The Colorado "I Have a Dream" Foundation (CIHAD) was established in 1988. CIHAD is a long-term academic and social mentorship program for youth who live in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and/or attend under performing schools in Metro Denver. At the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, we believe that every child deserves a quality education and every child has a fundamental right to reach his/hers highest potential. Over the last 30 years, CIHAD has developed and fine-tuned a 10-year "hands-on cohort model" for our participants we affectionately call Dreamers. The CIHAD foundation has impacted the lives of 990 Dreamers through; mentoring, academic enrichment services, social-emotional supports, global cultural exploration activities, experiential learning, community service projects, internship and corporate networking experiences, collegiate coaching and tuition assistance for higher education. CIHAD boasts Dreamer high school graduation rates that are double or triple the projections for comparable socio-economic youth in their neighborhoods. Approximately 90% of our Dreamers graduate from high school. Dreamers are eligible for a post-secondary scholarship and about 68% of our Dreamers have accessed the post-secondary scholarship and are pursuing a college degree or vocational school.
Our ongoing services follows a child from kindergarten, through college into career. We foster the dreams of our children and work together with their families and schools to make this dream a reality.
Become a Dream Maker today with a gift of $2500 that sponsors 1 Dreamer for an entire year of programs and services! Or, consider giving a gift of any size that will help impact the lives of our Dreamers.
In 1981, Eugene Lang, a wealthy New York philanthropist, returned to his former elementary school in Harlem to speak at a sixth grade graduation ceremony. He knew many of the young graduates faced a difficult future. He didn't fully understand just how difficult, until, as he walked to the podium, the principal noted that only 25% of the students he was about to speak to would ever graduate from high school. Stunned, Lang tossed out his prepared speech and instead made an impromptu pledge to provide college tuition to each of the sixth graders who graduated from high school. The philanthropist later expanded his offer to also provide the students with a range of comprehensive support services. The experiment paid off; six years later, 90% of the students in that first sixth grade class graduated from high school.
News of this remarkable story soon spread across the country. One of those who heard about the project was Chris Romer, (son of Colorado's then-governor, Roy Romer). Chris, realizing that a similar program could help address Denver's student dropout problems, helped establish CIHAD in 1988.
"CIHAD is always there, you help me when no one else will. You push me to be successful." - Chantel Ramirez, Denver Active 20/30 Class of 2006
"In retrospect, the lessons I learned from Colorado I Have a Dream have been instrumental in my success during my childhood and beyond. They are values I will transcend to my mentees, friends and family. The Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation changed my life for the better and I am thankful and proud to be an alumnus of such program that holds all its dreamers to the highest standards." - Omolayo Dada, Rocky Mountain Class of '09