NEWS & UPDATES

 

EduDream's September 2019 Newsletter

September 18, 2019

In December 2018, EduDream launched its quarterly newsletter to keep partners, clients, and supporters informed of its work and impact.  The newsletter is also an opportunity to spotlight clients and share organizational updates.  The September 2019 newsletter contains update of the Latina Leadership Series Kick-Off event, announcement of changes to the website and showcases the results of a needs assessment study for the Diverse Charter School Coalition, research support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and database development for Chicago Jesuit Academy.  Read more here.  Want to work with EduDream?  Contact us at info@edudream.org 

EduDream's Latina Leadership Series Kick-Off: The Untapped Power of Latinas

May 31, 2019

EduDream launched its Latina Leadership Series with The Untapped Power of Latinas. This event included a powerhouse panel of Latinas who work in the government, business, non-profit, and philanthropy sectors. Thank you to our panelists, moderator and attendees. Over 75 participants signed up for the event, indicating a need for conversation, knowledge sharing and support among Latinas in Chicago. 

Going Back to Cali and Meeting Clients in Person

May 10, 2019

May has been quite a month, beginning with two back-to-back trips to California. The first trip to central California was project-related.  In addition to providing context (seeing our client in action) and conducting in-depth interviews with program participants, we finally met the project team in person! Less than a week later, we were back in California. This time, we were in Oakland for the New Schools Venture Fund Summit. It was EduDream's first time attending the summit and the first year where the summit was more racially and ethnically representative.  

First Newsletter of 2019 & Latina Leadership Series Kicks-Off Soon

April 15, 2019

EduDream's quarterly newsletter is a great way to stay informed. For example, did you know that to continuously improve our approach to the work, our co-founders participated in a workshop hosted by the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  At the workshop, our co-founders had the opportunity to assess their practices, and learn strategies for applying a racial equity lens.

Did you also know that EduDream is launching their Latina Leadership Series?  Learn more here

Data Collection During the Polar Vortex

February 01, 2019

All of our projects include data, and most rely on primary data. EduDream works with clients to schedule data collection at the most optimal times and locations. This winter, a client was hosting a national convening of stakeholders in New Orleans, and we agreed to take advantage of a captive audience. However, the tables quickly turned as a cold spell hit the Midwest and Chicago found itself in a Polar Vortex. Many took the day off (e.g., driving companies, schools) and others dealt with freezing fuel tanks, flight delays and cancellations. Our team was scheduled to depart that frigid day. After arriving at O'Hare, seeing more crew than ever before, experiencing several gate changes and frozen fuel tanks, we landed safely in New Orleans. We went from -50 to a balmy +50 degrees.  Best of all, we successfully facilitated stakeholder focus groups and interviews! 

EduDream Newsletter Launched!

December 18, 2018

EduDream launched its newsletter today. The newsletter introduces our interns for the 2018-19 academic year and highlights the impact of our work. This year, EduDream forged new partnerships and supported longstanding partners, all while strengthening its operational capacity. In total, we led 10 projects with 5 new and 3 established partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University (NYU Metro Center), Teach for America, United Way-Fox Valley, Partnership for College Completion, and Big Shoulders Fund. 

EduDream selected for Annie E. Casey Foundation ACE Network

September 21, 2018

Some new “old” news. Back in February, EduDream Co-Founder Michelle Oliva was selected through a rigorous vetting process to be part of the 2018 Advancing Collaborative Evaluation (ACE) Network, a group of experienced evaluators from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. The ACE Network was started through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Expanding the Bench initiative, which seeks to increase diversity in the field of research and evaluation. The ACE Network is intended for independent evaluators and small evaluation firms. Reflecting on joining the ACE Network, Michelle stated, “A network such as ACE is critical in expanding viewpoints and approaches to research and evaluation. We appreciate the Foundation's efforts to link highly qualified evaluators of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with opportunities to lead and support evaluations and learn about job and networking opportunities. We look forward to what is in store for the ACE Network and the field.”   

EduDream participates in Goldman Sachs 10KSB

August 23, 2018

Always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as entrepreneurs, in February 2018, EduDream co-founders attended an informational session on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. After learning that only one co-founder could participate in the program, EduDream was well represented by Co-Founder, Monica Martinez. From mid-May through late August 2018, Monica has devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to attend the all-day Friday modules, a few evening clinics; complete peer learning exercises and homework, and develop a business growth plan. The co-founders collaborated on the initial application, downloaded on module learnings and co-developed the business growth plan. They greatly benefited from weekly check-in calls with an assigned business advisor. This Friday, Monica graduates from the program. Congrats! 

What is Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses? It is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the curriculum focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by business owners, including negotiation, marketing and employee management.  Source: https://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/US/

EduDream is Moving!

August 01, 2018

For the last two years, EduDream team members have been working virtually. Beginning September 1, 2018, EduDream will be moving into a new office location in Chicago's downtown loop. "We have served our clients well by establishing days when our team works together," shared EduDream Co-Founder, Monica Martinez. "However, as EduDream grows, it will be critical to have a home base that enables collaboration and a strong organizational culture." In addition to office days, team members will still be able to work remotely a couple days a week. We look forward to moving into our new offices and hosting our clients. 

Supporting Women of Color Leadership Development

July 12, 2018

On July 12, EduDream co-founders, Monica Martinez and Michelle Oliva, attended Latinas On The Plaza Presents: Pathways to a Strong FUTURE Fundraiser Night. Latinas On The Plaza provides leadership coaching and training programs for women of color. Three years ago, the organization expanded its services and developed FUERTE, a cohort-based program for young women of color. Luz Canino-Baker, founder of Latinas on the Plaza, noted that for women of color in their mid to late-twenties,"this time is critical and if they are not guided by mentors and people who know how to navigate the pathway to a strong future, their pathway is littered with detours and long journeys away from their desired future." FUERTE is providing key skills that will empower women of color to shift their careers and future into high gear.  

Strategic Planning is Iterative and Hard Work: Celebrating Milestones

May 31, 2018

Milestone #1: completing the strategic planning process. For the past 6 months, EduDream engaged with an association of educators of color and Native/Indigenous identity to develop their theory of change, comprehensive strategic plan and accompanying detailed plan for how to implement the strategic plan. We are excited to see this plan come to fruition, in service of educational equity. #strategicplanning #educationalequity

Big Shoulders Fund (BSF) 2018 Humanitarian Dinner

May 24, 2018

EduDream's leadership team had the privilege and honor of attending the BSF 2018 Humanitarian Dinner. It was an incredible night filled with creativity and generosity. There were stories illustrating the profound impact BSF has had and continues to have on children living in neighborhoods where high quality educational options are limited. We are advocates for public schools; however, we see a place and space for innovation and equitable access to quality education. What a night! 

EduDream Goes to Washington...

April 26, 2018

This spring, EduDream Co-Founders, Michelle Oliva and Monica Martinez, were invited to meet with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Sitting in a room filled with foundation staff, they sure could have used wisdom from trailblazing women, like Carla Harris.  Harris, the Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, tells women "OWN YOUR POWER".  Oliva recounts, "I was shaking like a leaf, wondering if I belonged in that room."  As the faces and leaders of EduDream, Oliva and Martinez are forced to address the elephant in the room: imposter syndrome. It's an ongoing process [addressing this issue], but one that they hope will dissipate one day, very soon. "We need Harris' words to seep into our subconscious: 'If you’ve been invited into the room, you belong in the room.' Every time you have a seat at a powerful and influential table, you are being courageous, taking risks and opening yourself to opportunities. At the end of the day, we know our hard work, competencies, and capabilities are our power." Bravo, ladies!     

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