It is important that every youngster dares to dream and feel that they can affect their future with theiractions. The Children and Youth Foundation’s Dreams-program organises school visits with widely known speakers, or dreamsters, who give inspirational talks to students in upper comprehensive school based on their life story. Through these talks, the dreamsters encourage youngsters to believe in their dreams, to explore their strengths, and to contemplate what direction they want to take in life.
The Dreams-program runs throughout the school year. It reaches thousands of young people across Finland annually.
School visits have been carried out since 2003 with the support of several financiers through the years.
Target group: students in upper comprehensive school
Financier: several financiers
Number of participants: thousands of young people annually
Area: all of Finland
Johannes “Hatsolo” Hattunen
Johannes “Hatsolo” Hattunen already knew as a child that he wanted to become one of the world’s best dancers. In his youth, he often got belittled, derided, and even bullied because of his dream. Through his energetic Dreams-talks Hatsolo encourages young people to trust in their attitude. He urges each and everyone to build their life on their own terms, and, on the other hand, to support their friends in doing the same.
Essi Hellén advises young people to find their thing by bravely seeking out new experiences. Most important is to unapologetically be yourself. It is also essential to be a supportive friend because no one can make it all on their own.
Jannika B got nicknamed ‘dumbo’ in upper comprehensive school due to her prominent ears. Her ballet teacher told her she could never become a professional dancer because her thighs were too muscular. Through her Dreams-talks, Jannika encourages young people to hold on to their dreams with tenacity and to always question anyone who makes assumptions about their abilities.
Krista Kosonen suffered from low self-esteem in her youth. As a child, she grew taller than all her peers, which eroded her self-esteem even further. To young people, she upholds the importance of self-acceptance, just as you are, and cautions against framing your self-worth around your physical appearance. Your time should be spent doing things that are enjoyable and bring opportunities for accomplishment. Krista also emphasizes the importance of reading. For her, reading avidly in youth turned out to be an important building-block in her acting career later in life.
The world’s best brain injury patient
Robson Lindberg sustained a serious brain injury in an ice-hockey match in the spring of 2016, at the age of 30. The ensuing diagnosis brought his world to a stand-still: eight cerebral hemorrhages and a moderate-to-severe brain injury. In his Dreams-talks, Robson shares his conviction with young people that anything is possible when you take responsibility for your attitude and actions.
Tommy Lindgren emphasizes to young people that talent is just a starting point—more importantly you need enthusiasm to develop it into a skill. Everyone has the potential to become talented at something. In his Dreams-talks, he stresses the importance of identifying your own passions and then realizing them. Being and having a supportive friend is also a big plus because together you can accomplish more than on your own.
Pete Parkkonen argues that the way you deal with setbacks is more important than whether you manage to avoid them. There are no failures, only experiences, and every misstep is a learning opportunity. Through his Dreams-talks, Pete encourages young people to reach for their dreams because they help make life meaningful and create positive energy.
Laura Peippo’s Dreams-talks are packed with energy. The athletic Laura dreamed of a sprinter’s career in her youth. She studied in Rovaniemi to become a chef, but it turned out not to be the field for her. She now works in athletics and exercise. In 2007, she was named Finland’s most joyful entrepreneur. Laura encourages young people to determine for themselves what they want to become. In life, anything is possible and dreams are meant to be fulfilled.
Christoffer Strandberg urges young people to take courage, to accept themselves, and to trust others. One who dares is one step closer to their dream. It is essential that you occupy yourself with that which feels good to you.
Pamela Tola wound up at an orphanage as a child. For her, circumstances and the past do not define the future. Acting was Pamela’s dream even as a child, and she feels that having a strong dream has been crucial to pushing her forward in life. She encourages young people to persevere, and not become dispirited in the face of unpleasant experiences.
School visits in Finnish
School visits in Swedish
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