Scottsdale Unified School District
Close to three hundred Scottsdale family members participated in the 2nd Annual Scottsdale Unified School District’s Title I Dream Fair, held in November at Coronado High School. Developed by Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 in support of SUSD students and families, the Dream Fair’s overwhelming success for two years in a row has earned it a permanent spot on the school calendar, guaranteeing the event to be one that parents, students, and local community members can look forward to each year.
Mary Ellertson, Title I Coordinator for SUSD, played a vital role in making this a sustainable event. Coining the slogan, “From Cradle to Career,” Ellertson was passionate about spreading the message that it is never too early to prepare for college.
The goal of the Dream Fair was to level the playing field so that all children have the opportunity to be prepared for college or a career. Many students in local Scottsdale communities will be the first generation to apply to college and need guidance on how this process works. Title I funds, which are designed to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged minority students and their peers, combined with the donations of local businesses and community members, will help keep the Dream Fair a SUSD tradition.
This year’s Dream Fair hosted two motivating Keynote Speakers, former NFL player, Dr. Ray Otis Perkins, a strong advocate of education who shared his message “not just to survive but to strive,” and Gary Trujillo, a graduate of Harvard Business School and co-founder of Southwest Harvard Group Venture Capital.
Student performances in music and dance, booths with information about careers and strong study habits, food, and discussions about how dreams can come true were a few of the many exciting offerings of the Dream Fair. As stated by one attending parent, “We really did not know what to expect when coming but this was an amazing event! Both of my children learned so much… we hope you continue the Dream Fair!”