Service Learning: The Dream Project

I’m excited because finally I have attracted enthusiastic individuals to my cause of complementing my mom’s charity work of training young dances. Our group came up with something unique; other CSR groups have not done something that I think. Our project is called the Dream Project. It was pitched by one of our group mates and we were amazed by the idea that everyone in the group immediately agreed that this is something that we want to do as a group.

So, what is the Dream Project? It is very straightforward; it aims to help people to dream. We will bring kids/individuals to different places for them to be inspired and have fun. We will expose them to the world and help them openly identify what it is that they really want to become and give them the idea on what are the steps that they will need to take to reach their dreams. We will immerse them in different work environments and tour them around universities to give them idea of work and make them appreciate the education by seeing how students enjoy being at school.

Visiting my alma mater

It is the final day of our service learning program and is definitely the most exciting part. We prepared a lot of activities for the kids, shared stories and the best is I got to be the campus tour guide in De La Salle University’s campus, my dearest alma mater, not only for the kids, but also for some of my grad school group mates who are also excited to be toured around DLSU’s Main campus for the first time. As for the kids, our intentions were for them to appreciate and to know how fun it is to be in a university and how accessible the scholarships are and what are the steps for them to apply for one.

The first time I set foot in DLSU as a froshie was in 2008, and 2012 was the year that I finished my degree in Computer Engineering. I did visit sometime between 2012 and today, however just for the sole purpose of using the Razon Sports facilities such as the basketball court, or the swimming pool. I got excited to conduct the tour because once, when I was still an undergraduate, I wanted to be a Lasallian Ambassador (LAMB), who then were being treated as the know-it-all Ate’s and Kuya’s of the campus, especially for the froshies.

Inspiring the dream

In previous activities with the kids, I believe we have already inspired the kids to dream on and think of something that they want to become. Some kids have been sharing a lot of their dreams already. However, we still believe that by showing them around campus and making them believe that college and being in a university is fun, we will enable them to look forward to college, eliminating their communities fear of tertiary education, and giving them options on how to can pursue education with a school like La Salle.

During the tour, I really felt happy because one of the kids was inspired to pursue a track in Engineering because fortunately for us we were able to catch some students using their engineering tools in action. We were also able to talk to one of the best ECE professors, Ms. Dulay. In every building that we go to, we explain what college/degree programs are usually found in this area and explain what are the jobs or career they can pursue if they decide to enter those programs.

Going beyond high school

We ended our tour in our very nice university library in which we saw the kids get more excited because of the nice facilities that they and we can use for free. Within the rooms that we have reserved, we asked the kids if they now have a better picture of what they want to become, and if they are now excited to go to college and strive hard to be able to study in a school like La Salle.

We got positive responses from all the kids, because before they thought that it is impossible for them to enter a school like La Salle, but knowing about different scholarships they got inspiration to strive more and achieve more. Since we made them excited about studying in college, we believe that we have also eliminated their attitude of being satisfied by merely graduating from high school.

The kids were very grateful for the activities that we allowed them to participate in and now have clearer picture of the steps that they need to follow to attain their dreams. They are now inspired to do better in their current studies as they try to aim for scholarships in prestigious schools.

This is truly a mission accomplished for our group. When we first discussed this program, everyone was in an agreement that we want something long term, something that will have great impact to the community that we want to serve and I believe we achieved that with these activities. Not only that they have an idea on what they want to become, but also they now have and idea on how they could achieve it via education. The kids are no doubt good dancers, but they would also need to understand that they cannot dance forever and they need to have options other than dancing and by pursuing higher education, they can achieve their dreams.

The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business. This essay is part of a journal he kept in fulfillment of the requirements of the course, Lasallian Business Leadership with Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics. Visit his blog at https://jgfps.blogspot.com/.

The views expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.