DreamWakers is now part of Backrs! Learn more about this exciting transition.

We wanted to give a shout out to 15 of our #DreamSpeakers who have gone above and beyond to serve our students this year, and just say THANKS!

This is by no means an exhaustive list — just a small sampling of some of the incredible, diverse, and dynamic professional role models we are so fortunate to have in our DreamWakers community.

Educators: if you’re interested in bringing a DreamWakers speaker like one of these folks into your classroom, please apply here.

Professionals: if you’d like to share your personal and professional journey over video chat with a group of students for 40 minutes next semester, please apply here.

Companies: if you’d like to get your employees involved in virtual volunteering with DreamWakers, please email [email protected] for more information.

We are so grateful for the volunteers who give of themselves for the benefit of our next generation of thinkers, doers, and dreamers!

Hope you are having a fabulous summer,
Team DreamWakers

Yasmeen Alamiri
Iraqi American Journalist & White House Correspondent

“I was nine years old when I decided I wanted to be a journalist. Which is pretty funny because it was a very young age to decide, but the reason why was because I loved writing stories and loved telling stories…and I haven’t stopped since.”

Tom di Liberto
CollabraLink Technologies

“No matter what you do, no matter how many times you fail, it is a positive thing, really, because in a sense it is helping you get closer to your end goal which is, hopefully, an answer of some sort.”

Josh Foster
KFA Architecture

“Focus on the things that make you happy. If you do that, you’ll find a career that makes you happy.”

Ahiza Garcia

“It’s easier to be true to yourself for the big things. Be true to yourself for the small things as well.”

Alvin Hough Jr.,
Musical Director
“Once on this Island”

“We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more than you talk and listen to the people around you.”

Nicholas Hunt-Walker
Application Developer

“I’m realizing I am never going to get to the point where I am done. I am going to be learning forever. And so when you are in the position of going to be learning forever, it’s important to know how to study well…Studying your craft is the most important thing you can do professionally.”

Marquise McGraw
Economist, PhD
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

“I thought to myself: what can I do with numbers to make a difference? That’s how I became interested in economics.”

Stewart McLaurin
White House Historical Association

“I think challenges are brought into our lives to make us rise to the occasion and make us learn things. I’m still a student — I learn something new every day of my job.”

Dr. Rocio Rivera
AVP of Scientific Communications
L’Oréal Paris

“Make sure you are the best you can be, and there is something out there that you can get paid to do what you love.”

Candace Rardon
Writer, Sketch Artist, & Illustrator
Moment Sketchers

“There’s a feeling when you share something with the world. There’s a moment when your art speaks to someone — that moment of connection is why I do this.”

Yolanda Shea
Physical Scientist

“A career can still go off in different directions, so I need to remind myself of what I am interested in and what drives me, and continue to learn more about myself and how I best contribute.”

Chioma Ubogagu
Professional Soccer Player
National Women’s Soccer League

“Enjoy the journey. You are going to succeed and you are going to fail. That is just a part of life, and I think when you do fail, that’s okay. You need to not be too hard on yourself and see how you can use those failures to better yourself.”

Tyree Washington
USA Track & Field
Olympic Sprinter

“If you gave it 100% and fall short, it doesn’t matter because you gave it your all. You never fail at trying.”

JJ West
Associate Director Partnership Marketing

“Don’t stop dreaming. That’s one of the reasons why I love DreamWakers. If you never stop dreaming your dreams can actually become your realities.”

Jonathan Ying
Game Designer/Illustrator
Bargain Quest Games

“If you are uncomfortable with failure, you will never try anything exceptional, you will never try anything new…If you want to do something crazy and out there then you might fail, because fewer people have tried it, but that’s how innovation comes in.”

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