The founders of SMART Dreams met while working in out-of-school time spaces for high school students and noticed that many students struggled with figuring out their plans for life after graduation, leaving them disconnected from 21st century career opportunities. They saw the need for an engaging guide to help students succeed in high school and plan for their future. They also recognized that lone school counselors couldn’t provide individualized guidance to every student, so they created SMART Dreams to manage student planning and progress throughout high school. Their goal is to ensure that every young person has a plan for their future and receives the knowledge, skills, and guidance from caring adults that are vital to their success. SMART Dreams was developed through Homewood’s Children’s Village and its decade of experience and resources working with youth.
Co-founder and CEO
Walter received his BS from Cheyney University in computer science and his MS from Carnegie Mellon University in computational biology. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Walter decided to make a major career change. Marrying his desire to teach and passions for innovation, social justice, and community activism, Walter began leading an after school program for high school students at the Homewood Children’s Village. Over the past eight years, he has served at every level of the organization, from part-time after school work,to program management,later as a director and currently as the President
and CEO. He has pioneered and championed many of Homewood Children’s Village’s innovative strategies for expanding opportunities for youth, including postsecondary planning which led to the founding of SMART Dreams. Prior to joining HCV, Walter spent several years conducting research at Brookhaven National Lab, Wistar Institute, and Carnegie Mellon University. His research ranged from cancer progression and genomic sequence identification to gene regulation and development. Walter currently resides in Pittsburgh’s Homewood community with his wife and their four children.
Director of Software
Anton Reed is a problem solver and a lifelong learner. He has degrees in Economics and Computer Science and combines technical skill with social science. He taught at a high performing charter school in Washington DC for 4 years and worked on the school leadership team to manage curriculum, testing, and data. After that he moved to the UK to work for a multinational rail technology company designing a rail rostering system.
He was looking for an opportunity to combine his work with his passion for Education, Technology, and Pittsburgh’s East End communities which brought him to the Homewood Children’s Village where he designed and implemented the first version of the SMART Dreams app while helping to build out the business strategy for SMART Dreams. He lives on Pittsburgh’s East End with his spouse and 2 children. His interests are boundless and include the NBA, Photography, Travel, and Real Estate Investing.
Marketing & Business Strategist
Throughout his career, Stefan has worked with a diverse range of clients, from small startups to large corporations, and has gained a deep understanding of the unique challenges that each industry faces. His work in the medical industry has involved developing software solutions for healthcare providers, which help them streamline their operations and improve patient outcomes. His background includes creating software applications for the fitness industry, which aid fitness enthusiasts in tracking their progress and achieving their fitness goals. Additionally, his expertise in the video streaming industry has enabled him to develop user-friendly and scalable platforms that deliver high-quality content to millions of users worldwide.
He is always eager to explore new opportunities for innovation and is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies. His approach to software development is collaborative and results-driven. He works closely with clients to understand their business goals and user needs, leveraging his technical expertise to develop software solutions that deliver exceptional results. His ability to communicate complex technical concepts in simple terms makes him an excellent asset to any team.
SMART Dreams works with various organizations such as:
- Public schools
- Private schools
- Non-profit organizations
- Trade schools
- Technical schools
- After-school/youth development programs
We offer both a free version of the mobile application and a pay-per-user pricing model. For more details, please see our pricing page.
There is no limit to the number of students an organization can support with our mobile application. Please contact us to tell us a bit more information about your organization.
If an organization is interested in partnering with SMART Dreams, they will start by contacting us so we can learn more about their needs, then we will provide a demo of the mobile application, and if interested in continuing, we will discuss exact pricing, payment, set up, support and a timeline.
SMART Dreams offers both physical and digital products for your student’s needs. We offer:
- A SMART Goals Planner
- A SMART Dreams Guidebook
- A web-based application
- A fully-responsive mobile application.
Parents can benefit from SMART Dreams by using its physical products or digital application to help their students prepare for academic or professional life after graduation. They can also purchase the paid version of the mobile application for online collaboration and access to the dashboard, which allows them to track their student’s progress and receive customer service support. The SMART Dreams mobile application is a self-paced application for high school students and allows parents to sign up as mentors for a direct connection with their students. The app also includes an opportunities section to connect students to opportunities, jobs, schools, and extra-curricular activities, as well as a playlists section with custom career goals playlists with progress tracking, timely calendar events, and contextual follow-ups.
SMART Dreams supports several post-secondary plans for students including:
- An associate degree
- Baccalaureate degree
- Trade school
- Immediate part/full-time employment
- Industry training
- Military training
- Service learning
- Professional degree
- Registered apprenticeship
- Technological career prep
- Vocational rehabilitation centers.
Each version of the mobile application (free, family, enterprise) offers unique features. For more information on features, please see our pricing page. The mobile application offers users the ability to create individual profiles, create SMART Goals, track their own activities and progress, and complete playlists, regardless if which version is used.