STEM Pipeline Blog / January 5, 2023
Delta College’s The Possible Dream Program
What is the Possible Dream program?
The Possible Dream Program was developed by Delta College to encourage students who are academically advantaged, but who may not have previously viewed college as a possibility for themselves, to successfully complete high school and then go on to realize the “dream” of a college education.
From program admittance through 12th grade, “Dreamers” are offered the opportunity to participate in free enrichment and academic activities to keep them excited about learning and nurture them toward a college goal.
A legacy of engagement!
The Possible Dream program has had over 2400 participants in the 30+ years it has been in existence! The secret to the program’s success: engagement!
All Possible Dream participants are offered a variety of activities that will broaden their horizons and keep them interested in pursuing higher education. Typical activity offerings include things like test preparation and college preparation workshops; performances at area venues like the Dow Event Center and Midland Center for the Arts; computer/video game design workshops; leadership workshops; art camps and workshops; fitness festivals and a variety of summer camps.
Events and activities are offered year-round, with the majority of school year activities taking place evenings and weekends, and something offered nearly every day in the summer months. Some events occur in a series, such as the “7 Habits of Highly
Effective Teens” book study and the Financial Literacy series in collaboration with Wildfire Credit Union that Dreamers are currently participating in.
The wealth of STEM/STEAM organizations in the region means that many activities offered to Dreamers are STEM/STEAM-based! Recent opportunities included 10 summer camps, many offered by community partners such as Creative 360, Musico, Alignment 8 Yoga, and the American Chemical Society. Some middle school participants attended YMCA Camp Timbers, while some high school Dreamers attended the Midland ESA career and technical education camps. And the Possible Dream trip to the CMU Center for Excellence in STEM Education makerspace and climbing wall was definitely a favorite with participants!
Dreamers are also offered informational and exploratory college and career sessions, such as “Exploring Delta & Careers”; “Sustainability Day” hosted at the Delta Downtown Midland campus with a trip to Chippewa Nature Center; and “Passion, Purpose & Goal Setting” by Self Love Beauty. Dreamers also recently attended an “Athletic Extravaganza” day hosted by Delta College Student and Civic Engagement and Athletics, a Saginaw Spirit game and a Great Lakes Loons game. Participants are surveyed about their interests so there is something offered for everyone!
Making it happen…
All activities are provided free to Possible Dream program participants, thanks to the generosity of sponsors and attendees of “A Chocolate Affair,” the Possible Dream program’s annual fundraising event.
The ultimate goal is for all Possible Dream participants to graduate from high school and then go on to college. Donors support this goal, through the Delta College Foundation, with special scholarships to Dreamers who attend Delta College.
The support is appreciated, and shows in the program’s exciting statistics:
- 78% of Possible Dream students who participated in the program from 1993 through 2014 attended college!
- 51.9% of those who attended college earned a Bachelor degree, and 16.8% earned a Master or Graduate level degree or higher!
How are students chosen to participate?
Students can be nominated by teachers, counselors, principals, a family friend, etc. or can choose to self-nominate with the recommendation of a teacher. Selection is based on teacher recommendations, academic abilities and socioeconomic criteria. Students are selected from schools in Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties. Know a student that might benefit from participating in Possible Dream? Find nomination information and forms at www.delta.edu/possibledream!
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