March 5, 2014

Dream Project Named a Finalist in Road Map Project Awards Ceremony!

By Melissa Galloway - Medsker

 

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We are excited to announce the University of Washington Dream Project has recently been named a finalist in the inaugural Road Map Project Awards Program!  Our dedication and commitment to increase equity and eliminate opportunity gaps for students in South King County and South Seattle has been recognized for the lifelong impacts being made everyday, and the program’s reach is continuing to grow. The UW Dream Project, along with 20 other finalists, stood out in more than 60 selected nominations through evidence and results showing from the program’s growing contribution in the King County’s public schools.

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Last night’s memorable event involved more than 300 attendees, spotlighting the work of the Award Program’s 21 finalists.  These included the partnerships, programs, and initiatives who have been recognized for achieving exciting results, using data and technology for improving and collaborating to get more powerful results for students.

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The Dream Project has been recognized for striving towards a college-going culture available to all students, showing that almost any limitation can be overcome when it comes to reaching their dream of a higher education when supported through the process of applying to college.

The student-led, student-run Dream Project supports low-income and first-generation high school students in attaining higher education in high schools across the region. University of Washington students find life-changing opportunities as they develop mentorship roles in high schools in need to support, motivate, and inspire high school students.  The experiences spark discussion and awareness among these college students about educational opportunities with social mobility.

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The Dream Project has remarkably grown from serving 100 students in 2007 to 1,800 students in 2014. Along with working directly with high school students, DP mentors participate in events at non-partner schools to further support students in completing steps toward college. As part of the region’s Race to the Top grant, the project has hired College and Career Readiness Assistants to maintain a regular school-day presence in high-need middle and high schools.

“We were really excited to have been nominated alongside a lot of other great programs in the Road Map Region. To be considered on the same level as some of the other programs that made the list made us feel quite honored. The journey has been amazing and we can not wait to see how we can better support the Road Map Region in the coming years.” -Dream Project AmeriCorps member, Jeremy Webb

The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. The Road Map Project Awards Program aims to advance equity and eliminate opportunity gaps by recognizing amazing efforts and encouraging the spread of success across the region.  Dream Project and the other finalists were recognized at the March 4 awards ceremony at the Museum of Flight. A panel of 15 judges, comprised of local and national experts, helped determine several special recognition awards for overall excellence.

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The event featured the following guest presenters: Jackie Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation; State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez; Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust; Norman B. Rice, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation; and Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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“The Education Trust is excited to be part of this work and support the Road Map Project Awards Program. We need to spread the success seen in the Road Map Project region across the country to ensure all students enjoy equal opportunities. It’s an honor to participate in an award ceremony focused on closing opportunity gaps and increasing equity across the educational continuum. I believe this work will help improve the lives of children and strengthen communities in the Road Map Project region and beyond,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust and guest presenter for the Road Map Project awards ceremony.

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Education inspires the future, and it’s not just important to the Dream Project.  We want to recognize some other key contributors to helping Seattle’s students:

“Building a system to close gaps and support young learners” - Auburn School District and Partners

World Language Credit Program: “Building a system for crediting bilingual high school students” - School District Partners and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Parent-Child Home Program: “Visiting hard-to-reach families at home to help 2-4 year olds get off to a good start” - United Way of King County and Partners  

Seattle Early Education Collaborative: “Working to ensure success in kindergarten” - Early Learning Partners and City of Seattle

Parent Academy for Student Achievement: “Empowering parents to navigate school systems and influence student success”- Kent School District

Diplomas Now: “Creating a school-community partnership to benefit middle school students” - City Year Seattle, Johns Hopkins University, Communities in Schools of Seattle, Aki Kurose Middle School   

“Building a system of authentic family engagement”- Federal Way Public Schools

“Creating opportunity by accelerating academics and removing barriers to college” - Federal Way Public Schools

“Making college admission and graduation possible” - College Access Now and School Partners

A full list of finalists can be found at the Road Map Project’s Award Program web page: www.roadmapproject.org/awards.

The Dream Project is proud of its recent achievements, and we are excited about the many opportunities coming our way to help make a difference in Seattle, our nations, and ultimately the world’s future. We all remember the years of high school, and the support that mentors can have is something we can all relate to.  If you are interested in participating in the growing Dream Project, we are looking for mentors next quarter to join the movement.  Check out more information and join today!

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Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the Awards Program, and congratulations once more to the award winners and finalists!

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