This fall after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo we were able to fund 13 dreams of young women nationwide. Some girls used the funding to help pay for school books, another girl purchased a camera, and others used it to study abroad.

For the next few months we will be catching up with the 1000 Dreams recipients and sharing their stories. This week we are following up with Sarah Cole, a young lady driven to radically change public education in America.

Photo taken in New Haven, CT. Sarah with one of her closest friends from Harvard.

Photo taken in New Haven, CT. Sarah with one of her closest friends from Harvard.

How did you use the 1000 Dreams Grant?

I mostly used my grant to attend the Yale Black Solidarity Conference, which brings together hundreds of black students from colleges across the country. Additionally, I was able to expand my personal library with books, such as the Autobiography of Malcolm X, the Anthology of Black Women, the Alchemist, and works by James Baldwin.

Reading in Playa Dorada, Dominican Republic and the photo credit goes to Vaneshia Reed

Reading in Playa Dorada, Dominican Republic and the photo credit goes to Vaneshia Reed

How is this helping you get closer to your dream?

At the conference I was able to attend workshops on issues, like the school to prison pipeline.  Not only did these workshops further my understanding of problems facing America’s public schools, they also connected me to non-profit organizations and several individuals also seeking to radically address these problems.

What advice do you have for other young women looking to go for their dreams?

Never be afraid to ask for help in pursuit of your dreams.

group pic New Haven, CT. my closest friends from Harvard (all of them are Class of 2016).jpg

​Any setbacks? How did you get around them?

I was originally planning to attend a second conference, but after some last minute changes it unfortunately conflicted with my student organization’s Black History Month program on campus, so I could not attend. However, I took some time to consider what I hoped to gain from the conference, and purchased books that would help me still achieve those gains.  Honestly, these books have been more valuable to me than any of the course material from my classes this semester.  The books and authors I read have been a tremendous source of personal growth and understanding. Reading them has further grounded my understanding of who I am and what my purpose is.  I already feel better prepared to achieve my goals, and I haven’t even finished reading all the books. We can’t always stick to our original plans, but we can always make the best of our current circumstances, and sometimes that turns out better than we ever imagined.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

First and foremost, I want to graduate from college! Secondly, I want to prepare to be the best teacher I can be for the years following my graduation.  I know my time as a teacher will be instrumental in further developing my understanding of the problems facing our public schools, as well as the potential solutions.  I want to be sure I take advantage of every opportunity to prepare for this next chapter in my journey to help improve America’s public education system.


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