See the Office Depot Foundation Press Release
See the USA TODAY Education Facebook Page.

The 2014-2015 Dream UP! Essay winners are:

  • Lily Alai, Long Valley Middle School — Occupational Therapist
  • Alahji Barry, Ralph J. Bunche Middle School — Neurosurgeon
  • Hailey Carpenter, Coral Springs Middle School — Baker
  • Abby Gottesman, Lexington Traditional Magnet School — Neuropsychologist
  • Sarah Tisinger, Leland Middle School — Vet Tech

“The Dream Up was more than an essay contest, it was an enhancement to our middle school curriculum.┬áThe activities allowed students to reflect on their career choices. Most importantly, the opportunity allowed students to explore careers that are trending today. Many careers were alien to our young students. They were often amazed to learn about the skills and qualifications for various employment. Overall, this was a great experience. Aside from the engaging lessons, this activity fell in line with College and Career Readiness Week which is a district wide celebration. I plan to share the information with my district level curriculum department so that more of our students will be able to participate.” Naja Freeman (Teacher of Student Winner Alahji Barry)

30,000 middle school students (in more than 250 schools in 29 states) participated in the Dream UP! Career Exploration program, presented by the Office Depot Foundation and the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.

The Office Depot Foundation Dream UP! Career Exploration Program enabled middle school students to evaluate their career interests and future career goals. The Dream UP! Program includes: career exploration lessons in a student workbook format, an essay challenge (aligned to common core), USA TODAY Newspapers for student research on industries and career trends and the opportunity for five students to win a day with a mentor to experience their chosen career!

This program is designed to be simple and effective, with little outside preparation on the part of the teacher.

The resources for Dream UP! were developed by the Office Depot Foundation, in cooperation with the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.

USA TODAY Newspapers: USA TODAY will be provided to participating teachers and classrooms for student research on industries, career trends and pathways.

The Dream UP! Essay Challenge guidelines: This document will aid teachers and students in creating their Dream Up! Career exploration essays. Download the guide here.

The Dream UP! student workbook: These workbooks will lead students through various career exploration lessons that enable them to identify what they would like to do in the future. Workbooks will be provided when you sign up for the program. Registration closed on September 25, 2014. All workbooks were mailed in mid-October 2014. Access the digital file of the workbook here.

Dream UP! essay submissions – new this year: Teachers┬áhave uploaded all essays at this time. The entry submission link is now closed.

Dream UP! official rules: Access the official rules here.

Previous Dream UP! Essay Challenge Winners

Jason (Blake) Warrens- Future Aerospace Engineer

Jason (Blake) Warrens- Future Aerospace Engineer

Kosha Patel- Future Website Designer

Kosha Patel- Future Website Designer

Samantha Bonnin- Aspiring Writer

Samantha Bonnin- Aspiring Writer