“I Have A Dream” Foundation Receives Outpouring of Donations in Memory of Nine Year Old Tommaso Cerase

We are humbled to share that the “I Have A Dream” Foundation has received more than $30,000 in donations in memory of Tommaso Cerase. Tommaso was just nine years old when he died in September in a tragic accident during a soccer training camp in Manhattan.

Tommy, as he was known to family and friends, was an avid soccer fan, budding artist, and loving son and brother. Tommy’s friends remember him as fun, social, and always generous in sharing his skills – like his talent for soccer – by teaching others. He was also interested in equal access to education and selected this topic for a school project that he titled, “Equal education for all.” To honor Tommy’s interest in education equality, his family chose the “I Have A Dream” Foundation as the recipient of donations from anyone wishing to give in Tommy’s memory.

Over the past weeks, 150 people donated to honor Tommy, and many donors expressed the importance of carrying on Tommy’s passion for educational equity. One donor said of Tommy, “[He] knew despite his young age that education makes a difference and is the single most impactful driver to give kids a chance to realize their full potential.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why we remain focused on providing Dreamers from some of the most economically disenfranchised communities with the same opportunities, resources and support as are available to higher income students. In the 36 years since our founding, our Dreamers have gone on to attend over 1,000 higher learning institutions and become diplomats, accountants, social workers, doctors, and actors, among many other careers.

“We are very grateful to the Cerase family for the generous response we have received from Tommy’s family and friends in support of our work,” says Eugena Oh, President and CEO of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. “It is devastating that this generosity arose from such tragic circumstances, but we hope Tommy’s loved ones can find comfort in knowing that this caring and special boy’s legacy will live on as we continue our work promoting equal access to educational opportunities for every child. Thanks to these gifts, we will be able to provide support to even more young people so they may realize their full potential.”