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Jo Booty's Fundraiser:

Dare to Dream: Get Educated!

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Jo Booty

THE STORY:

Education is the key to success in life. Dare to Dream invites 450 6th to 8th grade Latinas plus their mothers and/or mentors to an annual conference at College of DuPage to focus on the value of education in general and higher education in particular. The goal is to expose the girls to positive role models and to talk about the importance of setting high goals, staying in school to fulfill their goals, encouraging the girls to consider a college education and professional career, and exploring challenges they face which often result in dropping out of school. We target middle school Latinas because research indicates that Latina absenteeism and dropout rates exceed that of all other groups. Recent studies show that 41% of Latina students do not graduate in four years, or, at all. We encourage the girls to obtain a diploma and/or degree to become economically self-sufficient and more self-assured. The girls attend sessions on goal setting, high school preparation, college acceptance, career opportunities, financial aid, real-world situations and mentoring programs. They meet with successful Latina professionals who share how they overcame obstacles and took advantage of mentors and opportunities available to them to achieve their goals. Pre- and post-conference surveys collect data on how the girls' attitudes/expectations changed positively as a result of their participation. The mothers attend sessions in Spanish focused on the growth and development of their daughters and American cultural norms, expectations and pressures. As a partner, the DuPage County Regional Office of Education shares its expertise on “How to Navigate the American Educational System.” Frank talk about language barriers undocumented status, financing college, ESL/GED, poverty, domestic violence, bullying and teen pregnancy occurs, so that mothers can help steer their daughters in the direction of their goals and educational ambitions.

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