“I Have A Dream” Model - Our Keys to Success

Long-term Commitment

Parent and Caregiver Involvement

College and Career Support

Scholarship

Mentorship

Choosing a Class Cohort

Unique Funding Model

Once a Dreamer Scholar, Always a Dreamer Scholar Philosophy

Long-term Commitment

IHDF works with each individual student from first grade through high school graduation, and then into their post-secondary program. Each student attends after-school and summer programming for 10-12 of their elementary, middle, and high school years. Students receive academic, socio-emotional and life-skills support.

Parent and Caregiver Involvement

Parent and caregiver meetings, home visits, and support during parent-teacher conferences allows our staff to help parents and caregivers advocate for their child. Parent/Caregiver Leadership Councils help increase parent and caregiver involvement and lead certain programming.

College and Career Support

Youth are told from day one that a post-secondary education is not only an option for them, but an expectation. IHDF ensures youth are prepared to meet with this expectation with college tours, paid internships, job shadows, and more. Students receive individualized support through the post-secondary application process.

Scholarship

IHDF provides each Dreamer Scholar with up to $10,000 in last-dollar tuition scholarship funds towards a post-secondary education of their choice. IHDF also has secured additional scholarship funding so that its Dreamer Scholars and youth at its partner sites can potentially attend college or post-secondary education programs debt free.

Mentorship

IHDF’s goal is to pair each youth one-on-one with a mentor. These mentors are vetted and commit to spending at least one year meeting with their mentee twice a month. Our pairing is strong as our Program Directors, who typically spend all 10 years with the youth, are part of the pairing process, as are the youth’s parents and caregivers. Our mentors’ terms with a single youth is an average of 2.2 years.

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Choosing a Class Cohort

IHDF works with the local school districts and housing authorities to pinpoint the school or housing community that is most in need — determined by the number of low-income children and the resources (or lack there of) present for those youth. IHDF then launches a class cohort of 50-60 youth around the same age, committing to them for over a decade. Siblings and friends of Dreamer Scholars are invited to attend programming.

Unique Funding Model

IHDF has a unique funding model, and does not launch a class cohort until each Dreamer Scholar is “sponsored” by a community member or business. This guarantees them 10-12 years of after-school and summer programming, as well as a scholarship for their post-secondary education.

Once a Dreamer Scholar, Always a Dreamer Scholar Philosophy

If a student leaves the school or housing site and moves to a different location, IHDF does not abandon them. As long as the student (or student’s parents) keep in touch and set up a plan with their program director, IHDF is able to offer students connections to tutors and other supports, and they will still be eligible to receive their post-secondary scholarship. If a student does decide to leave the program, another student attending programming (often a sibling or classmate) is given the scholarship commitment.

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