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This past month DreamWakers launched #WhyIDreamWake, a social media campaign inviting educators, speakers, and the DreamWakers’ team to take a picture briefly explaining why THEY DreamWake.

Check out some of our favorite #WhyIDreamWake posts so far! And if you’re interested in participating, be sure to scroll to the bottom for instructions on how you can also be a part of #WhyIDreamwake.

“Because seeing people who look like you, doing the things you dream of doing MATTERS!” — Ahiza Garcia, Business Reporter @CNN Business, #DreamSpeaker & DW Advisory Council Member

Ahiza Garcia is a writer for CNN Business covering technology from CNN’s San Francisco Bureau.

Ahiza has previously covered politics, sports and breaking news at outlets such as Talking Points Memo and ESPN the Magazine.

Ahiza graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

“Because every child deserves to be inspired!” — Alyssa Orcuilo, Social Media & Marketing Intern @dreamwakers_

Alyssa Orcuilo is the Social Media & Marketing Intern at DreamWakers. Alyssa is a valuable team member and responsible for managing the DreamWakers Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages

Alyssa is a Business Marketing student at CUNY College of Staten Island. She is also a part-time Direct Support Professional and works with children with special needs to reach individualized goals.

“To inspire the youth to never give up on their dreams!” — AJ Lavilla, NYC Visual Artist

AJ Lavilla is a visual artist based in Queens, New York. AJ’s work can be identified by vivid colors with his use of pop culture icons and characters whilst incorporating motivational quotes from the books he reads and listens to while painting.

His motivation is “to inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams and be passionate about what they do”.

AJ also has an organization back home in Ilo-Ilo — Protect Our Dream Organization — providing art workshops to children.

“Our students need inspiring role models!” — Ms. Kelly Pearce #DreamTeacher

Kelly Pearce is a middle school teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where she teaches Journalism and pre-AVID. Kelly oversees the school newspaper where students learn the entire process, from interviewing, writing, editing, and of course, publishing.

Kelly is passionate about exposing her students to career role models from a variety of fields. Most recently, Kelly and her students chatted with CNN National Correspondent, Athena Jones, and Verizon Media On-Air Correspondent, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.

“To help young people AWAKEN to the greatness inside of them!”- Marquise McGraw, Ph.D., DW Advisory Council Member, #DreamSpeaker, Economist & Ron Brown Scholar

Marquise McGraw, Ph.D. is an economist with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Before joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Marquise taught economics at Middlebury and UC Berkeley. Marquise earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley where he specialized in Urban Economics and Labor Economics.

Marquise grew up in the Bronx, New York and is proud of his NYC public school upbringing, having attended Garrett A. Morgan C.E.S. 132, Diana Sands C.I.S. 147, and the Bronx High School of Science. Marquise is also a Ron Brown Scholar, and a long-time advocate of educational equality and access for all students.

“To encourage people from marginalized communities to DREAM. Our dreams are valid, and NOTHING is impossible!” — Marvellous Iheukwumere, DW Advisory Council Member, #DreamSpeaker, Harvard Law Student & former Olympic Athlete

Marvellous Iheukwumere was born and raised in Aba, Nigeria before she moved to Austin, Texas at the age of 8. Marvellous went on to graduate from Columbia University with honors, where she ran track and holds the school record in the 100 m dash.

After college Marvellous worked at the NBA, where she took a leave of absence from her job to train for the Olympics.

Marvellous is passionate about encouraging students to find mentors that restore their faith and reaffirm their passions and dreams.

Want to be featured on our Instagram? It’s easy! Simply fill out a #WhyIDreamWake form and send it to [email protected] or tag us on Instagram! We’d love to hear from you and learn about what motivates YOU to inspire the next generation.

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