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Office Depot Foundation - 'Dream Up' Program

Investing in Education

The Office Depot Foundation's commitment to education is longstanding and broad-based. Through far-reaching programs, we are very proud to know that we have made an impact from preschools and kindergartens to university classrooms and laboratories. As part of our commitment to our mission - Listen Learn Care - we recognize the importance of supporting children, parents and teachers through initiatives that are designed to make a difference around the world.

Dream UP Career Exploration Program

The opportunity to achieve success in school is dependent upon staying in school. This principle lies at the core of a key Office Depot Foundation initiative - the Dream UP Career Exploration Program. Launched in 2009 in collaboration with the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, this program seeks to address the alarming problem of middle school students dropping out of school.

By encouraging middle school students to begin to consider career opportunities, establish long-term goals and dream about what they might become in the future, the Dream UP program represents a vitally important strategy that teachers and schools can use to keep students in the classroom, rather than losing them to the streets.

Since its introduction in 2009, more than 67,000 young people in 24 states have examined future career opportunities through this free program, which seeks to address the alarming problem of middle school students dropping out of school. Throughout the curriculum, students read and analyze real-world information found in the print and online editions of USA TODAY. Guided by their teachers, they explore and research numerous career options that they discovered – and each student develops a career portfolio. The exploration process leads the students to a highly meaningful assignment: to craft an essay about their "Dream Job." The best essays are judged in a national Essay Challenge and five winners are given the opportunity to live their dreams for a day!