We support zookeepers, airplane pilots, and lawyers. We support batmans, nurses, and teachers. We support dreamers.
This past Friday, Empower Youth was able to give brand new pillows with pillowcases and stuffed animals to the Kindergarten students of William Bick Primary. We had one goal in mind—give children a place to dream. Give children ownership of a good night’s sleep.
Dreams fuel success. Dreams can change a failing student to a “C” student and can make a “C” student a “B” student. Walt Disney says, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” We know that our children don’t live in Disneyland but what if… what if they could have a good night’s sleep? What if they were encouraged to dream big dreams without borders?
This past Summer, Empower Youth and Community Christian Church were able to take students to a college campus for a week of camp. Most of these students had never set foot on a college campus much less believed that they would ever attend college. Yet, as they walked around that campus every day and as they enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the University Café, you could see the wheels turning in the heads of our students. They started saying things like, “I’m going to go here to school.” You started hearing the words “when I go to college” instead of “if I can get in.” And what do we say to those kids? Well, honestly, I have to go with what I know. I just say, if you see yourself here, I will do everything to help you make it happen. I have no idea how to make it happen. But I do know that telling a 3rd grade student that there’s no way will not get him in to college.
What can you do as a parent, educator, or grandparent? Talk to your kids. Make it a point and put it on the calendar to ask them the simple question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And then, no matter how crazy that may sound—INVEST in the dream! If your son says he wants to be an animator, keep him supplied with copy paper and ink. If your girl says she wants to be a lawyer, introduce her to people who do that job. If your child wants to be a zookeeper—take her to the ZOO! If he keeps saying he wants to be a pilot, then build a model airplane. If she wants to be Wonderwoman, then paint a rope gold and tell her to practice lassoing the cat! Investment is not about money, investment is time. Time invested over the life of your child or your neighbor’s child will make a difference.
Dreams are powerful. Martin Luther started the civil rights movement with a dream. Joseph saved Egypt back in the Bible by interpreting a dream. As spoken in one of my favorite 80’s films, “What’s your dream?” All the 80’s ladies ought to be able to guess that movie!
Empower Youth would love to help your children dream. We will supply the paper and ink for the cartoonist, the golden lasso for Wonderwoman, tickets to the zoo for the zookeeper, and I’m sure we could scrounge up model plane kit. But you, you who are reading this—you bring the real investment to our youth. You hold the most valuable gift—TIME. Want to change the world? Invest in the dreams of a child. Need something to make that happen? Email us. Test us. Push us to believe in your child or your neighbor’s child as much as you do.
So yeah… this blog pretty much floats between I and we… “We” is Empower Youth. “I” am Lori Conley. And it’s all from the heart of a dreamer.