In 1988, a fifth-grade class at Seat Pleasant Elementary received an extraordinary gift: the offer of a college education paid for by two wealthy businessmen. Could extra attention and hundreds of thousands of dollars of aid help them achieve the kind of success that had eluded their parents?
Meet the Dreamers
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Sources: Staff reports, Tracy Proctor; Video: Whitney Shefte; Reporting: Paul Schwartzman and Whitney Shefte; Design and Development: Kat Downs; Editing: Lynda Robinson; Production assistance: James Buck; Research: Jennifer Jenkins and Sylvia Carignan - The Washington Post. Published Dec. 18, 2011.
Two wealthy men set out to transform the lives of 59 fifth-graders.
Without a high school diploma, William Smith struggles to make ends meet for his family.
Were you one of the Seat Pleasant 59?
Tell us your story by emailing Post editor Lynda Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dreamers followed varied paths: A cop and a drug dealer. One killed herself; another killed his father. They also include a doctor, cellist, politician and UPS driver.