Christie Garton, an entrepreneur and author, founded the 1,000 Dreams Fund to help young women achieve their educational and professional goals.
The 1,000 Dreams Fund provides $1,000 scholarships as well as professional resources and advice to high school and college-aged women.
Garton said she did not have the resources to help direct her career path.
“Growing up, I really didn’t have anybody as a role model to really help guide my professional roles in my path,” Garton said. “I really just kind of figured it out on my own.”
Garton said she was involved in college, and there were internships she wanted to take advantage of, but they required her to fundraise.
“I was able, through a variety of ways, to cobble together those resources to do it,” Garton said. “But it wasn’t easy, so that background in just finding myself has really inspired me with what we’re doing with the 1,000 Dreams Fund.”
The fund is an invaluable starting point for women to raise money they need to achieve their dreams, Garton said.
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“I think what we ultimately view what we are is a door opener,” Garton said. “So we know that by providing a grant, it can actually help that young woman to go out there and raise the additional amount that she needs.”
Garton said funding is one side of the 1,000 Dreams Fund mission. The fund, which was launched in January, has given 20 scholarships so far, but the initial goal is 1,000, according to Garton.
“We are going to be continuing to provide advice, mentorships [and] stories of other girls of how they’re navigating that life space,” Garton said.
There are two grant periods, fall and spring, where women can apply for the scholarship, which is awarded during the following semester, according to Garton. Garton said the 1,000 Dreams Fund recently launched the 1,000 Dreams Challenge, allowing women to submit photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #1000DreamsChallenge with a caption.
Anybody can vote on their favorite entries. The five most voted will be finalists, and the team will pick three winners. The grand prize winner will get $1,000, and the two runners-up will receive $500 each.
Garton said the photo challenge campaign is flexible, as it does not require an application and is open to anyone.
“We want to do more of those, and it’s kind of a direct way to get our mission out there and hopefully in an inspiring way,” Garton said.
The deadline for photo submission is Monday, Nov. 23, by the end of the day, and winners will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 24, according to the 1,000 Dreams Fund Facebook page.
Katie Lynn, freshman in engineering, said Garton is considerate in her work with the 1,000 Dreams Fund.
“I think that’s really nice of her,” Lynn said. “I think that’s really good and generous of her to share stuff that she’s worked for.”
Hannah Herndon, freshman in wildlife sciences with a veterinary medicine concentration, said college is expensive, so it is worth applying for the scholarship.
“That’s a thousand dollars that goes towards education, which is wonderful,” Herndon said. “People struggle. They need the money.”
The 1,000 Dreams Fund scholarship application for the 2016 spring period will be available Dec. 1.
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