Our 2017-2018 fiscal year (which spanned June 30, 2017 – July 1, 2018) was jam-packed with enriching programs. This programming allows us to carry out our mission to provide individualized academic, emotional and experiential support to students in L.A.’s under-served communities from first grade through high school and transitioning into college. Below are highlights from our fiscal year.
New Year, New Leadership
In January, 2018, philanthropist and former entertainment pro, Pamela Miller, was named to lead IHADLA. In her role as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of IHADLA, Ms. Miller is in charge of operations and administration, fundraising and strategic oversight. Learn more.
Thanks to Edison International, we were able to provide a comprehensive STEM/STEAM programming during Fiscal Year 2017-18. Below are a few examples:
We partnered with the David Gordon Louis Daniel Foundation on STEM-focused programming to bring hands-on/minds-on science activities to the students in Boyle Heights during the summer of 2017. The Science Explorers program engaged students with exhilarating, high-interest explorations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas of study. Our Dreamer Scholars explored biology (human, insects, plants), Newtons Laws of Motion, the Science of Sound, Rockets, the Solar System and the Science of Air and Flight–along with engineering and design challenges.
This program was fully immersive. Science Explorers offered our students the opportunity to learn about the world around them by being hands-on—whether it was making, building or experimenting. All Science Explorer lessons aligned with state and national standards for elementary grades while fostering curiosity about each topic with a fun, student-focused approach. Learn more.
Our Watts Dreamer Scholars improved their academic skills during the four week summer 2017 program at Animo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School. Students focused on strengthening their the STEM skills. They also prepared for college by participating in workshops focused on requesting financial aid, applying for academic and sports scholarships, and writing personal essays for entrance applications. Learn more.
During the Fall of 2017, our Watts Dreamer Scholars had a hands-on activity where they made thermochromic slime as way to explore STEM concepts. This project allowed the students to see STEM concepts at work and experience how fun science projects can be. Learn more.
STEAM Programming in Boyle Heights
Our STEAM club, which is a club for our IEP Dreamer Scholars at Sunrise Elementary in Boyle Heights, provides lessons that combine STEM and the arts. During Fiscal Year 2017-2018, our Dreamers in the STEAM club learned about the concept of balance through “A Balancing Act,” a fun activity using robot cutouts that combined art and self-expression with STEM education. Learn more.
Part of our “whole-child” developmental model focuses on providing Dreamer Scholars with memorable experiences. Many of these programming events also have a STEM/STEAM focus. Below are a few highlights from the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
TechStyle Fashion Group Hosts STEAM Education Event
For the second year in a row, the TechStyle Fashion team hosted a STEAM-focused event for our Dreamer Scholars where they learned about how science and art intertwine in the fashion world. This event allowed our Dreamer Scholars with a chance to discuss future careers one-on-one with professionals in the STEAM field, while also learning how they can position themselves for careers in the industry. Learn more.
STEM Trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach
This enrichment trip enabled our Dreamer Scholars to learn about STEM and the importance of marine life while bonding with their peers and creating fun memories. The trip was packed with activities, and the students got to check out many of the aquarium’s areas, including exhibits focused on amphibians and sea jellies. They also had the opportunity to ask the Aquarium of the Pacific staff questions about all the animals they saw. Learn more.
Thanks to the LA Clippers Foundation, our Dreamer Scholars took a STEM enrichment trip to the Bay Area where they toured the Verizon Innovation Center and Airbnb headquarters. They also watched their hometown Clippers compete against the Golden State Warriors. This trip provided our students with valuable first-hand insight into STEM careers they can pursue. Learn more.
As part of their All Community Team program, Rams players and staff buy tickets to every game and donate them to non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles. Andrew Whitworth, offensive tackle for the Rams, generously selected IHADLA to receive tickets for the September 17th game between the Rams and Redskins! Learn more.
Thanks to the generosity of AEG and the STAPLES Center Foundation, our Dreamer Scholars were able to attend the September 3rd, 2017 game between the defending champion Sparks and the Connecticut Sun. It was the last regular season game for the Sparks, and the Dreamers cheered them on as they came away with the win! Learn more.
She Sessions: You are Enough
We took 12 of our Dreamer Scholars to a concert organized by Little Voices in December 2018. The event’s theme was “You Are Enough” in order to build self-esteem and confidence in the attendees. Denise and Kanija, two of our Dreamer Scholars, both exclaimed this was one of the best days of their lives and expressed gratitude for being able to attend. Every dreamer told us they were not only moved by this event, but also felt empowered. Learn more.
Boyle Heights Students Hear From Traveling Music Students
This past spring, students from the Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico performed for our Boyle Heights. These students were in town to perform at events around Los Angeles, and they found time to stop by the school and talk to our Dreamer Scholars about music, school, and even demonstrated how to use the instruments. Thank you Bosque School students and Joanna Hart for spending your time with us. And thank you to our board member, Christiane Cuse, for arranging this special treat! Learn more and listen to some of the music here.
This past Summer, our Inglewood High School Dreamer Scholars participated in a multi-week television workshop at Campbell Hall. For their final project, they produced an episode of a television reality show.
A special thank you to IHADLA Board members Darryl and Vanessa Frank for introducing our students to the people at Campbell Hall and making this incredible experience possible. Watch the show below!
A Successful Year for Our Seniors
There are a lot of metrics to gauge success. One clear metric for IHADLA is the graduation rate of our students. We’re thrilled to report that the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year resulted in very high marks!
Post-Secondary Education Prep
It’s never too soon to get our Dreamer Scholars to start thinking about college. The road to college graduation is long and difficult, especially for first-generation students and students from under-served neighborhoods. That’s why a focus of our programming entails preparing students and their family for the transition from high school into college.
Our Boyle Heights Dreamer Scholars dedicated a summer project to post-secondary prep. The class was divided into four teams, and each team chose a college that all members were interested in. The teams researched the college’s history, academic programs, admissions requirements, mascots, and sports. They also built models of their college’s campus using arts and crafts supplies.
The teams then presented their research and models to the rest of the class and competed for the titles of “Most Creative,” “Best Presentation,” “Best Team Effort,” and “Best Research.” Watch a snippet of one of the presentations below.
During the fall of 2017, we took our middle school Watts students on a trip to Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC) to attend college prep workshops hosted by Cash for College. Dreamer Scholars heard from experts who provided guidance on how to choose a college, a major and a career. They also heard from admissions professionals on how to craft an effective personal statement, how to make themselves more memorable during the admissions process, and best practices for navigating financial aid. Learn more.
As part of the event, Cash for College held a raffle offering several $1,000 scholarships for lucky students who were picked during the drawing. Congratulations to Jesus and Malekah, two of our Dreamer Scholars for winning scholarships!
College Prep Trip to Cal State Fullerton
Our Watts Dreamers also took a college-prep field trip to Cal State Fullerton (CSUF). This trip provided early exposure to a college campus so that the students can begin to visualize college as a real possibility for their futures. Learn more.
We also hosted the 15th annual “I Have A Dream” Foundation “Dream UP” (University Prep) Program at LMU (Loyola Marymount University) during our 2017-2018 Fiscal Year.
IHADLA is part of a national network of “I Have A Dream” foundations throughout the country. In the summer of 2017, more than 100 Dreamer Scholars from 8 states that make our the network participated in a college immersion program in L.A. This program offered a week of workshops, discussions, service learning, and team building opportunities. The participating Dreamer Scholars ranged from 7th grade to graduating seniors. Their activities were tailored to their specific grade and career path. As part of this experience, the students stayed in college dorms, ate in dining halls, took campus tours, and attended workshops taught by college professors. Learn more.
Personal Statement Help at College Prep Workshop
One of the college application sections that often makes students stress and fret is the personal statement section. For many students, the personal statement combines the stress of writing with the stress of communicating one’s life story in a limited space. The task of writing the statement can feel overwhelming, so in the fall of 2017, we provided our Dreamer Scholars with essay writing support. IHADLA was introduced to the workshop by CollegePath LA, and with their permission, we incorporated it into our college-prep programming.
“I wouldn’t get this experience anywhere else, so I am extremely grateful.”-Chinyere Osuigwe, Dreamer Scholar who attended the workshop
College Prep for Parents
An integral part of our success hinges on creating and maintaining strong partnerships with our students’ parents. This partnership is especially crucial during the transition from high school to college. Students can easily become overwhelmed during this transition, and parental support can make a big difference. During the fall of 2017, we held a workshop to promote parent engagement and help Dreamer Scholar parents effectively support their graduating seniors during the critical college transition period. Learn more.
As part of our programming, we offer each Dreamer Scholar in post-secondary education $8,000 per year, over the course of four years. Due to the significant amount of Dreamer Scholars attending college every year, these annual costs can often range up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Support Beyond College
IHADLA’s support of our students continues on through college and beyond. As such, we proudly hosted the 2nd Annual Alumni Reunion during the summer of 2017. Alumni from as far as Georgia travelled to Los Angeles to experience the three-day event at Loyola Marymount University, which was packed with workshops, inspiring keynote addresses and panels.
This year, the reunion overlapped with our 2017 Dream UP (University Prep) event, so the alumni had an opportunity to meet current middle, high school, and college IHADLA Dreamer Scholars. The alumni were thrilled to meet the current students, and advise and inspire the younger Dreamer Scholars.
“It was definitely a great experience interacting with Dreamers and alumni from different programs. It was like discovering and meeting your extended family and being welcomed with open arms.” – Luis Guerrero, Program 15 alumnus
“I am no longer scared of pursuing my higher education; I am ready to give it my all to fulfill my dreams.” – Sara Cruz, Program 15 alumna–
“A lot of people asked, what are you going to do with a math degree? I said I can do anything. Now I’m a software engineer. We are working on the next spacecraft to send people to Mars.” – Loan, #DreamUP17
Internships and Career Prep
A huge thank you to all the firms that provided internships!
- Westchester Family YMCA
- Genie Harrison Law Firm
- Children of Promise Schools
- Algebra Club Cool Kids Summer Bridge Program
- Contact Light Films
Viacom Staff Helped Students with Resumes & Cover Letters
Viacom’s “ViaCommunity Day” saw their staff dedicate a day in the spring of 2017 to our Dreamer Scholars in order to help with their cover letters and resumes. Everyone was having such a great time that the Viacom team offered to stay a little longer to spend time with our students! Learn more.
Instilling Importance of Community Service
Dreamer Scholars Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief
We seek to instill the importance of community service in our students. So when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, our Dreamer Scholars and IHADLA staff sprung into action to create handmade blankets for the people affected by the natural disaster. Donations were dropped off at the LA Chargers’ Food and Supply Drive, where they collected contributions to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Learn more.
When a massive earthquake hit Mexico City in the summer of 2017, our Watts students and staff collaborated with Ms. Diaz, a teacher at Animo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School, to put together a donation drive for the earthquake relief effort. Learn more.
Inglewood Dreamer Scholars Volunteer at the Food Bank
Our Inglewood students and staff dedicated a day in the fall of 2017 to the L.A. Food Bank. We were especially proud to see our Dreamer Scholars expand their impact and bring their friends to volunteer too! Learn more.
Volunteer Day at Villa Retirement Home
During the holiday season, our students worked to spread holiday cheer during a community service trip to the Westchester Villa Assisted Living Home in Inglewood. The students helped the residents create holiday decorations to make the Villas look cheerful and festive, while also spending quality time with them.
2017-2018 Financial Performance
The 2017-2018 Fiscal Year saw an uptick in key financial health indicators. We are excited to continue this upward trajectory under new leadership.