By: Bryanna Perez, Darren Battle, Jescie Holmes, and Aija Andrews
NORWALK- During their return to Brien McMahon High School, students were confused as to why music was being played in the cafeteria.
“When I first heard the music I got excited, I enjoyed listening to the songs they were playing” said Alan Montgomery (19).
Who exactly are the people playing music in the cafeteria?
“We’re the Future Project!” said Mrs. Carrie San Giovanni and Mrs. Malia West, two dream directors at Brien Mcmahon High School.
“The Future Project is a non profit organization that has a goal of becoming the most youth centered organization. It's a national organization that is in several different schools and put people who are committed to unleashing passion, purpose, curiosity and imagination throughout individuals, called dream directors, which is what we are, in high schools that are placed there to unlock the possibility in young people giving them the tools that they need to make their dreams happen” West said.
The Future Project was founded by five people, Andrew Mangino, Kanya Balakrishna, Sallome, Todd Holcomb, and Zachary Hill. The organization was started in three main cities, Washington D.C, New York City, and New Haven CT.
The program started around 2011 in New Haven. The group of five started as volunteers going into schools helping students and faculty follow their dreams and creating guidelines to do so. With a goal of spreading all over the country, the non profit organization, has tools and worksheets to help others and allow teenagers to start up a Future Club.
“The first month that we are here, we are listening and learning. We are talking to as many students and staff members that we can to find out how best we can serve enough lift and support to the environment at Mcmahon. The mission of the future project is to help students vision, dream, and allow them to build a world that they love” said Giovanni.
The purpose of the Future Project is to help impact the students and allow them to feel more connected and excited about going to school. Just because it is the law that students must go to school, doesn't mean it can't be fun or adventurous.
“The reason we played music the first couple of weeks at school was to help create energy and awareness that we were in the building. When we first come into the school we are tucked away in a room and we wanted to say ‘’Hey! We’re here’. It was an invitation for students to come say hi and get to know us” Giovanni mentioned.
They cover the scope of giving students skills that they will need to know after highschool and even college. “If the students dream up of something that they want to do, they will have that muscle built already by going through that process of dreaming, building, designing, and reflecting on that process”.
The Future Project also works with sports teams, in fact they have already been approached by coaches and students who want to specialize in team bonding.
“We have these groups called ‘Dream Teams’ that come in so many different forms, for example a basketball team can be a dream team, a club can be a dream team. All that means is you're working together to pursuit a specific goal” West explained.
Over the past three weeks, the dream directors have seen a big change with the students at Mcmahon. Both dream directors said, “We met so many wonderful people, both faculty and students, that are excited because they can see the possibilities of what can happen when we all get together.”
“We want the students to be heard and let them know that they have a voice and that there opinions do matter and allow them to feel connected” Giovanni said.
This is very important for the senators because there are so many different kinds of groups like CGS, and the Ivy programs, that it is important to bond everyone into becoming a whole.
“I think brien Mcmahon is interesting because it's as if everyone is super passionate about something but they're keeping it a secret, like no one likes talking to each other about it. As we’re having conversations with the students, we are able to watch them talk to their peers about their dreams and see them make connections and form relationships" Giovanni explained.
The dream directors are available Tuesday-Friday throughout the school day in the old ISS room.
For more information on what the Future Project is go to http://www.thefutureproject.org/about/