Dream Big

Empowering College-Bound Students with Disabilities 

Collage of 3 photos: student giving thumbs-up with an electrical circuit he made out of potatoes, large group of students smiling at Riot Games office, student petting a dog held by a Purina employee.

While society tends to nudge young people with disabilities to play it safe and rely on the kindness of others, our program teaches them that disability does not mean settling for less. Dream Big focuses on career exploration, pushing middle and high school students to think beyond a narrow list of options and truly expand their vision for what their future could hold. 

Academic Year Activities (virtual) 

Career Club:  

Each month, we host a panel of professionals with different jobs across a field to learn more about how they got to this point in their careers and what it’s like to work in their industries. Many of our guests are professionals with disabilities themselves and students get to ask questions, explore careers, and develop early networking skills. 

Career Club is open to disabled students in middle school, high school, and college, and trade/tech school interested in learning about potential career paths. 

Peer Hangout: 

A monthly social hour on Zoom where young people with disabilities can get to know one another, build “adulting” skills, play games, and just have fun! 

Any active Dream Big students are invited to join. 

Parent Roundtable: 

A monthly event for parents of kids with disabilities to learn about resources to become their kid’s best ally in successfully transitioning to independent life. From navigating IEPs, to healthy relationships and college options, join us for crucial insights and resources to empower your child and connect with other parents navigating the same waters. 

Dream Big Summer Camp 

Career Exploration Summer Camps with the biggest and best companies in St. Louis! 

  • Make Friends 
  • Meet Role Models
  • Build Leadership Skills 
  • Discover Disability History 

Days are packed with discussions about disability history and pride, interactive company visits, and training on essential life skills like financial literacy.  

Career Exploration:

Each morning, one of St. Louis’ top inclusive companies host the students for a tour, lunch, and a hands-on project. Professionals in high-demand careers talk to students about their industry and share tips about getting involved in their career path. Students visit different office environments and learning about the wide variety of possible careers – more than the typical kid can imagine. 

Companies we partner with include: Riot Games, Purina, Bayer, Clayco, Wells Fargo, HOK, MilliporeSigma, Edward Jones, and more! 

Adulting with a Disability:

Afternoons are dedicated to a robust curriculum on living as an adult with a disability. Our camp counselors guide students in exploring their disability identity. We teach the history of the disability rights movement and nurture disability pride, helping each student see their unique strengths. Students learn to think more concretely about living on their own and building a budget. We discuss attending college, choosing a career, and planning for the future – the same topics any student would be interested in.  

Camp Applications:

We want to make Camp the best experience possible for each student. To do that, we talk with each family (parent and student) individually to ensure we are the best program for your student and understand what accommodations they might need to participate fully in all Camp activities. Fill out the contact form below and the Dream Big Team will be in touch! 

Dream Big Summer Camp tuition is $500/week. Scholarships are available for any families with need. 

Door-to-door transportation is also available! 

2024 Camp Info

2024 Summer Camp Dates:

  • June 10-14 (middle school)
  • June 24-28 (high school)
  • July 8-12 (middle school)
  • July 22-26 (high school)

There will be a single Camp “home base” location for student drop off and pick up. We have accessible transportation for our group to visit companies during the day. Thank you to Washington University, our campus host for 2024!

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., with early/late access extended for 30 minutes (7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Transportation: Door-to-door transportation is available for any family with need.

Register to learn more during one of our live virtual parent info sessions:

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CST via Zoom on Wednesday, May 8th (last session!)

Does your company want to partner with Dream Big? 

Interested in Dream Big or have other questions? 

Fill out the form below or contact our Dream Big Coordinator, Danielle Giuffrida, at dgiuffrida@starkloff.org or (314) 588-7090. 

Start your journey today!

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