Central Michigan University LeaderShape Institute graduate Vincent Thurman is working as a Dream Director for The Future Project. After learning about his experience, we asked if he'd share it with the rest of the LeaderShape community. Enjoy!
The Future Project is creating a movement to inspire young people to create their dreams every single day! We believe that it will be our young people who change the world by turning their dreams into bold actions that make life better for everyone! As an organization we strive to inspire and empower young people to create future projects; projects that students develop based on their passions, goals, and dreams! Inspiration and creativity are in high supply when students are given the space to express themselves. We do this by bringing Dream Directors into high schools. As a Dream Director, I work hand-in-hand with students, principals, teachers, and communities to develop a sense of belief in what can happen when we live out our passions and dreams daily.
So what do I do as a Dream Director? I work closely with a group of students to transform the cultureof a high school. Not only do I get to work with amazing students, but also I get to work in a place that gave me so much. I work at my old high school, Communication and Media Arts High School (CMA) in Detroit. As a student here, I learned so much, and now as a Dream Director, I get to give back and inspire the next generation of students. It’s feels like the twilight zone accompanied by excitement and newness. My work with students has been truly amazing. I’ve learn so much from them already, and their passions grow each and every single day. I think back to my fourth night at LeaderShape. I believe it was Bringing Vision to Reality. At the end of that day, I felt my life change. I couldn’t stop talking. I couldn’t stop thinking. I had so much energy. I ended up staying up until four or five in the morning thinking so much about what happened and how it happened and so much more. I see my students experience this every single day! I’ve learned that by simply creating an environment in which people can think about their dreams and their passions, and then using that space to help them cultivate tangible manifestations of that passion is life changing! I watch my students learn and grow in leaps in bounds.
Thus far, one of the most influential parts of my experience has been Dream Con. Dream Con was a two-day Dreamers Convention that all students involved with The Future Project get to attend expense free in New York City. Not only would this be my first time to New York, but it was my students first time as well. It was also their first time flying on a plane. Our excitement levels were off the charts! At Dream Con, students from around the country shared stories of struggle, success, doubt, failure, excitement, inspiration, and empowerment! Leaving Dream Con, I felt a great sense of gratitude, excitement, calmness, and belief in what could happen after we left this place. I saw nearly 700 strangers become a family through stories, projects, and a passion to make life better for everyone. Although it is a shared theme for LeaderShape and The Future Project, on thing I had to be reminded of is that we have to live in the possibilities. For me, Dream Con has inspired me to start living in possibility again, and doing so intentionally with focus and passion! Since Dream Con, my team and I have developed projects that focus on self-esteem, building a positive school culture, physical transformation to the school and much more. By March, we’ll have several projects completed and we’ll be preparing to expand the Dream Team. Being a Dream Director involves a lot of things, but at out core we live in the possibility of a better world created through partnerships with passionate, young people. There’s nothing like it!