A New View into this Year’s Dream Big Career Camp

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The first two weeks of Dream Big Career Camp 2019 are in the books, and students are gaining powerful new insights as they visit some of the most inclusive-minded corporations in St. Louis.

Sarah Schwegel, Youth Transition Coordinator and Program Director for Dream Big, is pleased with the campers’ level of engagement.

“The students are really enjoying the hands-on activities and getting to talk to different employers about their career paths,” Sarah says. “They’re asking great questions, listening to advice and having fantastic conversations. They’re really absorbing all the information they’re being presented with.”

While the basic structure and agenda of Career Camp is similar to last year, there is one new addition for 2019: Annie Donnell and Dylan Farmer, both 2018 camp participants and 2019 college graduates, are serving as camp correspondents. Annie and Dylan are busy observing all aspects of Dream Big Career Camp and documenting them through a daily blog.

As a camp correspondent, Dylan saw a chance to build upon his previous experience.

“When I was in college, before this opportunity came up, I served as a social media correspondent for a student organization called ABLE (Abolish Barriers to Leadership and Empowerment),” Dylan explains. “It’s a slightly different medium, but I thought this would be a neat way to expand upon that experience.”

The role aligns perfectly with Annie’s career aspirations as well.

“I was really excited because it fits with what I want to do in communications … writing, coming up with creative ideas and collaborating with other people,” Annie says.

Through their daily blog posts, Annie and Dylan truly capture the impact Dream Big is making on students and prospective employers.

“By having this program, companies can become more aware of people and their unique differences,” Annie says. “Companies have recently shown that they want to hire more people with disabilities, and this program gives them the resources to do so.”

Dylan is impressed with the campers’ focus and eagerness to learn. He hopes they will come away as inspired as he did a year ago.

“Dream Big really extended my network of potential opportunities,” he says. “That’s probably the legacy Dream Big has left me with as someone who is currently seeking employment. I now know that my skills can be useful in a number of jobs I hadn’t considered before.”

Sarah, who has been involved in Dream Big since the pilot stage, is happy to have Annie and Dylan around to document the program’s growth.

“We started with concepts we were excited about, but knew we could make them better with more time and work,” Sarah said. “We’re constantly developing and improving. I’m just excited to be involved in programs that are worthwhile for students.”

There is still one more week of Dream Big Career Camp 2019 — July 8-12. Click here to keep up with all the latest updates from the camp correspondents.

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