Upskills is proud to announce a new not for profit partnership with the charitable trust, I Have A Dream.
Upskills is an official silver supporter of I Have A Dream. Our current commitment is to help 10 young dreamers over the next two years.
A great fit
I Have A Dream has worked with nearly 800 Kiwi kids since it started 16 years ago. It supports children aged 5 to 20 to navigate their path out of material hardship and into academic and life success. It is on track to achieve the goal set to help over 1,000 Kiwi kids by 2025.
The programme began in 2003 with a group of 53 Year 4 children. They attended Decile 1A Wesley Primary School in Mt Roskill, Auckland. In 2016, it expanded to four Dream Partner schools in the Tikipunga and Otangarei communities of Whangārei. Importantly, the program is available to every child in the low-decile schools in which they work, not only with the most talented or at-risk children. The long-term intention is to shape educational and social policy and to provide positive, effective interventions for Kiwi kids nationwide.
“Partnering with I Have A Dream is a great fit for Upskills. Setting up learners for success and allowing them to reach their full potential is exactly what we’re doing in the workplace. I Have A Dream is helping to prepare the next generation for the workplace, so we share the same goals.” Upskills Director, Sarah Balfour.
A successful approach
Based on a successful US foundation of the same name, I Have a Dream founders in NZ use the same evidence-based, whole-child approach. It focuses on providing kids with access to the resources they need to succeed, along with consistent, caring adults – Navigators – to guide and support them. Navigators encourage and support their group of kids. They teach them life skills and provide the academic assistance they need to succeed.
These full-time adult advocates work one-to-one with the children in each year level. They provide a consistent, caring adult whom Dreamers can rely on for their entire 15-year journey. Navigators are often trained social workers and youth workers or former teachers. So they see the benefits of long-term commitment. They have a formal relationship with the school they work in. Following their assigned group of Dreamers through primary, secondary, and tertiary education to provide consistent academic oversight, advocacy, and support. They also engage with the children’s whānau and the wider community. We were blown away by their commitment. The Navigators’ role is viewed not as a job but a lifestyle. They are completely entrenched in the community and these children’s lives.
“The partnership with Upskills is a really exciting one for I Have a Dream. We have similar values and kaupapa in that we are both working to ensure our whanau are literate, numerate and has the skills they need to succeed in life. We both believe in an individual’s potential and their ability to achieve in life with the right support. We’re really grateful for the support from the team at Upskills.” Cat Thorburn Fundraising & Development Manager.
You can help too
If you would also like to help, just $85 per month sponsors one dreamer. To support the work of I Have A Dream donate today. For anyone in the Whangarei area who would like more hands-on involvement, they are always looking for volunteers.