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As yet another school year comes to an end, we at DreamWakers are thrilled to reflect on the efforts and accomplishments of the DreamWakers community. Through the combined efforts of passionate volunteers and visionary educators, DreamWakers hosted 301 flashchats this school year, spanning across 25 states and DC. We are honored to have connected nearly 8,000 students to career role models, igniting their curiosity and illuminating pathways for their future they may have never considered. A testament to our impact in exposing students to new careers: 82% of DreamStudents had never before had the opportunity to engage with a professional in the industry of their esteemed speaker.

Join us as we celebrate another impactful school year and reflect below on some of our favorite moments!

Continued Connections: Above & Beyond the Flashchat

Every school year offers new opportunities for connection between speakers and students via flashchats. This past year, DreamEducator Lauren Gunnell-Beck, STEM teacher at the North Carolina Leadership Academy in Kernersville, connected her students with with DreamSpeaker Ilan Komrad, Senior Manager, Creative Director, Project Manager and software engineer at Everbloom Games, to illustrate how math is used in the real world. Ms. Gunnell-Beck’s 6th-graders had been studying computer programming and technology hardware design and were eager to learn from a career role model who used coding in their everyday work, so they were thrilled to connect with Mr. Komrad, who makes Minecraft maps for a living!

But their first video chat in November 2022 was just the beginning of this class’s relationship with Mr. Komrad! Ms. Gunnell-Beck took their connection to the next level, going above and beyond to ensure her students could continue the conversation they started with their DreamSpeaker. She created a system to keep the discussion going over the long term, stoking students’ curiosity and empowering them to forge connections with their speaker via Padlet, an online tool that can function as a shareable bulletin and message board platform. Ms. Gunnell-Beck moderates the Padlet to allow students to post their questions to Mr. Komrad, and then notifies them once he responds. This system has lent itself to an ongoing back and forth between Mr. Komrad and Lauren’s students, even leading to a follow-up flashchat with the class in February!

This system of continued connection builds students’ interest and curiosity beyond the original flashchat and facilitates communication for students that may be shy or nervous to ask questions during their flashchat. Lauren noted that “The Padlet has been a great tool for my students. They get to learn more about coding and ask technical questions that Ilan can answer for them. He’s been a great resource for them!”

A Year In Review: Educators' Favorite Flashchat Moments

With each flashchat comes unique and inspiring moments of connection that can’t be quantified. As we wrapped up the 2022-23 school year, we asked our DreamEducators to share some of their favorite flashchat moments with us. Check out their responses below!

Thank you to our amazing community of educators and volunteers for another inspiring academic year of supporting students to see what they can be! We look forward to what the future has in store, but in the meantime, stay up to date with DreamWakers throughout the summer via InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

DreamWakers’ mission is to help students see what they can be, inspiring the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals in all industries. Representation matters, and we connect students across the country with career professionals who look like them, so that the youth of America can truly see themselves in the faces of their role models year-round. 

Are you an educator looking to bring your lessons to life, or expose your students to new and exciting career paths through conversations with career professionals? Sign up as a DreamEducator with DreamWakers today!

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