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"I Have a Dream" Foundation — Los Angeles

Educational Nonprofit Igniting Resilience that Produces Brilliance.

Nonprofit

IHADLA’s program provides 12+ years of support to youth living in under-served communities to achieve their full potential, by promoting values of higher education and career success from first grade to and through college, with opportunity guaranteed through academic, professional and financial resources. This grant will allow us to continue helping students effectively navigate a pathway to an empowered future through the increase of our virtual program, breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and leading to increased student success.



Describe the mission of your organization.

IHADLA provides long-term support to youth living in under-resourced LA communities to achieve their full potential. Our vision is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through guaranteed access to academic, social-emotional and financial resources, leading to high-school graduation, college completion, and higher rates of employment.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • East LA
  • South LA
  • South Bay
  • Other:: Inglewood

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Our youth experience far greater odds of not completing high school than the state dropout average. Students that do not complete high school are four times more likely to be unemployed and over eight times more likely to be incarcerated than high school graduates. Even once they attend college, studies have shown that only 18% of Latino and 22% of Black LAUSD students complete college over 6 years. Additionally, the pandemic has had drastic consequences for our community. Almost a third of students’ parents have lost their jobs or have a reduced work schedule. Many are undocumented and not eligible for many resources; some are one-income households. Many students receive varying degrees of distance learning or do not have the technology necessary to engage. In 2020 Governor Newson projected “a $54 billion deficit and $19 billion less in Prop. 98 funding over two years for schools”, which, combined with other challenges, stands to increase our student’s learning losses exponentially.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

IHADLA’s program includes year-round virtual afterschool programming, & homework support. Students receive extracurricular enrichment, including STEAM workshops, virtual field trips, and wellness classes. We ensure college readiness by assisting with the application process and providing remote test prep, financial aid/scholarship support, and academic counseling. Students receive career exposure and guidance through our Dream Speaker and Mentor programs, where they build relationships and network with professionals. MSW interns conduct case management, therapy and mental health workshops. We provide monthly phone and video check-ins to support students’ transitions into college or career as well as two annual educational boot camps. These workshops instruct students on navigating campus issues and afford tools to manage stress, build community, and explore career opportunities and goodness of fit. Our approach is unique for its selection process, breadth of services and virtual implementation. When sponsoring a new program, we select an entire 1st grade class, no matter academic history, and students receive services even if they move out of the area. Our comprehensive approach promotes academic, emotional, and career development, supporting students’ overall prosperity. Finally, our use of virtual platforms follows COVID-19 protocol while maintaining our full range of programming, alleviating the impact of environmental, systemic and digital barriers to students’ success.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

350
Direct impact
1,386
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our short- and long-term visions for success involve growing our virtual offerings to mitigate new and preexisting digital and systemic impacts on our students’ futures and growing our population served. IHADLA is solidifying the remote formats of our mentor and internship programs as well as college application and financial aid workshops to bolster students’ pursuits of higher education and career. We intend to utilize online platforms for students to engage with mentors and professionals and receive hands-on experience in resume, personal statements and application writing. Success also includes our cohort of 11th graders remaining on-track to graduate high school, and with their graduation, the sponsorship of a new class of 1st graders. By continuously growing our offerings and numbers, IHADLA will increase underserved students’ chances of high school graduation, college completion, and personal goal attainment, thus leading to empowered communities wherever their services exist.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

IHADLA utilizes a comprehensive approach to measure success. Frontline staff continuously input data on each student’s participation, performance, and graduation rates to ensure academic success in real-time. Staff also provide case management to track goal attainment, community referrals such as mental health, and resource distribution. The Senior Director of Programs creates quarterly dashboard reports that include the data collected that the Board evaluates. We empower underserved students to pursue their academic and professional aspirations, and our program works: 98% of our Class of 2018 and 96% of the Class of 2019 graduated high school on time. 95% of college sophomores and 81% of freshmen, and over 95% of younger students continued through the 2020-2021 academic year. In 33 years, we’ve reached over 11 thousand people, evidence of our ripple effect; our students, often first-generation, provide new hope for their communities as peers and parents follow in their footsteps.

Which of the learn metrics will you impact?​

  • College graduates
  • College matriculation
  • High school graduation rates

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

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