17 people who were 5th grade classmates. Six are parents, eight graduated from college, eight live in Danville, and one is married.

5th Grade Dreams is photographic documentation of Sunny Strader revisiting her fifth-grade classmates in their adult lives. In 2002, these students were selected for the Motivating Academically-Talented Students (MATS) program in Danville, Illinois. 

One purpose of the program was to inspire success in promising students with higher-than-average IQ levels by offering a more rigorous curriculum. 

Strader’s work challenges what that success looks like 15 years after exiting The MATS Program. She also seeks to reveal millennial nuances.

Strader lovingly accentuates themes of dreams chased and dreams deferred, meanwhile pinpointing socioeconomic factors as the ultimate determiner of an individual’s fate.

To support this project and its future Midwestern mini-tour, contact Sunny Strader at sunnystrader@gmail.com

Sunny Strader, (b. 1991 in Danville, Illinois) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured by Instagram, Aint-Bad Magazine, and The Strange Fire Collective. 

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