WHAT IS DREAM CATCHERS?
“Dream Catchers” is a George Mason University partnership that began with Fairfax County Public Schools and has expanded to Prince William County Public Schools. It provides hope for college capable youth enrolled in the FCPS and PWPS Nontraditional School Programs.
This unique partnership identifies and supports these students in achieving their dreams to attend and graduate from college through the utilization of mentors and role models from the MASON community.
It represents a significant first step that some of the largest school systems in the country are partnering with one of the fastest-growing universities in Virginia to provide hope and support for students who may not be considering higher education!
This program begins in the senior year of high school and may continue throughout college, providing the following:
- Support for needed academic focus
- Positive role models at George Mason University
- Continuous focus on progress and personal support
- Financial assistance, when possible
WHO SHOULD APPLY TO BE A MENTEE?
Students who are in 12th grade in the FCPS and PWPS Nontraditional School Programs are encouraged to apply. Students must possess the ability and desire to eventually attend a two-year or four-year college or university. The criteria for a student’s selection into the program may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Show potential for academic achievement
- Demonstrate significant improvement of grades during attendance at a nontraditional school
- Demonstrate leadership in school activities
- May require financial assistance to attend college
- May represent first-generation college attendance
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF A MENTEE?
Students selected to participate in the Dream-Catchers program are expected to do the following:
- Commit to attending monthly Dream-Catchers workshops and events on the campus of George Mason University
- Receive guidance from the mentors on how to navigate the academic and social world of college life, which may be vital to your success
- Continue to receive support from other agencies as long as you are eligible for such support
- Have fun!
WHO SHOULD APPLY TO BE A MENTOR?
Mason faculty and staff are sought who possess the following natural attributes that promote student success:
- the belief that every person has the right to pursue one’s dreams and to better oneself through continued knowledge and skill development;
- a desire to give of oneself on a meaningful and personal level to motivated and successful students enrolled at alternative, non-traditional high schools in Fairfax and Prince William counties seeking to attend GMU.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF A MENTOR?
As Mentors, selected Mason faculty and staff will mentor admitted students who are in their senior years of high school. You will be asked to participate once a month with other mentors and the mentees in social and academic functions sponsored by the Mason Dream Catchers program on our main campus. Most events are held on Fridays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Some are held outside of work hours. See the EVENTS page for this year’s schedule of activities.