Every piece of technology or social structure that we see around us starts as an idea in someone’s head. This is true without exception. When telephones had wires, watching someone talk on a screen was a make-believe fantasy that only happened in Star Trek. Now we carry this technology in our back pocket. Cell phone technology started as an idea that seemed make-believe but is now so widespread that we take it for granted.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Of freedom and justice. Of a nation where children are not judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. On the day he shared his dream with the world, 250,000 people attended in person. They were there because that was their dream too.

The reason I am bringing these up is because amazing things all start with an idea, with a dream. So, I invite you to take a minute to dream about the life you want to live. The legacy you want to pass down to your children. What does that look like? What does a community look like when our families have all the resources they need to thrive? What knowledge and skills do our students have because they attend school in Socorro? What impact are they going to make in the world? What jobs and economic opportunities exist because people in our community have the courage to dream big?

Here is what some of that looks like in my head.

Schools are places where students grow, create, and thrive. They are fully resourced community schools that integrate community services including health care and behavioral health care so students have access to the services they need to be ready to learn. Teachers have the support and resources they need to focus on teaching and inspiring students to dream big, and youth mentoring helps students cultivate self-belief and confidence to follow those dreams.

Job training opportunities provide a buffet of possibilities for building careers. Partnerships between school districts, New Mexico Tech, local businesses, government organizations and national labs provide pathways for opportunity that not only have the potential to support families, but that fuel our economy which creates even more possibilities.

Food, housing, transportation—all of these are readily accessible to every member of our community, and in communities across New Mexico. This is because we have committed to the 100% Community model where 100% of all members of Socorro County have access to the services they need to survive and thrive. And because as a community, we have effectively and efficiently come together to make that a reality.

The amazing thing is that these are all more than just an idea in someone’s head. We already have amazing people in our community—in our schools, at New Mexico Tech, in our local businesses and nonprofit organizations, in our city and county—who are making progress on these dreams and many more. The reason for the progress is because we dared to dream in the first place, and it became a dream shared by many. The more we share the dream, the more crystal clear it becomes. The clearer it becomes, the faster it transforms from an idea into something we live every day. So, my charge to you is take time to dream. Our imagination is a powerful creative force, and with it—especially collectively–we can realize these dreams.