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DREAM Scholars

The DREAM Scholars program is a year-long experiential learning opportunity for community college students to grow as leaders, culminating in a platform at the annual DREAM conference.


icon of rocket ship Scholarships help DREAMS come true

DREAM Scholars are resilient community college students, determined to reach their goals and lift up their communities. Each year we honor eight of these leaders with a scholarship that is awarded at our annual convening, DREAM.

Help us support these outstanding students and make a contribution to the DREAM Scholars Fund today.

Donate to the DREAM Scholars fund

DREAM Scholars program

Achieving the Dream’s DREAM Scholars program is an experiential learning opportunity designed to enhance leadership, critical thinking, and networking skills. It is available to up to eight students from participating Achieving the Dream (ATD) Network institutions. Each 2024 DREAM Scholar will receive a monetary award from Achieving the Dream to support their educational or personal journey. The award is announced at the annual DREAM convening. 

As DREAM Scholars, students will engage with community activists, education leaders, peers, and DREAM Scholar alumni. Scholars will receive customized programming and exclusive networking sessions that align with their goals. Chosen through a competitive application process, Scholars will participate in a learning experience that culminates in attending and sharing their experiences at DREAM 2024, February 19–22, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. 

Application Process  

Applicants should submit responses to the college’s ATD core team leader who must submit the application to ATD. Submitting a nomination signifies the team leader’s commitment to mentoring and engaging the student in learning more about ATD and supporting the student through the DREAM Scholar experience.   

The ATD core team leader submits the application via SurveyMonkey Apply: DREAM Scholars Application. Core team leads and nominated students should complete all sections of the online application. Drafts can be saved and edited and will not be submitted until you hit the “Submit” button below on or before November 7, 2023 for your application to be considered.   

Tip: Use the DREAM Scholars 2024 application and overview to work with your team in drafting responses. You can copy/paste the answers to the application.  

Interview Process: Selected finalists will be invited to participate in a virtual interview with their college’s core team leader. Finalists will be notified of their status and with whom from Achieving the Dream they will interview. Interviews will begin the week of Nov. 27, 2023.  

Submit a DREAM Scholars application

We are excited to announce a significant improvement in our survey and application management processes. We have recently made the decision to switch from Cvent to Survey Apply, and we believe this change will greatly enhance your experience with us. With Survey Apply, we are now able to provide you with a more streamlined and user-friendly platform dedicated to surveys and applications. This specialized approach allows us to focus on delivering the best possible experience for your feedback collection and application submissions.  

Identify the person at your institution who will fill out the application and serve as the contact point for questions regarding the application responses. It is this person who will create a Survey Apply login. You can start the application and return to it anytime to continue editing, provided you select “Save & Continue Editing.” Once done with the application, select the “Mark as Complete” button.   

Survey Apply Instructions 

Register: Click the “Register” link in the top right corner and set up your log-in credentials.  

Provide Basic Information: When signing up for a new account, you will be prompted to provide some basic information such as your name, email address, and organization (if applicable). Fill in the required fields and click “Next” or “Continue.”  

Choose a Username: After providing your basic information, you will be asked to choose a username for your Survey Apply account. The username should be unique and not already taken by another user. It is essential to pick a username that you can easily remember and that reflects your identity or organization.  

Check Availability: Once you have entered your desired username, click on the “Check Availability” or “Verify” button. Survey Apply will verify if the username is available or if you need to select an alternative option.  

Create a Password: After confirming the availability of your chosen username, you will be asked to create a secure password. The password should be strong, containing a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Ensure the password is unique and not used for other accounts.  

Confirm Your Account: Depending on the platform’s setup, you might receive an email to confirm your account. Click on the confirmation link provided in the email to verify your email address and activate your Survey Apply account.  

Log In with Your Username: After completing the account setup process, return to the Survey Apply login page. Enter your chosen username and the password you created during sign-up, then click on the “Log In” button, which will take you to your application portal, where you can find resources and add/edit your application as often as you like until the deadline.  

Students are at the center of our work.

Our network of more than 300 community colleges improves outcomes for more than 4 million students as we partner with institutions to strengthen their capacity as profoundly accessible hubs of equitable learning, credentialing, and economic opportunity.

2020 DREAM Scholars

In their own words

Each year at our annual conference, DREAM Scholars speak to an audience of thousands to share their experiences in the form of poems they crafted leading up to the conference.

2023 DREAM Scholars

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2022 DREAM Scholars

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2021 DREAM Scholars

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2020 DREAM Scholars

Watch all the videos

2019 DREAM Scholars

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