IHADLA Hosts National Dream UP University Prep Program at LMU

During the week of July 11th, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) proudly hosted the 15th annual “I Have A Dream” Foundation “Dream UP” (University Prep) Program at LMU (Loyola Marymount University). Over 100 students (“Dreamer scholars”) from 8 states participated in the college immersion program this year, which offered a week of workshops, discussions, service learning, and team building opportunities. The participating Dreamer scholars were from a range of grade levels (from 7th grade to entering college in the fall), and their activities were tailored to their specific grade and career path. As part of this experience, the Dreamer scholars also had to opportunity to stay in college dorms, eat in dining halls, take campus tours, and participate in workshops taught by college professors.

Dreamers at IHADLA Dream UP University Prep Program at Loyola
Dreamer scholars listening to a presenter during a Dream UP 2017 workshop

The college immersion program provided Dreamer scholars the opportunity to grow academically, socially, and personally through a variety of academic and social workshops. In the academic workshops, the Dreamer scholars prepared for the college admission process by learning about writing personal statements, interviewing effectively, and advocating for themselves in a college environment. Several workshops also addressed key life skills topics, such as how to open and manage a savings account. Meanwhile, the personal growth workshops addressed topics such as campus involvement, global citizenship, and staying connected while away at college. In these workshops, the Dreamer scholars expanded their social awareness and learned about opportunities to become active citizens. These workshops were supplemented with discussions and film screenings focused on civil rights issues relevant to many Dreamer scholars’ communities, as well as community service activities with partners such as the Downtown Women’s Center.

IHADLA Loyola Marymount College Prep Program Dream UP
Dreamer scholars and IHADLA CEO Debra Fine listen to a presentation on the Downtown Women’s Center during the Dream UP program

In addition to these University prep workshops and discussions, the Dreamer scholars also went on fun field trips to notable Los Angeles spots during the program, including trips to the Griffith Observatory and USC. These trips gave the Dreamer scholars a chance to have fun and unwind while bonding with their peers.

Dreamers Hollywood Sign IHADLA Dream UP University Prep Program
Dreamer scholars on their field trip to the Griffith Observatory during the Dream UP program

After participating in the activity-packed college immersion program, the Dreamer scholars returned home empowered and ready to tackle the college admissions process and pursue their dreams of higher education. We look forward to seeing them continue to grow academically and personally as they continue on their path to and through college.

IHADLA Staff and Dreamers Group Shot at Dream Up 17
Group shot of IHADLA staff and Dreamer scholars at Dream UP 17

A huge thank you to LMU for letting us use their facilities, and a special thank you to Henry Ward, Director of Intercultural Affairs at Loyola Marymount University, who was also IHADLA’s first program coordinator! We greatly appreciate everything Mr. Ward has done for IHADLA.

Alumni Dreamer scholars Participate in Panel for Middle and High School Students

This year, Dream UP overlapped with our 2017 Alumni Reunion, so the Dreamer scholars had a very special opportunity to interact with alumni Dreamer scholars. The program even included a panel with the alumni, who advised the middle and high school Dreamer scholars on how to successfully transition into college and succeed in their studies. Some of their most powerful and important reflections and pieces of advice for the younger Dreamer scholars are listed below. For more information on the reunion, please check out our 2017 Alumni Reunion post.

IHADLA University Prep Program Dream UP Alumni Panelists
Alumni Panelists Nachary, Andy, Cee’Asia, and Harleigh at Dream UP 2017. Picture courtesy of IHDF.
IHADLA College Prep Program Dream UP Alumni Panelists
Dreamer scholars listening to alumni panelists during Dream UP. Picture courtesy of IHDF.

All of us have some kind of struggle in our lives we have to bounce back from…a college education is a step up from that.” ~ Harleigh

Andy on the value of a college education: “It’s not about a piece of paper…it’s more about opening doors.”

“The people you meet on a college campus really open doors for you—not just in your career, but mindset” ~ Nachary

“Once you graduate, your world just opens—the choices you make are yours.” ~ Harleigh

“Education to me means opportunity & growth” ~ Nachary

“To be honest, ‘I Have A Dream’ taught me way more about college than my high school did.”

“I chose to go to college but many of my friends did not. Even a year ahead, I can see that difference in our lives.” ~ Harleigh

On her ‘I Have A Dream’ program: “The best thing they do is listen…they’re always there to talk about anything.” ~ Nachary

“You have to get to college, AND get THROUGH college!” ~ Harleigh

“I had my parents…but I also had my program directors who would call every time my report card came in.” ~ Cee’Asia

“If I didn’t have ‘I Have A Dream’ I don’t know where I would be honestly” ~ Harleigh

Advice on college: “ask a lot of questions- they’ll open a lot of doors” ~ Andy

“If you don’t have good social emotional health, college is going to be really hard.” ~ Nachary

“We’re all Dreamers and we have to support each other in every way” ~ Nachary

A #protip from Harleigh on preparing for college during high school: “Treat applying to college as if it’s another class”

“You have to really use your resources” ~ Cee’Asia on preparing for college in high school

More Photos from Dream UP 2017

Henry Ward was “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles’s first program coordinator. He had some words of advice for Dreamer scholars at Dream UP 17: “Whatever you do, be the best at it. If you’re a hat maker, be the best hat maker out there.” “Dream Big: you can be whatever it is you want to be, but it is going to take work and discipline.” “Never give up on your dreams.” And he says, “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles’ will always have a place in my heart.”

Henry Ward, IHADLA's first Program Coordinator, speaking during the Dream UP 17 Conference opening
Henry Ward, Director of Intercultural Affairs at Loyola Marymount University and IHADLA’s first program coordinator, speaking during the Dream UP 17 conference opening
Evelyn, our IHADLA Dreamer, welcomes high school Dreamers from around the country at the Dream UP conference opening
Evelyn, our IHADLA Dreamer scholar, welcomes high school Dreamer scholarss from around the country at the Dream Up conference opening
Debra Fine, CEO IHADLA opening the Dream Up conference
Debra Fine, IHADLA CEO, opening the Dream Up conference
I Have A Dream Foundation Dreamer audience at Dream Up conference opening
Dreamer scholar audience at Dream Up conference opening

Janell Lewis, Program Manager IHADLA with Nadia and Marvin from national IHDF IHADLA Progam Manager Janell Lewis with IHDF Manager of event/donor relations Nadira Saunders and IHDF Director of Dreamer Programs Marvin Cabrera

IHADLA Guadalupe (Lupe) Camberos, Program Coordinator and Kylia Lewis, Program Assistant with Watts Program 18 Dreamers
Program Coordinator Guadalupe (Lupe) Camberos and Program Assistant Kylia Lewis with Watts Program 18 Dreamers
IHADLA University Prep Wall Project
Dream UP wall project
IHADLA College Prep Program Dream UP Dreamer Field Trip
Dreamer scholars walking during Dream UP field trip
IHADLA College Prep Program Dream UP Dreamers at Griffith Park
Program Coordinator Kylia Lewis and Dreamer scholars having fun during their trip to Griffith Observatory
IHADLA Dreamers Dream UP Field Trip to Hollywood
Dreamer scholars walking during their trip to Hollywood
IHADLA University Prep Program Dream UP Workshop
Dreamer scholars and Program coordinators Kylia Lewis and Guadalupe (Lupe) Camberos during a Dream UP workshop