Start An “I Have A Dream” Affiliate

Over the course of our 39 year history, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation (“I Have A Dream”) has impacted 20,000 young people (Dreamer Scholars) and their communities around the country and world. But our work is not done! As we approach our 40th anniversary in 2021, we see a tremendous need to expand our program in more cities to many more young people. In fact, our goal is to actively serve 10,000 Dreamer Scholars by the year 2030.

We work in areas where the need is greatest, and we work with a whole class, school or housing community—in other words, we do not “cherry pick” based on grades or ability: the only criteria is low-income status (being eligible for free and reduced lunch or qualifying for low-income housing). Yet with 51% of students in U.S. public schools considered “low income”—that’s 25 million students—we are working hard to reach even more communities. 

There are a number of benefits to starting an “I Have A Dream” affiliate in your city.  Being part of our robust national “I Have A Dream” affiliate network will connect you to a broad range of partnerships and resources and provides you with a wide range of expertise and best practices.  We have all of the tools you will need to launch and operate a successful, sustainable “I Have A Dream” affiliate in your area.  We’ll help you develop and coach your Expansion Committee/Board, identify funding and partnerships, hire and coach an Executive Director, train new program staff, and support you with data collection and analysis.  While our goal is consistency and quality throughout our national network, we encourage innovation, and celebrate that each affiliate reflects each individual community and their specific needs.  Our committed national network of peers and national staff will support you throughout your journey, and will welcome you to the “I Have A Dream” family – our TEAM DREAM! 

If you are interested in starting an “I Have A Dream” affiliate in your city as a Financial Supporter, Board Member, Executive Director, or Program Director please contact us for more information – we will be glad to help you determine if “I Have A Dream” is the right program for your community.

Where we are & where we're going

View the map below to see the states with the lowest median household incomes, and new program sites that are in progress. As you can see, there are still many communities that need our support. Contact Lori Canova, our Chief Growth Officer, at to discuss how you can join our national network with nearly 40 years of experience to expand to your city.

= current "I Have A Dream" programs

= new program sites in progress


  • “To be a dreamer is to have fun, get help when you need it, like writing and reading, and be yourself.”

    -Essence, 4th Grade Dreamer

  • “To not get overwhelmed a lot, I come to Dreamers events to catch a break, change gears, and focus on something else. I clear my head in order to keep working at achieving my goal.”

    -Stephanie, 10th Grade Dreamer

  • "Being a Dreamer means the world. It means any opportunity in my reach, I can reach it thanks to 'I Have A Dream.'"

    -Harleigh, Dreamer

  • "Being a Dreamer means to me that I have a freedom to pursue my own goals and reach beyond college, and have a successful career afterwards."

    -Beau, College Dreamer

  • Contact Us

    To learn more about the process for starting a program, contact Lori Canova, our Chief Growth Officer, at
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