Dare to Dream
Dare to Dream is a justice education and outreach program for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit youth aged 11 to 14. The program was created by Canadian Lawyers Abroad (CLA), a non-profit charity that aims to use law to improve lives.
Through collaboration with Aboriginal leaders, the legal community and like-minded non-profit organizations, CLA is providing Aboriginal youth with meaningful opportunities to expand their understanding of the justice system, develop critical thinking and leadership skills, and to “dare to dream” about graduating from high school and pursuing a law-related career.
Dare to Dream is now in operation in Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary and the Siksika Nation, with over 150 students and 80 volunteers participating.
In Calgary, we have or are delivering the program in Vincent Massey, A.E. Cross, Mount Royal, and T.B. Riley schools.
Who Will it Benefit?
Dare to Dream seeks to directly benefit First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students between 11 and 14 years of age. The focus is to inspire and support Aboriginal youth to reach their potential – student-by-student – by providing them with mentorship and educating them about the law and law-related careers.
The objectives of Dare to Dream are to: a) facilitate the development of beneficial and meaningful relationships between Aboriginal youth and legal professionals; b) increase Aboriginal students’ knowledge of the justice system (thereby deterring students from delinquent behavior); c) encourage the students to develop confidence, critical thinking and leadership skills; and d) empower the students to begin thinking positively about their futures beyond high school graduation.
The Dare to Dream program also directly benefits Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal lawyers and law students. By providing an opportunity to engage youth in justice education and mentorship, volunteer lawyers and law students improve their knowledge and competency in Aboriginal cultures, traditions, languages and legal principles.
Finally, Dare to Dream supports Aboriginal communities by encouraging and inspiring Aboriginal youth to become leaders and role models in their schools and communities.