“I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles Dreamer alumni are often inspired not only to succeed for themselves but to give back to others in their Los Angeles community. Elda Vallecillos Sawyer represents that type of accomplishment and generosity.
On June 6th at the national “I Have A Dream” Foundation’s Annual Spring Gala in New York City, our very own Elda Vallecillos Sawyer was awarded the “Spirit of the Dream” Award.
Elda has been with the IHADLA family since 1989, when she was sponsored as a Dreamer in Program 8. She later worked at the Executive Office and then became a Program Coordinator for Program 14 in Boyle Heights in 2001. In 2013, after Program 14 Dreamers graduated from high school, Elda became the Mentor and Volunteer Coordinator for all IHADLA Programs. In May 2015, Elda transitioned to become one of the two Program Coordinators for our newest Program 19 in Boyle Heights.
Elda continues to support IHADLA when she can. Her husband, Derrick, who was in the same IHADLA cohort (Program 8) as she was, remains very passionate about IHADLA’s work. Both have dedicated years of giving back to our organization, which they refer to as “their second home”. Their commitment and dedication to IHADLA has and continues to impact the lives of many Dreamers.
I have a Dream Foundation National praised Elda Vallecillos Sawyer saying, “Elda truly embodies what it means to be a Dreamer and a ‘Spirit of the Dream’ Award honoree, and continues to give back to her community through her work with underserved youth. We were humbled to hear Elda say, ‘I have a beautiful life thanks to I Have A Dream and their long-term commitment.'”
Our heartfelt congratulations to you, Elda! We are so proud and thrilled for you and your family for this prestigious and well-deserved award!
Elda has a starring role in our 30th anniversary video shown at our March Dream Dinner this year.
Would you like to give back to your Los Angeles community?