Impact Story: How 1,000 Dreams Fund’s Student Leadership Summit Opened Doors for Bruna!

The team at 1,000 Dreams Fund is busy with preparations for our 2nd annual Student Leadership Summit in just a few months in Washington, D.C. on July 22nd!

Building on the success of our inaugural Student Leadership Summit last year, we are looking to open more doors for our student leaders who travel from all over the country to experience this special event and day with 1,000 Dreams Fund.

One such student who came to our first summit was Bruna Rocha who is studying at University of Michigan and was a winner of our 2022 New Face of Tech Scholarship Program (powered by HARMAN). She is an emerging young leader in tech, and we were able to fund her attendance with a travel stipend, thanks to our generous community of supporters

When Bruna first came to the U.S. from Brazil, she was a nanny through an au pair program.  “I harbored a desire to become a college student — however, I was fully aware that this ambition would come at a steep financial cost for both my living expenses and tuition fees. Thus, I diligently saved every penny I earned during the two-year program — and despite working 45 hours a week — I still managed to find time to pursue my academic interests in neuroscience and programming by taking online courses,” she said. 

And, with the help of 1,000 Dreams Fund, she was able to break even more financial barriers to continue to follow her dreams.

We chatted with Bruna recently to learn how the Student Leadership Summit made an impact for her. Here’s what she said…

How did you feel after the Summit?

I left that day feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on new challenges! 

What did you learn at the Summit?

“From learning about the importance of women in society to exploring leadership styles, every session provided valuable insights that I will carry with me for years to come,” she said.

What inspired you to apply for 1DF’s Student Advisory Board (SAB)?

After learning about the amazing projects and missions that 1DF is involved in, I was sure that the Student Advisory Board (SAB) opportunity to support other girls reach their goals would make a positive impact on the world. By being a SAB member I would not only have the chance to develop my leadership skills but also gain valuable experience by supporting girls who had a challenging background as I did.

Bruna (far right) with other attendees at the Student Leadership Summit

Tell us about your experience at University of Michigan so far.

I’ve had the chance to join many clubs — such as the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association, and the Society of Women Engineers — and have the opportunity to apply all the theoretical knowledge learned in class by developing ideas in these associations. I also really love the diversity on campus — and my favorite class so far is Physics I, because I have an excellent professor who pushes us to think critically, ask questions, and never settle for easy answers. 

What are you looking forward to next?

For now, the most exciting events to come are the Spaceport America competition, which is a thrilling opportunity for students interested in aerospace technology and innovation. The competition aims to bring the brightest minds from across the world to design, build, and launch rockets with maximum efficiency and safety. Next summer, I hope to get an internship with an aerospace company and get to work on amazing projects!

Bruna (far right) with other attendees at the Student Leadership Summit

We’re so inspired by Bruna — and we hope you are, too!

We love seeing young women encouraging their peers — and continuing to grow in their own leadership capability. 

Create your own impact and positive ripple effect at our second-annual Student Leadership Summit. Find out more about it here.

To learn more about 1,000 Dreams Fund and how you can support our work to fuel the deserving dreams of talented women, click here.