Social Work Advisors Inspire Students to Dream Big

Advising launches the Dream Exploration Workshop, an innovative initiative aimed at helping students align their life purposes and explore their dreams through engaging activities and discussions.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2024) — The University of Kentucky College of Social Work (COSW) is taking innovative steps to help students align their life purposes and explore their dreams through the Dream Exploration Workshop. Launched on April 15, 2024, this workshop is an integral part of COSW’s advising initiatives aimed at fostering both personal and professional growth among its students.

The Dream Exploration Workshop encourages participants to delve into their core motivations and aspirations. Guided through a series of thought-provoking activities and discussions, students articulate their “why” — the foundational purpose driving their dreams.

This workshop part of a broader development initiative supported by the College’s Innovation in Ingenuity and Initiative Program (I3). Last summer, advisors earned their Appreciative Advising certification, which prioritizes the ‘dream phase’ in advising students.

“I believe it’s crucial for students to stay connected to their purpose and keep their dreams and goals at the forefront of their journey,” said advisor Sara Green, who led the workshop. “By staying true to what inspired them to pursue social work, they can ignite a passion that drives them through their education and into their future careers.”

One of the workshop’s highlights is the viewing of Pepper de Callier’s TedTalk, “Pursuing Your Dreams Means Much More Than You Think.” This inspiring presentation sets the tone for the day’s activities, prompting students to reflect deeply on their ambitions.

The workshop agenda includes identifying dreams, sharing personal motivations, and exploring the feelings associated with one’s purpose. Participants engage in breakout sessions and collaborative discussions, solidifying their understanding and commitment to their goals.

“This workshop helped me to look deeper into my purpose; I loved it. I wouldn’t change anything,” shared one attendee. This sentiment is echoed by many students who found the workshop both enlightening and motivating.

Another participant expressed gratitude, stating, “I really enjoyed this! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information.”

The Dream Exploration Workshop goes beyond self-reflection to provide practical support. Eudaimonia, a concept rooted in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, serves as the philosophical backbone of the workshop. It emphasizes the pursuit of the good life — one of purpose and fulfillment, rather than mere material success.

The College of Social Work continues to be a leader in student support and development, helping students realize their potential and achieve their dreams. The Dream Exploration Workshop is a testament to COSW’s commitment to holistic student success.

For more information about upcoming workshops and advising services, visit the COSW Academic Advising.

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.