The vision of the Denver Dream Lab is simple: it’s about access to opportunity for those who wouldn’t normally have it. It’s about giving kids access to knowledge, tools and instruction from mentors with a desire to share their passion. Throughout my career in teaching, my students have been gifted books, school supplies, digital cameras, computers, clothing and even Thanksgiving dinner from my friends, family and, oftentimes, people I’ve only “met” on Facebook or other social media outlets. These people have one thing in common: a desire to share what they have with children who have little. They are people who want to buy a book, a basketball, a camera or even an electric guitar for a child who has interest, but not resources. In addition to tangible giving, there are also many people with a skill or specific area of expertise they would like to share with children.
DDL will service two types of children. Demographic one is children in low-income areas who would not otherwise have access to tools like a computer lab, a sewing machine, a DSLR camera or a 3D printer. The second demographic (which often overlaps with the first) is children who are carrying a heavy burden. This child may have a parent suffering from a terminal disease, a parent who is absent to due incarceration or abandonment, or a child whose parent(s) have substance abuse problems. DDL will give these children time away where they can simply be kids. Whether the children want to make a robot out of cardboard, design a game, learn crocheting or even do some meditation, they can explore their interests at the Denver Dream Lab. The beauty of DDL is that kids can interact, invent, discover and play in a safe place with other kids who are carrying similar burdens.
The mentors at the Dream Lab will be volunteers who have a passion and want to share it with kids . This might be a robotics engineer who can share his technical knowledge, a grandma who teaches a young girl to crochet, a musician who gives lessons, or someone who grew up under the same circumstances and wants to give back to the community.