Meet Our Dreamers
These students (“Dreamer Scholars”) are examples of the youth from underserved communities that “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA) helps and whom you can help through mentoring.
Amber Brown, an 11th grader, studied and played volleyball at Century Community Charter School (CCCS) in Inglewood. She says the “I Have a Dream” program has always been there for her. Amber says that when she misses her dad, who is in the Navy, or when she is struggling in school, the members of IHADLA are always there to comfort her. She remembers times when Chaznae, her program coordinator, noticed she was upset and helped her deal with tough family problems. Amber hopes to attend either Howard University or USC and aspires to be either a singer or a therapist.
Joseph Alex, an 11th grader, ran track and played football on an undefeated Pop Warner team. Joseph says IHADLA has really helped him grow as a person. He says he used to be angry and cocky, but “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles helped him work through that. He has improved academically and enjoys science and theatre. Joseph hopes to attend either USC or Oregon State, where he will study hard and play on the football team.
Jaiden Noralez is an 8th grader at 99th Street Elementary School in Watts. He likes that IHADLA helps him get good grades and that they bring people to his school to talk about college and education. He has one 6-year-old brother, whom he tries to help with school. “Sometimes on Sundays, I teach him addition and subtraction, and sometimes I read a book to him,” says Jaiden. He is looking forward to attending college when he grows up.
Gladis Alvarenga is an 8th grader at 99th Street Elementary School. She loves doing her schoolwork and loves when IHADLA helps her with homework during the after-school program. Gladis plans to attend college and be an artist or a zookeeper one day.
Eddie Hernandez is an alumnus of “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles Program 15 in Pasadena. He is currently a senior at California State University Dominguez Hills, where he studies business and is also the vice president of the Male Success Alliance, a campus organization that strives to lower college male dropout rates. Eddie also works two jobs while attending school full time. One of those jobs is tutoring junior high students at a middle school in South Central Los Angeles. He loves being like an older brother to these students and encouraging them to go to college. Eddie also tries to set an example for his younger brothers and cousins as the first one in his extended family to attend college. He is extremely grateful for the support of Raquel Alvarado, his program coordinator (Raquel is now the program coordinator for our new program in Watts!), and says IHADLA has played a big part in his life. Eddie feels strongly about “giving back” and hopes to work with “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles in the future.
Emani Powell is an 11th grader who recently was promoted from CCCS in Inglewood. According to Emani, “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles has helped her to grow and to overcome difficulties at school. She says IHADLA helped her improve her grades in elementary school and increase her reading comprehension. Emani says she talks to Chaznae, her program coordinator, about more than just schoolwork; she talks to her about everything, and says, “she’s like a second mom.” Emani hopes to attend UC Berkeley and wants to be a pediatrician because she enjoys working with kids.
Briniya Head has been with IHADLA since 1st grade and says that she and her fellow Dreamers are like family. She says “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles taught her to stay strong and stand up for herself. Briniya has also improved academically and says IHADLA helps her study and get better grades in classes where she is struggling. Briniya is passionate about writing and wrote an article that was published while she attended Daniel Freeman Elementary. Briniya hopes to attend Howard University and wants to become a lawyer.