Middle School Students Set Sights on Future Careers Through Office Depot Foundation ‘Dream Up’ Program
Published on Monday, 02 July 2012 13:38 Written by TradersHuddle StaffBOCA RATON, Fla.-( Business Wire )-
What do journalists, veterinarians, animators, fashion editors and pediatric occupational therapists have in common? The five latest Dream UP Career Exploration Program national essay contest winners want to join them in the workplace when they grow up!
Aylin Stout, one of the 2011 Office Depot Foundation Dream UP essay contest winners, spent her Dream Job day at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, where she got a taste of what it’s like to be a fighter pilot. (Photo by SSgt Bollinger, Public Affairs, Vance AFB)
These award-winning middle school students soon will have the chance to live their “Dream Job” for a day thanks to the Dream UP Program, which is sponsored by the Office Depot Foundation − the independent, non-profit foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot Inc. (NYSE:ODP) − in collaboration with USA TODAY Charitable Foundation
Since its introduction in 2009, nearly 60,000 young people in 20 states have examined future career opportunities through this free program, which seeks to address the alarming problem of middle school students dropping out of school.
The five essay contest winners for the winter/spring semester and their “Dream Jobs” are:
- Emily Feldman, West Sayville Christian School, West Sayville, N.Y. − Pediatric Occupational Therapist (Teacher: Karen Warren)
- Forest Good, 71st Classical Middle School, Fayetteville, N.C. – Veterinarian (Teacher: Madoka Mason)
- Courtney Taylor, Plaza Middle School, Virginia Beach, Va. – Journalist (Teacher: Tamara Netzel)
- Miguel Vega, Excel Charter Academy, Los Angeles, Calif. – Animator (Teacher: Sarah Riemens)
- Zola Yi, Golda Meir School for the Gifted and Talented, Milwaukee, Wis. − Fashion Editor (Teacher: Kimberly Guy)
“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,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong, “we’re helping to keep students in the classroom, rather than losing them to the streets.”
Throughout the Dream UP curriculum, students read and analyze information in the print and online editions of USA TODAY. They learn about workplace trends, explore and research numerous career options that they discover, develop a career portfolio and write an essay about their dream job.
The Dream UP program clearly makes a difference. Aylin Stout, a 2011 winner, wants to serve in the Air Force just like her father and grandfather. She had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a fighter pilot student at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. “Dream UP provided her with an opportunity to see her career in action,” says her mother, Shanna Stout. “But more importantly, it helped clarify the path needed to achieve her dream.”
About the Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that help children succeed in school and in life; enable civil society (non-profit) organizations to become more efficient and effective; help people and businesses prepare for disasters, as well as recover and rebuild afterwards; strengthen local communities through grants, product donations and volunteerism; and encourage community development through entrepreneurship and economic innovation.
About USA TODAY
USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY’s mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of nearly 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.4 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than 10 million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI).
The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all. It welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary, secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. Staff work with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that meets the mission and goals for respective companies or organizations.
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