16 million youth in the US grow up without having a mentor, 9 million of which are at-risk youth.
The numbers are clear, this poses an enormous gap because mentorship is proven to have stark effects on college enrollment, community engagement and career success.
Dreami is a platform that connects mentees to the mentors they need in their career, based on their professional goals and values. Especially now more than ever, meeting the right mentor to guide your career takes luck, patience, and a lot of LinkedIn messages and coffee chats. Most of the time, it feels like you are left on your own to navigate your career. Dreami is on a mission to break those barriers and provide everyone with the right resources they need to take their career to the level they dream of. Dreami lives and breathes by our belief that together, we are limitless.
The importance of mentorship in your career development
Think of your career as a long hike that you are walking for the first time — you may have an end goal of reaching a peak but along the way you will encounter forks in the trail, missing signs and unexpected obstacles to overcome. Your mentor is that hiking buddy who has much more experience and can help guide you on the trail as you come across critical decisions, career pivots, and obstacles that life throws at you. Without that experienced guide, you spend more time, energy and effort to figure it out on your own. You may not even end up at the peak you set out to reach, because you didn’t have the guide to help you out.
Harvard Business Review recently talked about mentorship and this is what we found out: “The evidence is irrefutable: people who have strong mentors accrue a host of professional benefits, including more rapid advancement, higher salaries, greater organizational commitment, stronger identity, and higher satisfaction with both job and career”.There is even more research done to back that mentor is good for everyone, especially advantageous for women.
Dreami addresses all the obstacles that you can find to match with a mentor
Ashima Sharma– the founder and CEO of Dreami – struggled personally with the access to mentorship during her chemical engineering education, especially while she pivoted from Engineering to Product. This situation forced her to “figure it out” by herself while she felt that her peers had it all figured it out. All the unread messages to potential mentors in LinkedIn and not feeling safe enough in her work space to talk about her career development were her main limitations she encountered which led her to feel frustrated and hopeless as she was trying to transition into a different field. For this and many other reasons she decided to build “Dreami”. At Dreami, they are targeting an underlooked segment: Youth Development programs, Schools and Community Colleges to truly close the equity gap.
Ashima came up with the idea of creating Dreami during one the most unprecedented times in our lifetime as COVID-19, racial injustice, and record-breaking layoffs pummeled the globe. On a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada, the idea struck her: disrupt the status quo of mentorship and democratize career guidance.It took a few strategy sessions with her wonderful partner, a chunk of her own savings and weekends spent working to breathe life into their vision.
Her name, Ashima, means “limitless” in Sanskrit. Her goal in life was always to prove to herself that she truly is limitless. However, after launching Dreami, she has adjusted her goal now that she's started Dreami with—Now, the objective is for her to prove that together, we are limitless.