With the end of another school year upon us (we’re counting down the final TWO days of school) it’s been fun to look through the projects, pictures and poems my daughter created over the year in 2nd grade. Along with a special book of poetry and projects learning about her Jamaican and Colombian heritage was a packet asking her what she wanted to be when she grew up. I’ve asked her over the years what she wanted to be when she grows up and she hasn’t been shy about her varying desires.
“Mommy, I want to be a Police Officer like Daddy and help people. I also want to be a Teacher. Oh and I love music, and Michael Jackson is my favorite artist, and I want to be on the Disney channel and be a singer and dancer. Mommy – why aren’t there any female Presidents? I think I could do that too.”
Do I want my baby girl to grow up? Sometimes…but not really. Am I looking forward to seeing the woman and advocate she will be when she grows up? Absolutely. Listening to her speak of her future gives me butterflies. I’ve always encouraged her to be creative and engage in diverse activities so she has a well-rounded childhood. Did I tell you she’s running a triathlon at MIT next month? I don’t want any opportunity to be out of her reach – and if I’m able I want to provide her with varying experiences to show her all that the world has to offer.
Growing up as the youngest of four children I don’t remember having conversations with my Mother about my future or career. I wasn’t encouraged to think about the future or college, I knew I had greatness within me, but didn’t know how to tap into it. I completed college applications on my own, didn’t receive any monetary support for college, and actually didn’t participate in sports my senior year of high school so I could save for college. I still remember moving into my dorm room 11 years ago with less than $20 in my bank account. My future didn’t seem very bright at that time, and I wish with the support of my Mother we could have planned for my college journey.
As I think about my daughter entering 3rd grade in the Fall (yikes!) and eventually graduating high school and moving onto college – it makes me quite nervous! As a single Mom who isn’t yet 30 I’m still building my life, and figuring out where the road will take me – but my daughter’s education is a priority because I don’t want her to have any barriers accessing higher education as I did. But I can’t plan for her future alone, which is why I’m thrilled that the U.Funds Dream Tour and their Dream Tents will be engaging with families around Massachusetts this summer and fall and getting them excited about seeing their dreams come to life and saving for college.
I had the opportunity to stop by the Dreams Tent this past weekend and was so impressed at the valuable information for both kids and families and the interactive displays for kids. The most exciting part for my daughter was being in front of a green screen decked out in rockstar attire. Given that she has big dreams of being a singer and dancer she was able to pose and see her picture printed on top of a concert background. She was able to see her dreams come to life which was great and also brought up how she can pursue her dreams – and we both know that education is key.
The U.Fund Dreams Tour is just the beginning and a great way to get your kids involved with their future. MEFA’s Ufund is a Massachusetts 529 college-investing plan, tax-advantaged savings plan managed by Fidelity. MEFA is a dynamic local non-profit state authority working to make higher education more accessible and affordable.
My daughter’s education is an investment in herself and her future. I never want her to stop learning or stop growing and I hope through saving for her college education at an early age will truly provide her with the support she needs to dream BIG.
Speaking of dreaming big, one of our favorite books to read is a great book called “Grace for President” by Kelly S. DiPucchio which talks about one determined young girl who is upset there haven’t been any female Presidents and runs a Presidential campaign in her school – and wins! It’s a powerful educational book to read with my daughter that reinforces my desire for her to think and dream BIG and I want to offer this book to one lucky reader – enter below!