2020 Strategy

Keeping you up-to-date on our 2020 strategy and the search for our next CEO. After our new CEO is hired, we look forward to developing our 2021-2025 strategic plan.

Passionate about impacting students from low-income communities in Boulder County?

We dream of a future where all children have the equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. For 30 years, the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County has come alongside students to help them reach their greatest potential.

Is this your dream as well?

Check out the CEO job description and submit an application, or pass it along to someone you think would be a great fit.

A Note From Lori

“After 23 years, I am excited to watch ‘I Have A Dream’ continue to grow and deepen its services in Boulder County. I am so proud of the staff we have in place here in Boulder and Weld Counties and am confident they will continue working alongside Dreamer Scholars and their families with the utmost integrity, evidence-based practices, and passion. This CEO role is an incredible opportunity for the right leader to build on ‘I Have A Dream’s’ powerful voice in the community, further leveraging its influence to promote an equitable and just future for the students we serve.”

Meet Our Interim Executive Director

Garett Brownlee Plantz

Garett Brownlee Plantz started her professional career as a Notre Dame Service AmeriCorps member with IHDF, going on to serve as its first Director of the College and Career department. She then taught in rural Ecuador and Chile, worked in collective impact in Mexico, and received her LMSW from the University of Texas at Austin. Before returning to “I Have A Dream,” Garett launched the Whole Cities Foundation of Whole Foods Market in Austin, along with supporting the Austin Independent School District as a school social worker and in the Office of Innovation and Development. She has served as Vice President of Programs at IHDF since 2016.


A Note From Board Co-Chairs Danica Powell and Kristen Solomon

After 23 years of dedicated service, our longtime leader, Lori Canova, retired at the end of February 2020.

Under Lori’s leadership, IHDF has experienced remarkable growth:

  • Served 1,100 Dreamer Scholars with 90% graduating from high school, 85% enrolling in college/vocational school, and 58% graduating from those postsecondary programs
  • Started 22 classes of Dreamer Scholars, 10 of which have already graduated
  • Increased revenue by over 5,000% (you read that correctly)—2019 was our strongest fundraising year yet
  • Distributed more than $3.5 million in scholarships to students
  • Proved that wraparound programming improves academic and social outcomes for Boulder County students from low-income communities

What’s next?

We are excited to share that we’ve begun the search for a new CEO who will build on Lori’s legacy to  guide the organization into its next 30 years of impact. We’ve hired Harvard Group International to lead our search and created an internal committee of Board members and staff to ensure we find the right  match for our needs. Please have a look at the CEO job description and send it along to anyone you know who might be a good fit.

In the meantime…

As noted above, Vice President of Programs Garett Brownlee Plantz will serve as Interim Executive Director during the recruitment process. Please see her background above.

In the interim, our Development team will be led by Katie Scolari Borden, Collaborative Grants and Partnership Director, and Danielle Staunton, Events & Corporate Director.

Travis Herbert serves as Senior Program Director of Secondary Programs and Wellness. Elena Mendoza serves as Senior Program Director of Primary Programs and Academics.

Elyana Funk, Senior Director of Culture and AmeriCorps, leads our Notre Dame AmeriCorps team. She joined IHDF as an AmeriCorps member in 2000, and was previously the Sanchez Class Program Director for 12 years before serving in her current role.

Carlos Lerma, a Dreamer Scholar alumni, is serving as our first Director of Parent Partnerships.

Carla Maniscalco is serving as Director of Volunteers.

Keelin McGill is serving as Director of College & Career.

As always, none of this would be possible without you. This remains no different: thanks to your support, students from low-income communities in Boulder County can discover and achieve their dreams and reach their immense potential. We are grateful for you.

With gratitude,

Danica Powell and Kristen Solomon
Board of Directors Co-Chairs

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