While stumbling through some non-profit fundraising websites, we found a program known as The Future Project. This organization is fighting to change the education system and transform schools into places of inspiration and passion. It is critical to provide opportunities to students to thrive and provide direction for them to realize their dreams. Public education is in a time of crisis; billions have been spent on education reform, and yet students, especially those in urban areas, are still very unprepared for college and the workplace. The Future Project hopes to change that by promoting new and alternative teaching methods both in and outside the classroom.
American companies that want to thrive in today’s economy require creative, open-minded critical thinkers. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively has become a critical skill for anyone seeking meaningful employment. The Future Project team believes that students are not practicing these key skills in the current environment that promotes passive learning. Although creative thinking is essential and a sought-after skill in the job market, those behind the Future Project believe that today’s education system represses the student’s individual and creative processes, albeit unintentionally.
Through The Future Project, a “Dream Director” is incorporated into a school and works with both administrators and students to help students realize their big ideas and dreams. These “dream directors” serve as part coach, part celebrity, and part entrepreneur as they design a campaign to transform the school. They want students to develop confidence and skills relevant today so they can thrive outside of school. The Future Project provides this support and leverages the students’ interests to create unique learning opportunities.
While this project may sound too good to be true or a bit too idealistic to be grounded in reality, more and more people are beginning to invest in the program. The Future Project is currently implementing programs that include creative writing, developing a dance studio for students, and starting empowerment movements to social groups. The group started two years ago and has already impacted over 1,000 students in three states, raising 1.5 million in funds through fundraising.