$25,000 will support our College Boot-Camp, an immersive week-long college experience that prepares College students with the tools needed to be successful in their first semester. Twenty-five employees each pledging $39 per pay period (26 pay periods total) can easily make this happen!
'I Have A Dream' Foundation®
Today, 51% of students in U.S. public schools—over 25 Million children—live in poverty. Many of the impacts of poverty—like access to healthy foods, school attendance, and stability at home—are immediate and stretch across generations. Only 9% of students from low-income families earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to 77% of their high income peers. And 65% of children whose parents have no more than a high school diploma go on to live in poverty.
Since 1981, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation has worked in entire classes or schools to offer individualized, long-term social, emotional, financial, and academic support to over 18,000 children from as early as kindergarten all the way through college. Once given access to this individualized support, and the opportunity it provides, our students—who we call Dreamers—are over 3 times more likely to graduate college than their low-income peers. That’s about an additional $1 Million Dollars in lifetime earnings per Dreamer.
"I Have A Dream" Foundation's Unique Approach
Our concept—giving every child access to the opportunity a college education provides—is simple, but our methods are high-touch and long-term. Here are some of the methods that set us apart and help us to make a lasting impact:
Long- term. We follow the same group of children from elementary school all the way through college, providing a comprehensive program of support along the way.
Inclusive. We do not "cherry-pick" students–rather, we welcome all children who are in the class or school at the time of program inception. Our staff members work closely with Dreamers, families, and service providers to manage special needs on a case-by-case basis.
Comprehensive. While we are dedicated to promoting Dreamers' academic success, we focus just as intently on building life skills and fostering students’ ongoing social-emotional development.
We accomplish this work on a large scale—with over 200 programs to date—but through a highly individualized approach. Here are some of the programs we offer to Dreamers nationally in addition to our day-to-day services:
“Work Is Success” Internship Program. After a full interview process and a series of work readiness trainings, Dreamers gain experience with top small businesses, corporations, law & medical offices, higher ed institutions and government agencies, with a 6-10 week paid summer internship.
Dream UP (University Prep). Each year, middle and high school Dreamers from across the nation come to a college campus to engage in a number of activities aimed at college readiness. The Dreamers live in college dorms, eat in the dining hall and attend workshops in college classrooms. For many of our Dreamers, attending Dream UP is their first experience traveling out of state, and with their peers.
College Savings Accounts. Through our College Savings Account (CSA) Program, Dreamers earn CSA contributions by completing critical, grade-based academic and social milestones on the path to and through college. Our CSAs reinforce a culture of college from a young age, provide families and Dreamers with financial literacy education, and offset the costs of college tuition and supplies. Low-income students with up to $500 in college savings are 3x more likely to enroll in college and 4x more likely to graduate.