachers with the tools they need to awaken their students’ career dreams. After all, as Lamont Smith, one of our volunteer speakers put it, “you honestly never know what will be the spark that ignites a mind and changes a life.”

We are grateful to the DreamWakers community for all that you do in service of supporting students to see what they can be! You can continue to follow our work on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

DreamWakers is a nonprofit that connects underserved classrooms to diverse + dynamic professionals using video chats. #Education #EdTech #Nonprofit #Careers

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