Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
For some people, dreams are limited to their sleeping hours. Two college graduates followed a path that they hope will inspire college students to pursue their dreams and passions in the real world.
The Dream Share Project, an hour-long, inspirational documentary, encourages people to live life to its fullest potential.
Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin graduated from their respective colleges in 2008 and immediately took their place in the workforce.
“Right after college we were both pretty lucky and landed full-time, awesome jobs,” Irvin said. “We were really excited about that at first.”
After a few months, Hiden and Irvin started to feel a lack of passion and direction within their jobs.
“We came up with a plan to go on a road trip across the country to interview people who had their dream job and were successful,” Irvin said. “We wanted to collect their advice about figuring out your passion and then following it.”
In 2010, Hiden and Irvin began their journey and spent three months interviewing a variety of people from all walks of life. Their interviews included the CEO of a sustainable flip flop company, a slam poet, an Olympic skier, a magician and a Project Runway fashion designer, among others.
“Chip and I came up with a route we wanted to follow on our trip,” Irvin said. “Along the way we would just research people online and check out blogs, magazines, newspapers and just see who is prominent in local areas.”
After completing their three months on the road, Hiden and Irvin spent nine or 10 months editing and putting the documentary together.
In the fall of 2011, the film was shown to students for the first time. It is currently in its fourth season of touring schools across the country. Accompanying the documentary is a workshop that assists students in figuring out their passion and moving past roadblocks that could prevent them from pursuing their dreams.
Their trip provided plenty of advice, but when asked what sticks out the most in hindsight, Irvin mentions a specific lesson that he quickly learned and took to heart.
“We met a screen writer in Hollywood who told us you need to get 99 rejections for every one great moment,” Irvin said. “A lot of successful people get that way by dealing with failure and rejection and then bouncing back from it. You improve or you get better, or you just try again.”
Sophomore Lauren Smith said the documentary could benefit college students who worry about their future.
“So much of what we are told is that you need to get a good desk job or be a doctor,” Smith said. “Most kids don’t want to do that, with the exception of a select few. This [film] gives you hope that you can do it, that you can accomplish your dreams if you are willing to pursue them.”
Austin Lowry, a senior at Oklahoma Christian University, will be graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering and said that dreams definitely have their place in life.
“Hopefully my job will become my dream,” Lowry said. “My dream is to have a family or have whatever type of life, and I intend for that dream to be fulfilled by my job.”
Sophomore Mark Tinsley is nervously anticipating life after college and his inevitable entry into the workforce.
“I’m so ready to get out in the world and start making a difference,” Tinsley said. “I’m excited but also fearful. I know God will provide, though, and I am confident that everything will work out.”
According to Irvin, it’s not a big deal if you aren’t already aware of your passion in life.
“A lot of the people we interviewed took many years to get where they are, and they went through several career changes,” Irvin said. “If you don’t know, that’s okay, just start experimenting and figure out what you enjoy doing.”
The biggest thing Hiden and Irvin wish to accomplish with this film is inspiring people to pursue their passion.
“I think we are hoping to show you that you can do it,” Irvin said. “You can do whatever you want if you are willing to work hard and adapt and figure out creative ways to take new opportunities to figure out a career path for yourself.”
Lowry said that he would discourage students from seeing the video, but only because he believes that a dream should come from a career, not the other way around.
“If your dream is to help people and make a difference in the world, there is some way for you to make a difference no matter where you are and where you’re working,” Lowry said.
The Dream Share Project will be screened at Oklahoma Christian on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. Career Services will provide a free dinner to all students who sign up to attend.
For more information on the documentary, visit thedreamshareproject.com.