Program grows even during pandemic

For years, employers say, “If we can only get people to show up for work on time, pass a drug test, and get along with others, we can teach them the skills they need.” One theory is that some people do not show up to work because they have not connected to their passion, interests, and skillsets.

Created in 2017 by Community and Economic Development Educator Tiffany Macke, the IDREAM - ICREATE program helps foster a habit of dreaming, goal-setting, and taking action. The program helps create a workforce of happy people who have the knowledge and tools to connect to their passion, interests, and skills. To do this, community leaders, the Dream Team, work directly with K-12 students in the classroom. Employers can offer the program to their adult employees.

In 2021, the IDREAM - ICREATE program continued in the Marshall School District, despite COVID. The Marshall Dream Team volunteers were one of the first community groups approved to return to the schools.

New collaborations in 2021 included the Marshall Head Start, Marshall Public Library, and Paris Public Library.

With the help of several University of Illinois campus resources, the pilot curriculum is receiving improvements. In addition, three new school districts plan to implement the IDREAM - ICREATE program in the Spring of 2022.

With more audiences participating in the program, more people will have the skills to foster a positive attitude toward dreaming and having an entrepreneurial mindset. This new knowledge will give them the confidence to change their behavior, learn from failures, and celebrate successes.