School may be out for the summer, but flashchats keep on going! This summer, DreamWakers connected with a number of summer programs to keep the career inspiration flowing. We continue our partnerships with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Neighborhood Youth Corps and Smart Museum of Art programs, as well as youth apprentices from the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. We are also once again collaborating with After School Matters, the English Learner Summer Academic Program (ELSAP) in Washington, DC, and summer programming at Arkansas City Middle School in Kansas. We welcomed several new summer partners in 2022, including Warren County Schools in North Carolina and young women of the Girls Inc., DC STEM summer leadership academy. So far this summer, DreamWakers has connected more than 1,000 students in 65 flashchats (and counting!) to dynamic professional role models.
To celebrate a summer of career inspiration, the DreamTeam reflects below on some of our favorite flashchat moments from the summer thus far.
Since joining the DreamTeam as DreamWakers Social Media and Communications Intern in April, Anaí Rosales has hosted a number of amazing chats, including a bilingual chat in Spanish with DreamSpeaker Natalie Ruiz and ELSAP students.
However, her favorite flashchat memory from this summer was with DreamSpeaker Dr. Jenaya White and CHA Neighborhood Youth Corps. Dr. Jenaya White started off the chat by asking students to share three things they love about themselves. Hearing teen students’ response to this prompt was both heartwarming and inspiring.
“Dr. Jenaya White and CHA Neighborhood Youth Corps flashchat left me feeling inspired to continue building my self confidence as an adult.” -Anaí
Program Manager Celete Kato joined DreamWakers in Fall 2019. Since then, she has hosted more than 250 flashchats! This summer, DreamWakers teamed up with Girls Inc. DC to provide real models for the young women who spent four weeks of their summer learning about careers in construction, coding, health innovation, and advocacy/social justice. Celete’s favorite moment was in the connection between these young leaders and Taylor Luckett, Senior Project Engineer for McCarthy Building Companies and a member of the National Association of Black Women in Construction.
Ms. Luckett shared with the group, “We will be Black women for the rest of our lives. When you get into these spaces where no one else looks like you, or where someone doesn’t know how to act around a Black woman because they’ve never met one before, just stay true to yourself. Keep reminding yourself you belong and you are qualified. You are supposed to be there and you can do great things!”
“Girls Inc.’s mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Combined with DreamWakers’ mission to help students see what they can be, Taylor Luckett’s flashchat with these girls was the ideal embodiment of two missions joining forces to create something powerful. Ms. Luckett brought her authentic self to this conversation and these young women had the opportunity to see themselves in the story she represented and to consider if this is a career path they may want to pursue.” – Celete
Jillian Scott joined DreamWakers as Executive Director in 2019 and continues to find hosting flashchats among the most rewarding parts of her job. Her 2022 summer flashchat highlight was between Lina Cuartas, CEO and Founder of Lunita Company, and apprentices at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Ms. Cuartas embodies what it means to turn passion into a career. She’s a multi-talented artist, author, illustrator, and podcaster and brings a unique authenticity and meaningful worldview to connect with young adults. The apprentices, meanwhile, are deep thinkers, passionate about making the world a better place, and the conversation centered on questions like, How do you turn art into a career? What do you do when you lose inspiration? How can we as young people find clarity and reach our highest self? One apprentice remarked after the chat, “She makes me want to focus on myself more instead of focusing on other people and to not want to be perfect – but to instead focus on how far I’ve come.”
“This conversation showed how career exposure can mean so much more than just learning about new jobs, but can inspire and empower young folks to be their best selves.” -Jillian
As Program Associate, Breana Lockett has worked closely with the DreamSpeaker community since February. This summer, Julio Chavez-Bosa was one of eight speakers we connected with ELSAP students, who are primarily English Language Learners. Mr. Chavez-Bosa, a software engineer at YouTube who moved to the U.S. in 2003, brought his authentic self to this chat. He spoke openly about his experience as an immigrant learning English as his second language, finding community at YouTube and throughout his career, and the importance of diversity. Knowing that many of the students are bilingual with Spanish as their native language, Mr. Chavez-Bosa made a point to respond to students and reiterate questions in both English and Spanish.
“Seeing the moment where the Spanish-speaking students felt seen and knowing Julio created a safe space for the students reminded me how much representation matters. The diversity of our DreamSpeaker community not only in their career industries, but also in race, nationality, language, and culture, is something I value and will never take for granted.” -Breana
While summer is coming to an end, it is never to early to sign up for a flashchat for the 2022-2023 academic school year. Join DreamWakers today and connect your classroom to dynamic role models in a wide array of professional sectors.
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