While attending the University of Missouri, Kam Phillips began volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club and was surprised to hear how many of the kids had the exact same dream.
She says 74% of the boys she encountered wanted to be rap stars or professional athletes -- not necessarily BAD career choices, but definitely limited in scope. So she decided to enlist fellow MU students who were pursuing careers that deviated from the road to superstardom into areas like engineering, agriculture -- even dance -- to show the kids that there are other options that can be just as exciting, and maybe even more rewarding. She called the program Dream Outside the Box, and it's been going strong for more than four years now.
Students from kindergarten through 12th grade can take part in this free after-school program that gets them hands-on with some alternative career choices.
According to Phillips, she's seen results too, saying, "Now [participants are] saying' I want to be an entrepreneur or engineer or that kind of thing.'" But they haven't all totally given up those 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' dreams. She says some those boys who wanted to be hip hop moguls and gridiron stars still have those aspirations. But now they say, "I want to be a football player, but if that doesn't work out ... I guess I'll be a lawyer."
For more information, visit the Dream Outside the Box website & blog at dotb.students.missouri.edu.