Education Social Justice/Advocacy

Teach For America Houston and DivInc Houston host Dream Lab

Written by Lindsay Tooker

Teach For America Houston hosted its most recent Dream Lab last week in partnership with DivInc Houston.

Teach For America Houston recently launched a new program called The Dream Lab. Part of the Teach For America Houston Network Learning and Innovation Hub, The Dream Lab is a set of immersive spaces where students leverage their imagination and creativity to innovate and solve problems affecting their communities.

On Friday, Sept. 23, twenty-one 9th graders were the most recent Dream Lab participants. The students spent the day at the Ion strengthening their innovation skills as they completed a mini-innovation accelerator to conceive how they would creatively solve problems in their own communities.

“The students who participated in the Dream Lab walked away with confidence, knowing that they had the ability to become innovators and create solutions to solve problems in their own communities,” said Sarah Essama, founder of the Dream Lab and director of social innovation for Teach For America Houston. “It was rewarding to interact with these students as they discovered their individual skills and abilities.”

The Dream Lab, specifically designed for English language learners, is significant in Teach For America Houston’s quest to create educational equity for all students regardless of their socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Teach For America Houston’s goal for The Dream Lab is to provide an unconventional learning experience that is engaging for students while stimulating students’ leadership, innovation, creativity, and “out-of-the-box” problem-solving. Students immersed in the Dream Lab experience are asked to participate in design challenges to develop right-brain use and innovation skills.

To date, Teach For America Houston has hosted two other Dream Labs for 4th graders – one at Dogan Elementary and the other at Wharton Language Academy. Their specific activity was using technology to design their innovative dream space where their peers could have fun, learn, and develop their leadership skills. Some designs included rocket ships taking students from one room to the next, a swimming pool filled with fruit punch, and a post-workout “cool down center.”

DivInc Houston works to generate social and economic equity through entrepreneurship to create a world that is authentically diverse, equitable, and inclusive, where social and economic disparities no longer exist.

Teach For America Houston works collaboratively with schools in the Houston area to expand educational opportunities for children. For the last thirty years, Teach For America has been a pacesetter for education reform in the city of Houston. Thousands of corps members have taught in Houston’s lowest-income schools, reaching nearly 200,000 students collectively and becoming some of the city’s most prominent education leaders. the educational landscape.

For more information about Teach For America Houston, visit publishes every week.
All of our reporting takes hours of time to curate, research and report news that can impact the work you do!

Your contribution of a few dollars a month will support our reporters, expand our coverage and ensure we continue bringing you timely, relevant nonprofit news!

Support This Site

About the author

Lindsay Tooker

Lindsay has worked professionally in the nonprofit world since 2006 in both programmatic and development roles. She graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a BA in Communication, and has specialized in grant writing and fundraising communications for more than five years.
Lindsay is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Junior League.