Dreaming for 25 years

Young Dreamers at work. (courtesy image)

I Have A Dream Foundation celebrates milestone

Happy 25th anniversary to a local organization that has made a tremendously positive impact on our youth and overall community.

The “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County educates low-income youth and prepares them for the future. The organization’s 25-year milestone commemorates a rich history of community accomplishments and inspirational stories.

“We want to thank the community, the thousands of caring individuals, community leaders, and local organizations
that have made the last quarter of a century possible,” says Lori Canova, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “They partnered with us to make a difference because they realized that far too many of our youth were at risk of dropping out of school and lacked equal opportunity to pursue and complete higher education. Their support has been invaluable, and we look forward to what we can achieve together in the next 25 years.”

“I Have a Dream” is on a mission to empower all children from low-income communities to succeed in school, college, and career by providing a long-term intervention program of mentoring, tutoring, and cultural enrichment. Upon graduation from high school, each Dreamer scholar (low-income youth) is eligible to receive up to $10,000 to use for college or vocational school. The organization’s track record speaks for itself:


  • Provided services to 780 low-income youth and their families since 1990, reaching 3,000 individuals.
  • Dramatically increased graduation rates of low-income students, with over 90% of Dreamer scholars graduating from high school compared to 50-70% of their peers.
  • Achieved an 85% rate of Dreamers entering college or vocational school, more than double that of low income graduates nationwide
  • Helped Dreamers complete post-secondary education at a rate three times higher than their peers.
  • Awarded more than $2 million in post-secondary scholarships to our 175 graduates.
  • Trained and hosted 281 AmeriCorps members since 1998, creating future leaders and educators in our community.
  • Seen a reduction in crime and vandalism reports by 50% in public housing neighborhoods where the foundation has been present and provided services, according to statistics from the local housing authority.

BoulderSource is pleased to make the “I Have a Dream” Foundation our Featured Friend for November. Since 1990, the award-winning “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County has helped hundreds of low-income children graduate high school and achieve their education and career goals by providing long-term personal and academic support, tutoring, mentoring, and $10,000 in scholarships to each graduating student. The program follows the national model established in New York in 1981 by founder Eugene Lang. The organization opens learning centers in low-income housing sites or schools, and works with multiple classes of 50 to 80 elementary school students and their families “to and through” high school graduation and college. “I Have a Dream” Boulder County has served 780 children, with services reaching their families to impact more than 3,000 individuals, doubling expected graduation rates for those in its program, and awarding more than $2 million in scholarships to date. Currently there are seven active “I Have a Dream” classes in Boulder County: specifically in Boulder, Lafayette, and Longmont.