“I want them to know that if they can dream it, they can do it.”

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To inspire young people to follow their dreams, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D- Chicago) will be touring several schools on Chicago’s West Side this winter to promote goal planning for elementary and high school students.

“It is important to teach our young people about the importance of having ambition, and instill in them the confidence needed to realize their dreams,” Van Pelt said. “My team and I have been researching this extensively, and we found that only 3 percent of people take steps to outline and articulate their long-term goals.”

This year’s tour kicked off last week at Daniel Webster Elementary. Van Pelt spoke with students about her own journey to becoming an elected official. Raised in the Cabrini-Green projects, she said she never dreamt of becoming the woman she is today.

“When I was young, no one told me about all the things I could be. I had no direction,” Van Pelt said. “I want something better for this generation moving forward. I want them to know that they have options when it comes to their future. If they can dream it, they can do it. Period.”

The workshop consists of motivational speakers, brainstorming activities, and literal goal exercises. This is the third year of Van Pelt’s goal setting tour, which will continue until mid-January. The number of schools participating in the tour has doubled since its inception, and will hopefully continue to grow and motivate the next generation of leaders.

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