I Have a Dream Foundation

Provides at risk youth the education and enrichment to make it to and through college and find jobs

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2 Submitted Ideas

  • LEARN ·2016 Grants Challenge

    At Risk Youth Get Jobs in Local Communities

    To end intergenerational poverty, we train our high schools students how to secure a job abd how to be successful in that job. We partner with businesses and we pay for the students an internshipship

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    From Dream to Reality: IHADLA Will Help to Stop The Cycle of Poverty in Los Angeles 2050

    IHADLA sponsors entire grade levels of children from under-performing schools in low-income, crime-ridden areas of our city and provides them with the most long-term, comprehensive program of its kind in Los Angeles. Regardless of disability, all children are welcomed. The prime component of our program is academic achievement. For ten years, from third to twelfth grade, in both after-school and summer programs, our “Dreamers” receive math and language arts instruction that not only better prepares them for California Standardized Testing, but also assures that they have the academic foundation required to perform at an accredited four-year university. Parents/guardians are also provided with workshops on strategies that best prepare their child for academic success.

    To accompany academic instruction, IHADLA provides college and career preparedness programming, including college site visits, SAT Prep workshops, and monthly lectures by professionals from a wide variety of careers. IHADLA also provides a variety of cultural enrichment opportunities which include engaging, informative field trips, arts and music courses and community service. Our objective is to expose Dreamers to enriching experiences outside of their neighborhoods that will reinforce their desire to achieve.

    IHADLA is known as a “whole life” program because academic help, while crucial to success, does not guarantee the solid foundation needed to withstand negative external influences. Therefore, IHADLA partners with mental health providers to provide both group and individual counseling to any Dreamer that requires it. Dreamers also have mentors and tutors who act as positive adult role models and provide critical one-on-one time that most do not receive at home. Sex education is also an important part of our programming, as teen pregnancy remains a pervasive problem in the communities we serve. During their high school years, Dreamers participate in the “Baby, Think It Over” program, in which they are given life-like infant dolls that require round the clock attention, coupled with sex education materials provided by Planned Parenthood. As our students are with IHADLA for over ten years with the same staff, they consider IHADLA “like family”, and are open with them about the trials in their life and relationships. These factors combined have kept teen births in the program incredibly low throughout our 25 year history.

    Upon high school graduation, each Dreamer receives a college scholarship to the accredited university or trade school of their choice. IHADLA represents the most comprehensive, long-term program available for low-income children in Los Angeles County.

    IHADLA currently serves 297 students in four active program sites, which were chosen across Los Angeles to ensure that we are creating the most widespread impact possible. The numbers of children and adults positively affected by IHADLA is far greater than just the number of Dreamers, for our programs not only impact the students themselves, but their parents, siblings, peers and community members.

    The following statistics encapsulate the need of our newest class of Dreamers at 99th Street Elementary School in Watts. The data exemplifies the types of needs of our other current program sites in Inglewood and Boyle Heights have as well:

    •43% English Learner population.

    •97% percent are from severely economically disadvantaged homes, including many that live in government-subsidized housing (projects). The 99th Street Elementary school in Watts is a Title 1 school.

    •41% of the parents of Dreamers have not attained their GED; almost none have attended a single day of college.

    •A significant portion of these students are under the jurisdiction of the dependency court system in Los Angeles, meaning they are in a foster care, a group home, or live with a non-parental guardian.

    •Within the past six months, 263 violent crimes have been committed in the Watts community, an area of only two square miles. Gang activity is on high, and many of the parents in our programs are members themselves.

    IHADLA is unique, not only in its comprehensive nature and duration, but also due to its contract with each school district, giving IHADLA the ability to act as a powerful liaison between school district officials and parents, teachers, and school administrators alike.