UW Dream Project

January 23, 2018

What’s in store for Steering?

By Christine Smet

Weekly Steering Committee meetings are a space to engage in thoughtful discussions about Dream Project’s work as a whole: during meetings, leaders give and receive updates on their work and provide input on potential programmatic changes. The Steering Committee consists of full-time Dream Project staff, Americorps members, and student leaders representing various parts of the program (9th and 10th Grade Outreach, Recruitment, High School Leads, Lecture Leads, Events, Community Partnerships, and Public Relations), however, any Dream Project mentor is welcome to attend and participate in Steering meetings.

As Steering Manager, I plan and facilitate our weekly meetings, provide support to student leaders as needed, and assist staff with program-wide professional development.

This past year has brought about significant changes within Dream Project. In Spring 2017, Steering revised Dream Project’s mission statement to reflect a program-wide commitment to social justice and equity, and in Autumn 2017, Steering updated applications for leadership positions to ensure incoming leaders demonstrate that same commitment.

Looking ahead, I am excited for the upcoming year. Steering is currently discussing and looking to make changes to our criteria for partnering with schools, the structure of weekly lectures and breakouts, and the High School Lead role.

I originally began participating in Dream Project as a mentor my freshman year. After three quarters of mentoring, I became a College and Career Readiness Assistant at Highline High School because I wanted to spend more face-to-face time with mentees, and I became a Community Partnership Lead because I felt that Dream Project could do better engaging with the communities that our mentees are from and the ones around us. Since the Community Partnerships leads are Steering members, I’ve attended Steering meetings since September 2016. When the Steering Manager position opened up, I agreed to step into the role, hoping to work with other leaders to expand the commitment to equity we make in our new mission statement into every facet of the program.