A youth leadership and service-learning program providing character development and social entrepreneurship training in a digital, project-based curriculum.
Creating the Future Today
Our Dream Leaders are young social entrepreneurs who turn their ideas into impact and help create the future today. We engage students with volunteer service, leadership conferences, and fundraising opportunities and provide practical education through our digital social entrepreneurship curriculum that drives student learning into the world and is delivered by teachers in class and supported by mentors beyond school.
Why it matters
Our general youth population faces unprecedented challenges in this transformational age. Our local and global landscape is evolving in the face of significant resistance. Youth face mounting social issues today – elimination of jobs, political upheaval, environmental threats, and an education system that all too often fails to prepare them.
There is a critical need to prepare youth as college and job-ready global citizens. There is an education gap in school for necessary entrepreneurship training. Within the next four years, nearly 50% of the existing jobs will have disappeared. This time frame has been accelerated overnight because of COVID-19, as we have seen a complete upending of the current job market. Students must become prepared now for the new economy. Through virtual training and enterprise building, students must learn and embrace entrepreneurial thinking. They must learn to create social enterprises. All employees must learn an entrepreneurial mindset to help their companies grow and adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.
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Social Entrepreneurship Curriculum
Digital lesson material
For students in grades 2–12
Dates available Spring 2022
Leveraging the expertise of some of Chicago's most innovative project-based curriculum designers, This social entrepreneurship learning journey invites students to discover their purpose, passion, and possibilities through the process of building a social impact venture. The program teaches and exemplifies an entrepreneurial mindset, providing the necessary preparation for the new economy, and the complex demands of 21st Century global citizenship.
Entrepreneurship Leadership: Throughout the social entrepreneurship lessons, students begin to explore the real-world context and relevance of essential entrepreneurial skills. Students do this, autonomously, collaboratively, and in partnership with a vast array of professionals.
Collaboration: Students gain insight from educators, local business leaders, professionals, mentors, as well as other like-minded young people who have or are in the process of developing their own ideas into impact. The three-week learning journey culminates in an Action Project where students develop one of the most important entrepreneurial skills; the pitch.
Social Enterprises: Students channel their learning into the creation of social impact enterprises; to apply business principles to ventures that drive profit and solve critical social issues. Although the students will certainly be inspired to launch their social impact ventures, the work required to build sustainable ventures extends beyond the scope of this initial course. Thus the final project in this course is to Pitch a business venture to potential investors or funders, amplifiers, and collaborators.
Change starts here.
Our youth create social enterprises. They change lives. They change themselves. Everyone wins.
Business. Culture. Purpose.
See Dreams For Kids founder, Tom Tuohy, and GCE students share their story in this November 2019 ABC7 story.
Project I Am
Project I Am was created by 8-year-old Jahkil Jackson. Jahkil has a heartfelt desire to help those in need. It quickly became Jahkil’s mission to build awareness of homelessness and to help the homeless population by offering them what he calls “Blessing Bags,” a giveaway filled with wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water, and more.
A World of Opportunity
In his words, he was “fighting his way out of high school.” After attending a We Are The Change youth leadership conference, the fight was over. Cortez was transformed by the possibilities of what his life could be and how he could change the world. After earning a scholarship to DePaul University, he graduated with honors and was chosen by the State Department to be one of 50 U.S students to study overseas to help increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, and peaceful relations.
Lead the Dreams
We are actively looking for partners. If you are a youth organization, school, community organizations, corporate or other small business, or individual wishing to make a difference, contact us today