Honoring Dream Scholars
Last month, fourteen young people from Virginia received generous college scholarships from a local campaign called the Dream Project. The Dream Project’s mission is to encourage and support promising low-income immigrant students in the pursuit of higher education. Last year, only four scholarships were awarded. This year, the Dream Project was able to dramatically increase the number of Dream Scholars due to the support of many individuals and organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA. Members of UUCA have contributed to the Dream Project in a variety of ways, from serving on the organization’s Board of Trustees to donating time, funds, and even frequent flyer miles.
The keynote speaker for the award ceremony was Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith, minister of the UU Church of Arlington. He shared some of his own story with the audience, speaking about how he found Unitarian Universalism and how his faith informs his work for immigrant justice.
He told the Dream Scholars:
“I do believe that our gifts make room for us, and Dreamers, your gifts will make room for you. Each of us has to apply ourselves, and draw the meaning form our lives everyday. Do everything you know to do in order to bring your dreams into reality. Stay open, though, to the mystery of life, the mystery of dreams. You may be one of the ones whose dream comes true. Or you might be like me, who started out with one set of dreams, but whose dreams kept changing as life presented new people, new friends, new circumstances, new windows and doors of opportunity. Northern Virginia needs you. The United States needs you, whether all of its citizens know that or not. But more than that, the world needs you, with your particular gifts and talents, passions and perspectives.”
Would you like to contribute to this initiative? You can send a check payable to “Dream Project” to 3000 Military Road, Arlington, VA 22207 or donate online at www.dreamproject-va.com.
Students can apply to be a Dream Scholar if they (1) were born outside of the United States or has a parent born outside of the United States, (2) are graduating from high school in Virginia and planning to attend an accredited college or university, and (3) have demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, perseverance in the face of adversity, leadership, and commitment to their community. If you know a student who fits these requirements, encourage them to apply to be a Dream Scholar here.