What is a dream team? What do you think of when you say “Dream Team”? Like so many others I first went to the interwebs, and Googled “Dream Team”. The first thing that popped up was a link to Wikipedia titled “1992 United States Men’s Olympic basketball team”. I clicked on it and started reading the article.
In 1992 the United States assembled an Olympic basketball team to compete in the 1992 summer Olympics. This year was special because it was the first year that the American Olympic team would be allowed to have active NBA players. On this team were men who were extremely talented at basketball. Names like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Larry Bird. This team was so good; they beat every team by an average of 44 points. Some even point to this “Dream Team” as the reason for global increased interest in basketball.
The more I read this article the more I asked myself. What separated this team from the others? Why were they so much stronger than their opponents? Why were they so much more likely to succeed? The answer to the question was simple. It was the deliberate and intentional selection of the players on the team. The committee that selected the team picked carefully and chose players with the skills necessary to make the team successful.
Many times when new students come into our classroom to explore the idea of joining Upward Bound they ask me “What do you do?”. The best answer I can give is, “Many students spend their time focusing on sports and stay after school for that, imagine college readiness as a sport. My job is to be your coach. To help you practice, hold you to high standards, expect that you’re giving your best, to not always tell you want you want to hear but to tell you what you need to hear.” So while you ponder who is part of your dream team. Know that if you are part of any TRiO program, you already have a few names to add to your list.
Take 5 minutes and create your Dream Team. If you are struggling to think of more than a couple the next step would be to find them. They could be anyone. A parent, a teacher, a counselor, a coach, a dedicated friend.
Things to think about:
- Who supports you in your pursuit of college?
- Who is willing to give you their time?
- Who pushes you to succeed and be your best?
- Who are you comfortable talking too about problems?
- Who can be honest with you?
- Who has access to resources that can help you?
- Who can you talk to about college dreams openly?