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"I Have A Dream" Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Crime & Legal-Related, Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The "I Have A Dream" Foundation works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education, fulfill their potential, and achieve their dreams. We empower children (“Dreamers”) in low-income communities to graduate from college by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in post-secondary school, along with tuition support to remove financial barriers. By helping our Dreamers gain access to college, we are putting them on a different academic and life trajectory, while having a broader impact on the students' families and the generations that follow. IHDF works with Dreamers after school, on the weekends, and over the summer for over ten years, developing long-term relationships with Dreamers and their families. We provide academic and socio-emotional support to Dreamers, equipping them with the confidence and life skills needed to pursue their most ambitious dreams.

Target demographics: Students

Geographic areas served: New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho, California

Programs: Dreamer & affiliate support - the "i have a dream" foundation provides guidance, resources, and technical assistance to 17 "i have a dream" affiliates across the nation, with the goal of ensuring that our 3,153 students, called "dreamers", graduate from high school prepared to enroll in and complete a postsecondary education. Our office works with affiliates to provide best practices, learning exchanges, and national convenings, as well as more targeted program support through site visits, phone consultations, and other technical assistance. In addition, the national office develops partnerships to provide resources to our dreamers and affiliates. The foundation sponsors an annual leadership development conference for middle and high school dreamers from across the united states. Each year we hold the dreamer conference on a college campus in different parts of the country.

program strategy & design - the "i have a dream" foundation is working to increase the organization's impact by constantly improving our efforts to support current affiliates. As part of this effort, the foundation conducted surveys to evaluate current programs' offerings across the affiliate network and provided resources to address areas that needed improvement. The foundation recently implemented our college savings account (csa) program with three affiliates (new york-metro, des moines, and oregon), with the goal of rolling out the program across the broader network. Csas have been shown to increase a student's college-going mindset and positively impact the college-going rate of children living in under-resourced communities. Ihdf's goals in creating csa's for dreamers include increasing the number of dreamers getting to and through college, and allowing the public to help support dreamers' college dreams by providing a safe and accessible investment vehicle.

data & performance management - the "i have a dream" foundation continues to build out a central repository of current and historical performance data across the "i have a dream" network in order to measure the organization's collective impact, drive continuous improvement efforts and resource allocation, and strengthen performance accountability.

marketing, communication & community engagement - the "i have a dream" foundation promotes the visibility, profile, and public engagement of "i have a dream" programs across the nation in their local communities, at the national level, and in the broader education reform movement. As part of this effort, the foundation manages the organization's national website, maintains a presence on social media outlets and promotes the organization with local and national media. In addition, the foundation leads the organization's participation in national coalitions aimed at advancing educational opportunity more broadly and provides opportunities for affiliates to engage locally on education and national service related issues.

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