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The Latest Stories

A closer look at our mentoring program

Supplies for Dreams is extremely proud of our mentoring program. Every week our mentors travel to our partner schools and meet with their mentees to tutor them and discuss a wide array of topics. We do our best to foster curiosity in the students, as we believe curiosity and a thirst for knowledge are imperative traits for young students to possess.

Last week, one of our members interviewed a mentee named Fernando from Manuel Perez Jr. Elementary School to hear his thoughts on the program. When asked what he has learned from the program so far, Fernando said, “I’ve learned the importance of asking questions. It’s very important for learning more. It’s also very exciting to hear about the things you can do in college.” Fernando, an adorably innocent fifth-grader, draws inspiration from his mentor Paul. Both mentor and mentee aspire to become doctors one day, and so the two have developed an especially close relationship. “Paul has taught me the importance of hard work and not giving up,” said Fernando. Friendships like Fernando and Paul’s epitomize the goals of our mentoring program. We foster friendships between all of our mentors and mentees, as students such as Fernando are much more likely to learn, grow and succeed from the program when they are close with their mentor.

Fernando (left) and Paul (right) have developed a close friendship.
Fernando (left) and Paul (right) have developed a close friendship.

Say Hello to Our 2013 Annual Report

We are proud to introduce the 2013 Annual Report. 2013 was a year full of program improvements and expansion. From adding the Chicago History Museum to our Award-a-Field Trip program to launching our eMentoring program, learn more about how you helped us achieved our goals and get an insight into what our plans are for 2014.

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Fundraising is Friend-raising

I will be bad at fundraising because:

1. I am a college student (credibility issue, time management, scheduling).

2. I am an introvert. I’m not good at “selling myself.”

3. I was specifically raised NOT to ask favors or money from people.

4. I was not raised in Chicago, giving me a limited network compared to my hometown.

5. I know how to direct programs and manage logistics. I don’t know enough about development and it doesn’t have enough structure.

6. I dislike uncertainty.

In the summer of 2012, I was appointed Executive Director of an educational non-profit, led by college students, called Supplies for Dreams. I had been in the organization for two years as a programming director. I already believed in the organization’s mission and was ready to commit my time and energy to it above anything else. But I knew extremely little about fundraising, and I was to the person chiefly responsible for fundraising in the organization. I was to be the face to our donors and meanwhile, I was to have an individual fundraising target to hit each quarter of the year. I was sickened by the thought of failing the organization and myself, but I also had a list in my mind of reasons why I would fail.
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RSVP for Our Gala

Join us as we celebrate our fifth birthday and the successes of our students at the Chicago Urban Arts Society on May 3rd, 2014.

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We see a problem:

Less than 10% of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students are expected to graduate from college. Learn more about what that means for Chicago.

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