I Have A Dream” Oregon

Portland, OR

“I Have A Dream Oregon” empowers students from low-income communities to thrive in school, college, and career. 

In the past ten years, the number of low-income students in Portland region schools grew ten times faster than overall enrollment. Building on success with 10 Dreamer Classes — including doubling or better Dreamer high school graduation rates — in 2010 “I Have a Dream” Oregon created the nation’s first Dreamer School.

100% of Dreamer School students receive free or reduced-price lunch.  They speak more than 27 languages.  And, at any given time, 20% or more lack a permanent address.  Our ambition is that 100% of these Dreamers graduate from high school and 80% complete post-secondary education.

Working with more than 75 partners and 600 volunteers, we bring whatever it takes to empower Dreamers in Pre-K through post-secondary education, including mentors, academic and social supports, and services helping them overcome poverty-related barriers to academic achievement.

Our approach works. According to the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Oregon, every $1 invested in Dreamers reaps $12 for students and society.  And in recent statewide tests Dreamer students improved proficiency in reading and math three times faster than their peers.