Future Focus Camp Launches Online July 6 | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Future Focus Camp Launches Online July 6

As students head into an uncertain 2020-21 school year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it becomes especially important to provide pivotal learning opportunities this summer.

Particularly for high school students, as they face their future as adults, this is a time of both high hopes and uncertain expectations.

The big challenge: Don’t let their ambitions for successful, thriving lives go untended. This kind of educational opportunity directly links to students’ having better income and health options within their reach, and those three pillars—education, income and health—drive opportunity for all North Texans.


United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the Dallas Regional Council have faced that quandary head-on, coming up with a game-changing way to present their annual summer Future Focus Camp. The free camp—a college readiness and career-exploration opportunity for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors—will be presented virtually this year, following social-distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and regional governing bodies.

“We want to build on the success we’ve had with past camps, and we’re confident we can do that with this plan,” said Lindsay Leahy, Director of Youth Services at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Although the shift to a virtual platform brings some changes, she said, “Our goal is the same—to help North Texas students better understand their long-term career options by connecting them with corporate volunteers, providing career-exposure opportunities and connecting learned skills to future possibilities.”

The virtual camp aligns with a similar local programs: T.D. Jakes Foundation’s STEAM Academy (STEAM=science, technology, engineering, arts and math). “United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is committed to preparing North Texas students for success in school and providing meaningful career exploration experiences to help guide their pathways into the workforce,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “We are excited to join forces with the T.D. Jakes Foundation, Dallas Regional Council and Mayor Eric Johnson to help equip our students for the future.”


Future Focus Online launches July 6. It’ll remain accessible to students until school begins this fall, allowing students to participate at their own pace.

In the past, the camp has taken place at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ downtown offices, with field trips augmenting the experience. This year’s camp will be 100 percent virtual, via a series of prerecorded videos, including entries from corporate partners such as AT&T, Bank of America and Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Partner representatives will explain their industries, what it’s like to work at their companies, their benefits and their innovations/differences from others in their industries. Camper activities such as resume building will help prepare students for their next steps.

In addition, during the two-week period of July 6-17, college interns from Texas Capital Bank will host periodic live, interactive sessions with campers, allowing for engagement among students, potential employers and other guests. These virtual sessions are optional, but attendance is encouraged for students to gain both new information and new friends.

Since its inception, Future Focus Camp has had a profound impact on North Texas young people. As of the 2019 camp:

  • 194 select students have participated in Future Focus Camp.
  • After participating in mock interviews, 96 percent of participants said they felt comfortable interviewing for a job.
  • 80 percent of participants identified a career they want to pursue after graduating from high school.


For registration and more information, visit Future Focus Camp. Space for interactive sessions is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Questions can be addressed to lleahy@unitedwaydallas.org.

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Daughter on shoulders of father Live United

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Jun 30, 2020