UW Dream Project

May 8, 2017

Meet the New HSL Managers

By HSL Managers

For Dream Project, spring quarter marks the beginning of a new cohort of High School Leads (HSLs) and HSL Managers, the latter of which include a team of experienced leaders who support HSLs in their year-long work with mentors and mentees.

This year’s HSL Managers are no strangers to Dream Project’s community: psychology major and diversity minor Katie Bui, Alexis Garcia studying social work, and Emily Jackson pursuing a bachelor’s in neurobiology.  Combined, they have mentored and served as HSLs at a number of Dream Project partner schools, ranging from TEC, Renton, Cleveland, and Foster to Ingraham, Auburn, AAA, and Global.

As HSL Managers, they support a total of 29 HSLs in transitioning into their new roles, effectively giving them the resources and skills to support their network of mentors, who in turn support Dream Project mentees. The HSL Managers and staff have also been working closely together to develop a curriculum that will expand HSLs’ knowledge base and confidence in their abilities to lead.

For Bui, the position represents a great opportunity to create meaningful relationships with this cohort of HSLs, whom she sees as some of the most selfless individuals. Through her own HSL experience, Bui was able to develop her identity by listening to other’s stories and immersing herself in the community where she wanted to continue to grow.

“I wanted to not only teach them, but also let them teach me,” said Katie, acknowledging the diverse abilities that every HSL brings each year.

Garcia agreed, saying that her motivation to become an HSL Manager stems from her desire to lead the HSLs and make sure they feel supported.

All three were on the same page, describing that their main goal is to let HSLs have a voice, building their confidence and creating a space to talk about social justice and equity. They also hope to allow HSLs to critically reflect on what they want to improve and find ways to facilitate conversations around those ideas to achieve their personal goals. Although this cannot be achieved overnight, the HSL Managers said it is a long-term goal the cohort will strive for this year and beyond.

Finally, they hope to be part of an ongoing process that allows HSLs to grow in their understanding of racial equity, how their identity plays into this, and how they will remain committed to achieving it. These are all central questions around which the managers hope to start conversations that can be facilitated to create a comfortable space for HSLs to discuss and support each other.