The education charity “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) Holiday Party for a Cause, sponsored by our Board of Directors, and graciously hosted once again by Laurie Zaks and Jeff Horn was held on December 3rd.
Our Board of Directors and their celebrity friends and colleagues were joined by our donor supporters and staff for a casual evening of mingling to acknowledge the work that we do at IHADLA and the impact that everyone has made to the lives of our students and their communities.
Later in the evening, Dreamers Evelin Villa, from Program 16 and Shawn Obeso from Program 19 presented short powerful speeches that shared how IHADLA has impacted their lives.
Evelin’s Speech at Holiday Party for Cause
“Act calm! THE POLICE!” That phrase. That phrase has, is, and will always make me shiver. That phrase has become part of me. That phrase is my identity. Good evening! My name is Evelin Villa. I am a 16 year old junior currently enrolled at Animo Leadership Charter High School. I am an undocumented student from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. I have been in the U.S. for about 10 years now. I arrived at the age of 6, in 2006. I started dreaming! The sky was my limit after being accepted into the “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles. I knew that being an undocumented student was and is a MAJOR obstacle in this country. I knew that my possibilities in being able to study here were limited. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation helped me obtain hope and kept on encouraging me to do my best throughout my schooling. Ever since 7th grade they have provided me with all the resources I have needed, both mental and physical. But this presidential election brought all of those dreams and aspiration down. I became worried as to what will happen with me, with my family. I started thinking that there was no use in having to have worked so hard academically in order to be able to finally obtain my DACA for it to just be taken away. But the I Have A Dream Foundation has helped me understand that this is not the end, it is the beginning of a new heavenly door opening up to us. The way you look at something has a major effect on it. Every single second I am part of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation is like another heavenly door opening up. Thanks to them I have been able to travel, learn about different adventurous places, different college campuses, and the immense opportunity to interact with and learn from many amazing personalities. I went from being a dunce, an irrelevant person to being the leader of M.E.Ch.A., being an activist, being ranked top 10 of my class, and being ranked first in my robotics class, of which only 10 are female and 20 are male. We are more than just a foundation, we are a family. Please help us keep moving forward to achieve our dreams and yours! Thank you.”
Shawn’s Speech at Laurie Zaks Holiday Party
“Hello, good evening, my name is Shawn Obeso. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation has had many impact on me. They have allowed me to experience many great opportunities, like allowing me to attend camps, visiting colleges and universities, yearly fun field trips, and attending fancy affairs like this one. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation has made me a better person. One example would be when I chose to collect bottles for a month and then I recycled them. The total amount raised from the sold bottles was about $18. I then decided to donate the $18 to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. To this day, I continue donating to the hospital for the children who really need it. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles inspired me to contribute to others, but also care for the environment. Another example would be when a boy named Jackson was suffering from a loss, but he still had the compassionate heart to give to others. This had an impact on me because this showed that no matter how bad a situation may be you will still have the heart to help others. The “I Have A Dream” Foundation has also supported me in so many other ways. They have encouraged me to do my best in everything I do. Some including classwork, homework and extracurricular activities, like soccer. Lastly, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation has allowed me to build close relationships with friends. I also appreciate the adults that have stuck with me since 3rd+ grade like Mr. Campos, Ms. Lupe, Ms. Kylia, Ms. Devra, Ms. Alvarado, Mr. Jeffrey, and many more.”
IHADLA Holiday Party Celebrity Attendees
Thank you to all who attended and contributed during and after the party! We would not be able to do this work without your generous support and charitable donations. A special thanks to Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Films for your ongoing support, and to all our Board of Directors.