“Dreams do not come true just because you dream them,” says Shonda Rhimes in her book Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. “It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” Rhimes is known for producing the popular TV series Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton, among others, and she recently signed a $100 million deal with Netflix. Given her many successes, it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about dreaming big, and making those dreams come true.

Women who dared to dream big

Rhimes is one of many successful women who have had grand ambitions and seen them through. Accomplished Canadian author Margaret Atwood has published dozens of works, ranging from poetry to award-winning novels throughout her career. In 2019, she received the rare Companion of Honour award for her services in literature from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in English literature from Radcliffe College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she studied hard to learn her craft.

But it’s not only writers and producers who can go on to achieve great things. Look at American biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier in 2020, for their pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing. With a PhD from Harvard Medical School, Doudna has spent the majority of her career uncovering the structure of RNA. Another famous scientist, Roberta Bondar, was the first Canadian woman and first neurologist in space. She not only earned a PhD in neurobiology, but is also a Doctor of Medicine. Her accomplishments in space medicine and commitment to the environment led her to be promoted from an Officer to a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2019.

Or how about chef Clare Smyth, the first and only female chef in the UK to hold three Michelin stars (a massively big deal in the restaurant world). A right-hand to the incomparable Gordan Ramsay for eight years, she opened her first solo restaurant in London in 2017 to rave reviews from critics and patrons alike.

Raising children to be successful

Esther Wojcicki knows a thing or two about raising children to be the best versions of themselves. Journalist, teacher and author of How to Raise Successful People, Wojcicki has three daughters, two of which are CEOs (only of, you know, YouTube and 23andMe), and the third, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California. “Watching my daughters navigate the world with grit and integrity has been one of the greatest rewards of my life,” she writes. As you can imagine, parents are constantly asking her for advice (hence the book).

She believes raising capable, successful people is all about implementing these five fundamental values: trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness. For example, nurturing your child’s unique gift to the world is one way you’re respecting them. “It’s supporting them as they identify and pursue their own goals,” she explains. 

We believe in the power of education

Like all the women above demonstrate, education has the power to change you and change the world—for the better. Bondar wouldn’t have been able to make it to outer space without getting a degree (let’s be real, she needed more than one!); and Smyth might have had a much harder time succeeding in Ramsay’s kitchen without her culinary school training to arm her with the fundamentals.

At CST Spark, we salute Wojcicki’s approach to parenting. Raising successful children requires nurturing, and giving them the tools to reach for the stars (Michelin stars, in some cases!). What are their interests? What gets them excited? What is a strength they might not yet have noticed in themselves? Being a parent also means allowing your child to be exactly who they are. Let them try and fail. Try and succeed. Doing so nurtures their future. “You are the parent your child needs, and with your trust and respect, your child will become exactly the person they are meant to be,” says Wojcicki.

With nurturing comes planning for their futures

There’s no arguing about the importance of education, but the reality is the cost is only going up, which is why at CST Spark, we’re passionate about helping you save for your child’s future and making it as easy as possible. Did you know you can open an RESP in as few as five minutes and with as little as $10 a month or a single contribution of $500, all without stepping outside? We rebalance your RESP automatically as your child ages with one goal in mind: to help you pay for your child’s post-secondary education and help them follow their dreams—wherever their dreams take them (who knows, it could be Mars).

Education is more important than it’s ever been

The world is changing every day along with the jobs that will be in demand for your child, 10 or 20 years from now. This is thanks to advancements in technology, particularly artificial intelligence. AI isn’t just going to impact the job market, but how students learn as well. With all of these things in mind, education is arguably going to be even more important tomorrow than it is today, which is why we recommend setting your little dreamer up with an RESP as soon as you can. 

With passion comes hard work

Echoing the sentiment of Rhimes, author John C. Maxwell, known for his books on leadership, says, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” Meaning, even if we have a passion for a topic or discipline—be it sports or film—work is so necessary to make those dreams come true. Even so, it shouldn’t stop us from following what drives us; instead, it should inspire us not to give up on our wildest dreams.

Maybe your tot says he wants to fly to space one day or your teen is working hard in chemistry because she wants to cure cancer. Whatever that dream is, it all starts with education and that’s where we come in. We’ll get you set up with a CST Spark RESP - the smart, simple way to save for your child’s post-secondary education. What are you waiting for? Get started now!


CST Spark Education Portfolios is only sold by Prospectus. Copies may be obtained from www.cstspark.ca or by calling 1 (800) 461 7100. 

C.S.T. Spark Inc. is the distributor and manager of the CST Spark Education Portfolios.

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