CWU News

Dare to Dream Academy Offers Taste of College Experience to High School Students

The Dare to Dream Academy wants students to believe not only can they graduate from high school—but also from college.


For the seventh consecutive year, Central Washington University is offering the week-long program, which allows approximately 140 eligible Washington high school students an opportunity to learn science and leadership skills.


The academy, which will be conducted from June 17-23 on the CWU campus, enrolls Priority for Service students, and provides them with a school credit they might normally not be able to make up.


Students, who each receive a half-credit hour, are placed into one of two academic tracks. The first, is the Science Academy, and aimed at incoming 11th and 12th graders and offers hands-on science training and curriculum. The other track, Hero’s Journey Academy, is for incoming 9th and 10th grade students and provides opportunities to learn about leadership and responsibility.


“The idea is to provide these students, many who don’t feel a college education is even possible, to spend time on a college campus and to help them develop a plan that will result in them attending and graduating from college,” noted Miriam Bocchetti, director for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which oversees the academy.


Bocchetti said about 40 of the students will be in the science track while the rest will participate in Hero’s Journey. During the week-long sessions, science students have an opportunity to visit a cadaver lab, an acoustics lab, and run an electrocardiogram on themselves.


Additionally, she said approximately 15 student mentors are hired, most of whom are former CAMP students who can relate to the students in the program. Academic workshops are overseen by instructors, many of whom are retired local teachers or CWU professors.


Dare to Dream, which began at Central in 2012, has nearly doubled in size over the years, according to Bocchetti. It also expanded from five days to a full week because organizers found there wasn’t enough time to get through the curriculum.


Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,