Dream Projects - 2019
Student Stories - 2018
Our students are amazing young people who are filled with passions and dreams!
They have loved dreaming together with community members who share similar dreams.
When Adrian was just eleven years old, he stood next to his mother as the doctor relayed that her debilitating seizures could possibly result in memory loss, immobility, and even death. Adrian was crushed when he heard those words, but he also vowed that very day that he would become a neurosurgeon so that he could help his mom and others like her. He didn’t want anyone else to go through the hardships his mother had gone through and he didn’t want any children to hear those words spoken to their parents..
Therefore, it was no surprise that when we asked Adrian about his aspirations for The Dream Project, his answer came quick and with laser focus. To meet with and learn from a neurosurgeon .
Through The Dream Project, Adrian connected with Dr. Lauren Miller and they bonded right away. She shared the story of her own health issues (she had to undergo heart surgery as a child) and how she didn’t let the obstacles she faced overcome her desire to become a doctor. She persevered and is now a respected physician who prioritizes uplifting her community.
In partnership with Dr. Miller, Adrian worked with medical instruments and looked at anatomy books, but what he treasures most about his time with Dr. Miller was her advice to carry a physical reminder of why he is so passionate about becoming a doctor. “It can carry you through the toughest moments of training, when all you want to do is give up,” she had told him..
Now Adrian is a freshman at South High School and taking AP Biology. He has stayed in touch with Dr. Miller and with her support, he will gain additional access to the medical community, as well as meaningful experiences that will continue to propel him towards his dream.
As an inquisitive and spunky 8th grader, Lilly was deeply intrigued by aerospace. She fed that curiosity by mining the library and internet for all the air and spacecraft information she could find. Yet, still that did not satiate her. Rather than just read books and watch videos, Lilly dreamed of feeling the control stick in her own hands and experiencing the thrill of the plane rising up in the air at her demand.
This is precisely what motivated her to apply for The Dream Project and to continue to partner with Liz Kailey, a community member and professional pilot, who Lilly had first met through her Grant Beacon’s enrichment program.
Just a few weeks into The Dream Project, Liz took Lilly to the airfield and provided her the opportunity of a lifetime. Lilly buckled in, steered the plane to the runway, and got the thumbs up from air traffic control to soar. She even got to practice maneuvers and touch-and-goes. The control stick was all hers.
As Lilly reflected on her experience, she realized that she learned more than how to fly a plane. She gained an empowered feeling and a belief that she could do anything with big dreams and a supportive community. She said, “taking control of the plane and flying […] made me feel like I’m in control of something and no one could take that away from me.”
Christian has a passion for living life to its fullest, and for him, this means never staying in one place for very long. Christian dreams of traveling the world, capturing its beauty, and sharing it with others. Becoming a professional photographer would turn his dreams into reality.
Christian shared his dream at The Dream Project and several weeks later, he found himself face to face with Zsanee – a professional photographer here in Denver. She spent time teaching Christian how to hold a camera, how to frame a picture, and how to focus a lens to capture an image just right. Zsanee also worked with him on photoshop software and showed him how to edit his photos in order to highlight the best quality of an image or intensify a particular feeling he wanted to convey.
Christian loved learning these new-found skills, but once Zsanee left, he had no way to practice them. He put himself out there once again and expressed his need for a camera on The Dream Project’s website.
It wasn’t long before a community member found Christian’s dream on the website and asked if they could meet with Christian and brainstorm together over what kind of camera he might need. Another community member joined them and together they were able to deliver a brand-new Cannon camera to Christian at his school. Christian immediately put it around his neck and began taking pictures around school. When it was time for the 8th grade dance, he made sure to capture the last moments with his friends before they all said goodbye to their middle school years.
Christian now attends South High School and will be enrolling in a photography class next fall. The Dream Project asked him to take head shots of the student advisory board with his camera and we think they came out perfectly!