Janell Lewis currently serves as the Executive Director of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation-Los Angeles (IHADLA). She is responsible for the development, operations, and oversight of IHADLA programs and staff. She also holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Southern California (USC), with an emphasis in Community Organization, Planning, and Administration (COPA), and serves as Field Instructor to USC MSW interns that provide direct support to the nonprofit’s students and families.
Before joining IHADLA’s executive team, Janell held years of experience effectively managing teams and programs within education and mental health amongst diverse populations. Distinctively, she has facilitated comprehensive clinical and academic support for students in elementary through post-secondary education, including work with elderly adults. Her work has demonstrated a centralized theme of supporting individuals, organizations, and communities. Janell’s personal mission is to educate on the systemic barriers that impact the underserved while empowering community members to optimize growth and ignite resilience to ensure all have access and the tools necessary to maximize their full potential.
Most recently, the COVID-19 crisis has presented challenges that Janell has helped innovatively address by forming more community partnerships, systematizing online communication, prioritizing mental health support, and finding new avenues to secure program resources. She has strived daily to assure that the basic needs and the academic, emotional and social needs of all members of the IHADLA community are addressed during this very trying time of job loss, illness, and uncertainty.