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My experience with DREAM
Hi everyone! As we move into the final few days of classes, I wanted to steer the conversation away from classes and coursework. It can be a pretty busy and (sometimes) stressful time on campus, but I've been finding that there are many opportunities to engage with my peers outside of the classroom. Apart from going on runs and getting outside with friends, I've been participating in the DREAM program which I was recently selected to be a part of.
After the application and interview process, I was losing hope because I hadn't gotten an email about my decision. However, on Friday at 7 am, I was reaffirmed by loud knocks and screams at my door. To clarify, a lot of Dartmouth organizations have what we call "wake-ups" where older members will come to your dorm early in the morning to welcome you as a part of their community. There's one requirement: you must wear "flair." What is flair? Basically, any item of clothing that is mismatched and doesn't belong – tutus, neon clothes, onesies. So, after picking other members up, we went to breakfast at The Nest in our flair and I got to learn more about the club as well as some upperclassmen. What a great start to my Friday.
Now you may be wondering, what is DREAM? DREAM is a local organization that aims to connect mentors and mentees through peer-to-peer mentoring to close the opportunity gap in the Upper Valley. Dartmouth works with three communities near campus, and I am a part of the North Woods community with about fifteen other Dartmouth students. This past Friday was my first "DREAM Friday" where I got to meet some of the mentees, play some introductory games and do a scavenger hunt around campus. Some other activities that DREAM has done include cooking, hiking, art, outdoor games and even trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Although DREAM is not an official part of the DCSI, the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact sponsors many other youth and education mentoring programs with which many of my peers are involved. The DCSI is a super great organization that makes a genuine and responsible effort to work with the Upper Valley community. Some of the other YEM programs include OLE, SIBS, and Read Across America. I am also involved in Foundations of Social Impact which is a first-year leadership program where we learn how to create positive, social change with the opportunities available to us at Dartmouth and beyond. In the winter term, we have weekly meetings about different practices in social impact. In the spring, we work on a consulting project with a real-world nonprofit in the Upper Valley, applying the skills we've worked on like leadership, effective communication, and creating community. The DCSI has programs that tackle many issues in many ways, and I encourage you all to look into them!
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