By Kyle Walcott
“Looking to the future where dreams are realized.” This motto serves as the mantra for the year ahead at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus situated in Northwest DC. In the second year of partnering with Cardozo–affectionately nicknamed by some inside the school “Dozo”–the Microsoft Diplomas Now City Year team has enthusiastically joined forces with Principal Dr. Tanya Roane to emphasize the implementation of new academic and behavior policies designed to transform the school into a leading institution of higher learning.
The twelve corps members sought to instill Cardozo’s spirit and culture into their first event on Thursday, September 26th. Building upon the school’s vision for the year, the team dubbed the event “Dozo Dreams,” an occasion dedicated to fostering the intrinsic motivation within students and assisting them in achieving goals. After the creation of the event’s name and purpose, team leaders Ale Domestici and Ahshante’ Branch successfully organized the group’s agenda of seeking pastries and desserts from local businesses, decorating the school’s cafeteria and inviting students to an event specifically catered to them.
A vital element of the event’s production stemmed from the bright, lively personality of Dream Director Ms. Shantae J. Edwards. Ms. Edwards rapidly became famous at Cardozo by showering students with the energy infused by the mission of The Future Project, an organization committed to reimagining education and promoting an inspirational culture through passion-based projects and dream-weaving campaigns. She helped students get excited about the event by sponsoring a deejay to play music during lunch periods and “Dot Day”, an event held where students and staff wrote their dream on a dot made out of paper and attached it to their clothing.
“Dozo Dreams” achieved the mission that Cardozo’s City Year team intended to accomplish. Over 40 middle and high-school students attended and enhanced their confidence in reaching their goals through stations such as “Inspiration Station”, “Picture This!” and “Your Dream For Dozo.” First-year corps member Alisha Davis found joy in such activities stating, “It was nice to see how students wanted to witness differences in their school such as certain books in the library and other various dreams.” Students and staff bonded by dancing to the music that blasted out of the speakers and raving about the delicious treats available to eat. Seeing such positivity from her team’s first event, City Year Program Manager Christine Dougan elaborated, “Dozo Dreams showed the strength within our team to come together which reinforces City Year’s belief in teamwork and love for unity.”
Equipped with such a powerful unit of individuals devoted to working hand-in-hand to uplift the dreams of their students, the City Year team serving at Cardozo Education Campus has surely laid the foundation to help students achieve their dreams.
Kyle Walcott, author, is a corps member on the Microsoft Diplomas Now team at Cardozo Education Campus. Kyle is from Georgia.