April 14 was a day full of ambition, learning, and creativity at the Impact Hub.  This was the One-Day-Workshop put on by DreamTank, where kids and adults alike spent the day crafting real life solutions to our world’s most relevant and prevalent problems.  When the teams had their prototypes made, they were able to pitch their ideas to the public, allowing them to spread the word and gain feedback.

We started the day by getting to know each other and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: 17 disciplines to follow while advancing into new technologies and horizons.  The teams chose to focus on gender equality, life below water and quality education. After generating ideas, everyone made a physical prototype as well as a business plan, including marketing strategy, materials, location, and all the logistical details.  This allowed for the DreamMakers to bring reality to their amazing ideas.

The prototypes were very sophisticated and inventive! The group that concentrated on life below water made an attachment for boats and ships to clean up plastic while they are already cruising.  This group thought through the details, like what if fish get stuck in the machine? They explained their sonar system that will scare away all the fish and a chemical receptor inside the machine to detect the fish inside.   

Amalia was a Dream Maker that stood out to me.  Besides raising her hand to answer every question we asked, she arrived to the workshop with a prototype already made.  She started a business in which she makes custom stuffed animals and sells them, giving some of the profit to hospitals to cure, “cancer and malaria”.  Amalia had received a scholarship to this event provided by one of our sponsors, and she was one of the most passionate kids I have ever met. This is the mindset we need in our youth to make real changes in the future.

Parents had lots of wonderful things to say about the workshop as well.

“When we walked out last Saturday she was filled with so much satisfaction with herself and her work. It was truly a wonderful experience for her as a creator and me as a Mom seeing my daughter shine and be so happy,” said one mother about her daughter.

Another parent spoke about the changes they saw in their son.

“This was only our first experience with this type of workshop, and when I asked him if he would like to do it again he said YES. I am sure this approach that you offer… of empowerment for our children and their ideas was inspiring for the children and the parents. In my parenting, I am very uplifting and encouraging of his input, but this was at another level.”

The kindness and support going around the room was incredible to witness.  Adults were helping kids while allowing them to be leaders and find their own ideas, but the kids were really helping the adults as well.  Another astonishing act that I noticed was how kids of all ages (from 6 to 15) were collaborating and treating each other as equals. There is nothing more dream crushing than being a kid, knowing your potential, and yet everyone talks down to you.  Finally, within our staff we stepped in to help each other out, in addition to the assistance from the parents during set up and clean up. The positive environment made me leave feeling accomplished for myself and everyone around me.

-Madeline Paul, CU Senior, Dream Tank Event Planning Fellow

A HUGE thank you to all of our wonderful mentors, facilitators and partners: Joshua Sroge (Firestone CFO), Christina Szoke (Fathym), Praful Shah, Alexis Newton (UNA) and especially Emily Winslow and Dwayne Griffith as they really stepped in to help in a big way!