Dream UP Program

Dream UP Program

This semester, approximately 23,000 students attending more than 90 schools in 14 states are setting their sights on the future by participating in the Dream UP Program. It was announced by Office Depot Foundation on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The program is offered to middle school teachers at no cost by the Office Depot Foundation − an independent, non-profit foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP) – in collaboration with the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.

Since its introduction in 2009, approximately 90,000 young people have examined future career opportunities through the Dream UP program, which seeks to address the alarming problem of middle school students dropping out of school.

“By giving middle school students the tools and resources to begin to consider career opportunities, establish long-term goals, and dream about what they might become in the future, we’re helping to keep students in the classroom, rather than losing them to the streets,” said Office Depot Foundation president Mary Wong.

Using the Dream UP project-based curriculum, students study current workplace trends, reading and analyzing the latest industry news from USA TODAY to identify career opportunities and understand professional requirements.

Through Dream UP, students research several career options and develop a career portfolio. The project culminates with students selecting and writing essays about the professions that most intrigue and inspire them.

Schools select the best essays to submit to the national Dream UP Essay Challenge and, each semester, several student winners are given the opportunity to live their “dream job” for a day.

In the picture above: Coral Springs (Florida) Middle School student Samantha Bonnin visits Florida Atlantic University for her Dream UP “Dream Job” experience.

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