A future network news anchor, groundbreaking scientist or even President of the United States might be sitting in a middle school classroom right now. Thanks to the Office Depot Foundation Dream UP Career Exploration Program, these students and thousands more like them are finding the inspiration – and the knowledge – they need to attain their future career goals.
Coral Springs (Florida) Middle School student Samantha Bonnin visits Florida Atlantic University for her Dream UP "Dream Job" experience. (Photo: Business Wire)
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, which is offered to middle school teachers at no cost 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 the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.
Also this fall, three Dream UP Essay Challenge winners from the spring 2013 semester completed their “dream job” mentoring experiences. They include:
- Jason Blake Warrens, Allen Central Middle School, Eastern, Ky. – The aspiring aerospace engineer spent a day with the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education that included visits to Frankfort High School Aerospace Academy, NASA Kentucky and the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. (Teacher: Sandra Stapleton)
- Allison Kerce, Coral Springs Middle School, Coral Springs, Fla. – With a clear goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant, Allison attended the Annual Accounting Show in Fort Lauderdale as a guest of the Florida Institute of CPAs. (Teacher: Suzanne Fronrath)
- Samantha Bonnin, Coral Springs Middle School, Coral Springs, Fla. – Samantha, who wants to be a writer, participated in the National Day on Writing celebration at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and spent time with Department of English faculty members. (Teacher: Suzanne Fronrath)
Other Dream UP students in the spring semester imagined and wrote about careers as a veterinarian, singer, animator, money manager, pastor, author and experimental physicist - big dreams for middle school students who might still be more than five years away from high school graduation.