Inspiring The American Dream Foundation Teams Up With Local Business And Community Leaders To Inspire The American Dream

Press Release


– Celebration event introduces foundation’s pilot students to career paths in communications, entertainment, finance, manufacturing and technology –

happy little kid professionalsSunset, SCMonday, May 18, 2015 – Inspiring the American Dream Foundation will be hosting its inaugural Inspire the Dream Career Fair on Tuesday, May 19th at the Embassy Suites Golf Resort & Conference Center in Greenville, SC. The event has been organized to celebrate the achievement of students participating in the foundation’s Opportunity to Succeed Program while introducing them to career paths in communications, entertainment, finance, manufacturing and technology.

Participating organizations include: Bank of America, Barnes & Noble, BASF, CommunityCode, Dabo’s All in Team Foundation®, Greenville Chautauqua, iMAGINE Upstate, Nationwide Insurance, Odetta Music & Publishing, ScanSource and WYFF.

“We are grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support that we’ve received from the education, business and not-for-profit communities here in South Carolina,” said Bob Basmadjian, Co-Founder and Chairman of Inspiring the American Dream Foundation. “There is tremendous momentum around education and workforce development for K-12 students all throughout the State and we’re excited to be part of the reform movement.”

The Opening Ceremony for the Inspire the Dream event will kick-off at 12:45pm when Master of Ceremony, Ryan Heafy, will welcome students from A.R. Lewis Elementary School and the Youth Leadership Academy, both located in Pickens, South Carolina. Mr. Heafy will also introduce representatives from the participating organizations as well as provide students, teachers and parents in attendance with an overview of the day’s activities.

“It’s exciting to see industry and community leaders join forces with Inspiring the American Dream Foundation to invest in the future of our students, giving them support and encouragement to become productive members of society and leaders in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Ryan Heafy, Executive Director, iMAGINE Upstate. “We are honored to be part of an ecosystem that is empowering our future.”

Following the opening ceremony, students will be led on a career exploration, visiting industry-specific career stations that will feature interactive, project-based demonstrations. This part of the program has been developed to emphasize the importance of four key skill sets: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, and communication, information, media and technology.

“At Youth Leadership Academy, we emphasize the importance of citizenship, workplace ‘soft’ skills and real world application of core content,” said Patsy Wood Smith, Principal at Youth Leadership Academy. “Our partnership with Inspiring the American Dream Foundation allows us to take our students to a level beyond career projects and job shadowing, opening their eyes to the possibilities that await them if they work hard and dream big.”

In addition to showcasing the skills required by South Carolina employers, career path demonstrations at the event will also emphasize the importance of certain life and career characteristics such as integrity, initiative, perseverance, work ethic and interpersonal skills. To dramatize and to further illustrate the importance of these character traits, Pat Grills, a Greenville Chautauqua actor, will portray George Washington and engage the students in conversations about the characteristics that the ‘Father of our Country’ relied on to become the first President of the United States of America.

The event will culminate with an Awards Ceremony in the event’s Career Theatre. Here, fifteen A.R. Lewis Elementary 3rd grade students who successfully completed the Foundation’s Opportunity to Succeed pilot Reading Camp will be awarded Congressional Certificates of Accomplishment by Doug McKinney of Nationwide Insurance and Kathleen Swinney of Dabo’s All In Team Foundation. The certificates have been provided by the Office of Congressman Jeff Duncan who helped launch the foundation’s Opportunity to Succeed Program at a presentation he delivered on the American Dream to students at A.R. Lewis Elementary School in April 2014.

“We are very excited about the progress our students made this year during the Opportunity to Succeed Reading Camp program, said Melissa Terry, Principal at A.R. Lewis Elementary School. “Our students have grown in numerous ways and we are very appreciative of the support of the Inspiring the American Dream Foundation in this endeavor.”

“The pilot reading program was a huge success thanks to the tiring work of Bob, his team, the teachers and most important the students at A.R. Lewis,” said Kathleen Swinney, Co-Founder, Dabo’s All in Team Foundation. “The progress made by the children is amazing. We need to keep the momentum going.”

Other organizations providing support for the Inspire the Dream Career Fair include: Banner Bashes, Cornell Dubilier, Duke Energy, EG Image Photography, Fleet Services, Leigh Ann Shelley Graphic Design, SpeedPro Imaging, Steve White Volkswagon & Audi and Williamson Evans.

About Inspiring the American Dream Foundation

Inspiring the American Dream Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, has been established to help inspire children and young adults to achieve the American Dream, a set of ideals in which freedom, ability and virtue provide the opportunity for prosperity, happiness and upward mobility, regardless of race, ethnicity or social class. By engaging children of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds with an appreciation for the ideals, values and virtues inherent in the American Dream, the Foundation will help prepare students across the country to become independent, prosperous and productive members of society. For additional information, visit



Note to Editors and Producers:


Four color images, including still photography and B-Roll footage of the event are available upon request




Robert Basmadjian

Co-Founder and Chairman

Inspiring the American Dream Foundation


Phone: (864) 868-0202