Story and slideshow by SIMIN WANG
Parkade fifth-graders and their African-American mentors had a feast last Wednesday to celebrate the end of Celebrate the Dream program. The luncheon was held at Columbia College’s Dulany Hall on Feb. 24.
The students and mentors had lunch before Sky Jimenez, the founder of Celebrate the Dream program, showed them videos from the job shadowing they did with their mentors.
The luncheon ended on a positive note as everyone held hands and formed a circle, to sing “Lift Every Voice” together.
Nathan Stephens, senior coordinator at the Black Culture Center at MU, has been part of the program for three years. He said a young man was inspired to go to college because he experienced a semblance of college life during the job shadowing.
“I want to inspire someone else to go to college and see what it is like to go to college and meet new people,” Stephens said.
Quentin Swafford liked the speech given by Rolando Barry, the coach of Mid-Missouri High Steppers. “His speech is inspiring,” he said. “He told us that having passion for one thing is great, but we should try out more things to find out what we are good at.”
Rolando Barry himself tried out different things in life, and he decided to coach the Mid-Missouri High Steppers drill team about 30 years ago.
Demarcus Harris liked the performance of the Mid-Missouri High Steppers. “They have a lot of creativity in what they do,” he said.
Sky Jimenez said she felt exhausted because she has done a lot of work this year to make the program a success. Nevertheless, she said she is looking forward to the next Celebrate the Dream program next year.
“The project went very smoothly this year, and I had lots of good help,” she said. It was the first year they used buses to transport the students to and from their mentors’ workplaces, so they would make adjustments to the system so it would run better next year.