Young women learn how to set goals, plan for careers in ‘Dream It, Be It’ event

Students are doing an activity about choosing the right career path during the

Myrtis Brame

Students are doing an activity about choosing the right career path during the "Dream It, Be It" event at Watkins Mill High School.

Gisell Maravi and Natalie Helsel

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Female students from Watkins Mill High School attended a “Dream It, Be It” conference on December 11 and learned that they have an amazing support system to rely on for all aspects of their life, including their personal life and career.

The “Dream It, Be It” program’s main goal is to help women understand how to set goals and apply that to their careers and personal development. Volunteer Virginia Dempsey said, “[Students] learn about where they want to go in life or if they want to have a career that requires college.”

This year, the conference was held in the school’s media center. Around 50 students took part in the program, where they had guest speakers, several hands-on activities and “Dream It, Be It” shirts available for every student. Volunteer Myrtis Brame said, “We will do activities that all provide learning lessons… We help the girls identify their values and apply them.”

“[The volunteers] show you how to make goals in the future and how to balance both schoolwork and fun activities, so it’s pretty eye opening,” senior Shirlene Musau said.

Volunteers of the program have expressed how this is not just a learning opportunity for young women, but one where adults can also get a better understanding of the students. “The [“Dream It, Be It”] conference is to really learn from [students] as much as they learn from us,” Dempsey added.

It is not just a learning environment, but one that engages the students by having them communicate and make personalized collages. “I’m a very hands-on person, so it was so cute putting the stickers on and drawing on it and being able to see my goals on a poster in front of me,” junior Adilia Sequira said.

Other students felt it allowed them to interact with new people they never knew before through team building activities. “I got to meet like-minded people… I got to meet people from various grades, not just my own,” Musau said.

The “Dream It, Be It” program not only targets young women from schools like Watkins Mill and Gaithersburg High School, but also volunteers time at detention centers and homeless shelters. Brame said, “We give our time, talent, and occasionally our resources… to make sure we can bring a program like this to wherever we are going.”

They do many other things like giving back to the community, feeding those in need and mentoring. “We mentor and share insight into life experiences that we might have had the benefit of knowing about,” Brame added.

Several young women who took part in the conference express their encouragement for other Watkins Mill students to participate in the next “Dream It, Be It” conference. “I recommend this because it teaches you how to speak up and talk,” freshman Kristy Truong said.

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