Executive Director of “I Have A Dream” Foundation Transitions to Volunteer Sponsor Role for Children in Watts

Los Angeles – May 16, 2014: After serving for over two-and-a half years as Executive Director of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA), Katy Garretson will transition to a volunteer role with the foundation. She will serve as a Sponsor to the foundation’s 70 4th graders in Watts, a group of students, “Dreamers,” she helped usher into IHADLA in fall, 2012.

As a Sponsor, Garretson will volunteer with Dreamers, and will work with staff, the Program Committee of the Board of Directors, and the new Executive Director to support the IHADLA program of academic and cultural enrichment.

Grant F. Little, III, Chairman of the Board, said, “We all respect Katy’s decision; she did an outstanding job of reinvigorating and expanding the foundation. We look forward to working with her in her new role, and to welcoming a new Executive Director who will continue to expand the foundation’s impact in the LA community.”

During her tenure as Executive Director, Garretson put in place a new administrative infrastructure, created and instituted the Dream Speakers Series, successfully transitioned the annual event to a dinner and doubled grant and donation income each year. Garretson served the foundation as a volunteer and mentor for six years prior to her being Executive Director, and has requested a move back to a volunteer role.

“I will always be passionate about the mission of IHADLA, and will continue my support through volunteer service to the foundation,” said Garretson. “I’m proud of the work we have done in the past two-plus years, and know that the new Executive Director, along with the Board of Directors, will propel “I Have a Dream” to even greater success.”

The Board has formed a search committee and enlisted the firm Decision Toolbox to find a new Executive Director who will continue the mission of the IHADLA. They are excited about the prospect of working with a new Executive Director in building on IHADLA’s current foundation. Garretson generously agreed to assist the Search Committee in finding her successor.


The “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles has been sponsoring students, “Dreamers,” throughout Los Angeles since 1987. The Foundation sponsors an entire grade at an inner-city, Title 1 elementary school, and stays with those students for over ten years, providing after-school and summer programs, academic and cultural enrichment, counseling services, arts instruction, mentors and tutors. Upon high school graduation, IHADLA then provides each Dreamer a last-dollar scholarship for college or career training. www.ihadla.org

There are currently four active IHADLA program sites: fourth graders in Watts, seventh and eighth graders in Inglewood, and high school seniors/college freshman in East Los Angeles. IHADLA also serves over 1,000 Dreamer Graduates via alumni support and/or scholarships.

Media Contacts:

Katy Garretson
Executive Director, IHADLA
T: (213) 572-0175

Rebekah Valencia
Communications Manager, IHADLA
T: (213) 572-0175

Executive Search:
Valerie Flash
Decision Toolbox
T: (562) 377-5641