I have never really thought too hard about what goes into a program’s Mission Statement. Everyone has to have one, right? The mission statement reflects the work of the program, right?
In talking with other Dream Project volunteers and staff, I have realized that the Dream Project Mission and Core Values are meant to be a driving force for the work that we do, not a response to what happens.
The mission of the University of Washington Dream Project is to assist low-income and first-generation high school students in attaining higher education and to raise awareness among university students about the issues of educational opportunity and social mobility.
The Dream Project cannot be described by any one sentence; I have spent years trying to figure out how to somehow explain this continually developing program to our family and friends back home. Nowhere in our Mission do we mention hosting hundreds of students on campus for a workshop or driving down to our partner high schools, but they happen all the time.
The Mission does not describe everything that the Dream Project is. Rather, it provides a foundation and a core to our work: everything we do, every event, every conversation should stem from an internalization of our mission. If an effort is not assisting our students to college or educating college students about these issues, it is not our mission, and it is not the Dream Project. Our core value says it all:
We believe that every student has the right to higher education.
Dream Project Mentor