Dream Project

The college application process can be daunting: SAT prep, essays, financial aid. But imagine how much more daunting it would be if you were the first in your family to go to college. Who would you look to for help? Aisha Ali, now enrolled at UW Tacoma, leaned on her Dream Project mentors at Kent-Meridian High School to learn about and access the resources she needed to apply for college. Watch Aisha’s story and the role Dream Project played in supporting her and her family below.

Kent-Meridian High School now also hosts College and Career Readiness Assistants, to support and expand upon the success of Dream Project’s mentorship model. College and Career Readiness Assistants (CCRAs) are year-long paid internships, where UW undergraduates work under school counselors to mentor students and lead workshops about pursuing higher education and accessing careers.

Last Fall, UW President Ana Mari Cauce visited CCRA intern Anthony You-Berry at his placement, Evergreen High School. One-third of CCRAs are placed in schools they graduated from, including Anthony. “The most rewarding aspect of the CCRA program is seeing how passionate these interns are about working with and supporting youth,” says Jessica Hunnicutt Batten, director of the Dream Project. “They are truly invested in the communities they serve.”

Ana Marie Cauce visits Dream Project students

Ana Marie Cauce visits Dream Project students


Our CCRA students have made a meaningful difference for their students and schools, and we are now fielding requests for CCRAs from five new partner schools in Renton, Federal Way, and Seattle school districts.

The total cost per CCRA is $12,500, most of which is returned directly to the student as a stipend. CCRA’s are funded through a shared funding model between the schools (20%) and private supporters (80%). A gift of $10,000 places a CCRA in a partner school for a full academic year, providing individualized postsecondary support to hundreds of students. A gift of any size helps Dream Project sustain CCRA and mentoring partnerships at public schools across the region.


To make a gift or learn more about the CCRA Program, please contact:
Jessica Hunnicutt Batten, Director, UW Dream Project
hunnij@uw.edu | (206) 685-8381
Shannon Sherman, Assistant Director, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
sherman3@uw.edu | (206) 543-1959