We’ve run programs in 28 states, plus Washington D.C. and New Zealand

Dreamers have participated since 1981



What the research says…
Over a dozen research studies and evaluations have been conducted of local "I Have A Dream" Programs since 1991.  Arete Corporation, a New York City based evaluation firm, prepared a summary of research (PDF) of eight of these studies. The research examined the impact of the "I Have A Dream" program on the lives of students and found that our Dreamers demonstrated improvements in grades and school attendance; were better able to resist peer pressure; and showed higher aspirations and more positive attitudes about school, life, and the future. 

Our Dreamers often graduate high school and enter college at more than double the rates of other students in the local population and significantly surpass the overall statewide average for students in their peer groups. 

White House Report On Promising Models Highlights "I Have A Dream" Foundation 
As part of a 2014 White House College Opportunity Summit, the Obama administration issued a report, "Increasing College Opportunity for Low Income Students: Promising Models and a Call to Action,"  examining major barriers facing low-income students, as well as interventions to improve college opportunity. The report examines, among other interventions, promising long-term, cohort-based models and highlights the "I Have A Dream" Foundation model and results on p. 33.

Pathways to Student Success: A Guide to Translating Good Intentions into Meaningful Impact
In its first philanthropic investment guide, University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy lists "I Have A Dream" as an "exemplar agent" among organizations making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged students. Visit CHIP's web site to request a free copy of the full report.

Broader Impact

Over the years, "I Have A Dream" has also inspired broader change through our supporters, who have gone on to launch or lead major education focused initiatives, and through the wide-scale replication of our model by organizations and initiatives such as the federal GEAR UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and Say Yes to Education.

Colleges Attended

Ever since the first “I Have A Dream” cohort completed college in 1991, Dreamers have graduated from colleges and universities across the United States and New Zealand. Click here for a list of their alma maters.

What our alumni say…

Life changing and altering in the best way possible.

– Constance Lopez, Oregon Class 3

The ‘I Have A Dream’ program has given me the opportunity to go to college and develop the skills and techniques necessary to succeed...and for that I am forever grateful!

– Keith McCormick, STEP Program

Our alumni continuously confirm that “I Have A Dream” has a tremendous impact on Dreamers’ lives.


Alumni Stories

Dreamers  have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve higher education and pursue fulfilling careers in teaching, law, social work, technology and more.

They continue to inspire us. Here are just a few of their stories.

Chanel Frazier
Title: Vice President, Corporate Tax
Employer: BlackRock
Education: Tax LL.M, New York University School of Law; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law; B.A., Dartmouth College

Chanel participated in the Bedford-Stuyvesant “I Have A Dream” program in Brooklyn, NY, and is the first alumna to join our National Board of Directors. She graduated from the "I Have A Dream" program in 1999, and through the assistance of the program was able to pursue her education at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.   > Read Chanel’s Story.

Juan D. Martinez, Esq.
Title: Political-Military Advisor, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, U.S. Department of State; Vice Consul, U.S. Consulate General, Mexico
Employer: U.S. Department of State 
Education: J.D. University of Pennsylvania; B.A. Swarthmore College

Juan had just delivered the valedictory speech at P.S. 121 the day Mr. Lang promised college tuition to his class, which would come to be known as the first group of Dreamers of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Juan went on to take full advantage of that promise when he graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1987 and continued his undergraduate education at Mr. Lang’s alma mater, Swarthmore College. > Read Juan’s Story.

Stay tuned for more alumni stories!