The "I Have A Dream" Foundation’s work is grounded on the belief that, given equal access to resources, all children can realize their innate potential and achieve their dreams. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation is a team of dedicated individuals who educate and empower youth. From the first day of kindergarten to the first day of a fulfilling career, our proven method helps every child — regardless of age, ethnicity, or tax bracket — fulfill his or her dreams both in and outside of the classroom.
We work with Dreamer Scholars every day at school, on the weekends, and over the summer for 12-16 years, developing long-term relationships with students and their families. We provide hands-on mentorship along with academic and social-emotional support to equip Dreamers with the resources, confidence and life skills needed to pursue their most ambitious goals.
What Makes "I Have A Dream" Different?
There are currently thousands of organizations doing great work to serve children in under-resourced communities. Many of them are our partners! Whether you're deciding where to devote volunteer hours or send your charitable giving dollars, we believe these are the principles that have set "I Have A Dream" apart for more than 40 years:
Kindergarten to Career
We’re in it for the long run—school days, weekends, and summers—providing long-term support and helping young people shape their futures.
Inclusivity over Exclusivity
"I Have A Dream" programs are made available to all students in a class or cohort, regardless of previous academic performance or attendance.
We know the barriers to achievement are complex. Our dedicated staff members help students meet challenges both in and outside the classroom.
For more than 40 years, "I Have A Dream" affiliates have worked tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of children — and we have the numbers to prove it.
Our unique wraparound services engage Dreamers, their families, and their communities to ensure success in school and in life.
Academic Enrichment & Support
Programming designed to support the love of learning, promote academic success and strengthen the connection to school. Our staff and our tutoring teams (certified teachers, AmeriCorps members, community volunteers and peer tutors) provide 1:1 and small group tutoring in all subjects, support test preparation, and help with homework completion.
Early Literacy Intervention
In-School & After-School Tutoring
Leadership & Civic Engagement
Programming designed to promote and encourage community engagement and civic leadership. Dreamers work on service-learning projects as a way to give back. They learn about individual and community needs and how they can help and support others. They gain new skills and develop a sense of belonging and responsibility that comes with being part of a larger community. This program provides service-learning opportunities for Dreamers to cultivate a culture of giving back through National Service Days: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day & Global Youth Service Day
Dreamer Service Learning
Family Partnership & Engagement
Programming designed to establish strong partnerships and trusting relationships with Dreamer families. Family programming promotes interest and understanding about Dreamers educational experiences, post-secondary education, community enrichment and other IHDF opportunities. We work with families to include them in the process so we can work as partners in helping students thrive.
Mentoring & Support Networks
Programming designed to guarantee to Dreamers that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Dreamers are matched with long-term, reliable, supportive, and caring adults who provide individualized guidance and connection and serve as positive role models. "I Have A Dream" program staff also develop long-term consistent relationships with each Dreamer to help them advocate and navigate their journey from “first grade to first job/kindergarten to career”. Each Dreamer Cohort of 50-60 students is assigned one full-time Program Director who develops long-term, trusting, 1-1 personalized relationships with the Dreamer Scholars and their parents/caregivers. Program Directors coordinate partnerships within the schools and housing communities they serve, aligning programming partnerships with our students and their parents.
Inspire the Dream Mentoring Program
Intensive Case Management & Partnership Coordination
Post-Secondary and Workplace Readiness
Programming designed to support the development of passion and a path toward career and work-place options and higher education starting in elementary school. Dreamers learn about post-secondary opportunities, visit colleges, and enjoy immersive experiences. Students receive test preparation and financial literacy education, FAFSA and college application support, and engage with staff and community partners to chart a path to reach their postsecondary and career aspirations. Dreamers gain workplace readiness skills through professionalism workshops, career counseling, job tours and paid internships.
Dream UP Conference
Great Expectations Initiative/Opportunity Network Career Fluency Curriculum
Summer Internship Program
Post-Secondary Scholarships & Financial Resources
Upon high school graduation, Dreamers receive tuition scholarship support to ensure financial circumstances are not barriers to obtaining a college degree or post-secondary certification.
Tuition Assistance Scholarships
Socio-Emotional & Life Skills
Programming designed to help acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and healthy decisions. Dreamers take part in workshops, small group sessions and 1:1 discussions to address issues such as stress management, life balance, health and wellness and peer pressure.
Dreamer Character Traits
Building Wellness and/or Life-Skills Training Program
Dreamer Critical Needs Program