The “I Have A Dream” Foundation-Los Angeles (IHADLA) is thrilled to announce that Janell Lewis has assumed the role of Executive Director. Janell most recently led the organization as Interim Executive Director.
Janell is exceptionally qualified to lead IHADLA. Having joined the organization seven years ago, she was Director of Programs for six years, and has been Interim Executive Director since October of last year.
During this time, Janell has been fully enmeshed in all of IHADLA’s work. Among many other things, she has made a myriad of innovative program improvements, has formed new community partnerships, and worked to secure resources for the Dreamers and the organization at large.
Janell holds a Master of Social Work degree from USC, with an emphasis in Community Organization, Planning, and Administration. Her personal mission is to support individuals, empowering them with the tools, opportunities and resilience to be their best selves. Her aim is to recognize barriers to success, and address the academic, emotional, and social issues that impact our students and their families. Acknowledging the enormous toll the COVID-19 pandemic exacted on our communities, she led the organization to also provide emergency support for basic needs this last year and a half.
Truly a “relationship” person, Janell’s background in psychosocial education benefits IHADLA enormously, as Janell is skilled in crisis intervention and in working to ameliorate the effects of trauma. During her tenure she has used her skills in high stakes situations to help solve complex interpersonal problems, and has increased the availability and accessibility of mental health for both Dreamer Scholars and staff.
IHADLA’s Board of Directors is confident Janell’s creativity, experience, and passion will ensure IHADLA’s future success, as she overseas fundraising and strategic planning, and all operations and administration.
Chaznae Walker will take over as Director of Programs at IHADLA. A graduate of Whittier College, where she majored in Political Science and played varsity basketball, Chaznae has been a Program Coordinator with the organization for 15 years. She has planned and implemented after-school programming, college visits, and overseen case management of three classes of Inglewood Dreamers over the course of her tenure. Her students have a 98% high school graduation rate. Chaznae’s long history working with IHADLA’s Dreamer Scholars, and her deep understanding of the array of challenges our students face make her the perfect person to now lead in a Program Director role.