Volunteer Los Angeles Opportunities

April is National Volunteer Month. What better way to give back to the Los Angeles community than to become involved with the I Have a Dream Foundation – Los Angeles (IHADLA)! We have a variety of volunteer opportunities with at-risk youth. There are different commitment levels if you are interested in becoming involved with the Foundation, such as reading with the Dreamers, going on field trips, and tutoring.

IHADLA is always seeking mentors and volunteers to assist and guide our student Dreamers toward bright, successful futures. We are also looking for individuals who would like to share their personal story or career path, or just teach the Dreamers something interesting through our Dream Speaker series.

Dream Speaker

Every month, from October through April, the “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles presents Dream Speakers to our various groups of Dreamers. Dream Speakers do a brief presentation about their own profession, tell stories about their career paths, speak about the importance of education, share life lessons, impart words of advice, etc.

If you are interested in contributing to our at-risk youth in Los Angeles, this is a great way to volunteer and get to know the Dreamers. Each Dream Speaker session lasts for about an hour. You can present to our 3rd graders in Boyle Heights, 6th grade Dreamers in Watts (2 locations), and/or our high school student Dreamers in Inglewood.

If interested, please submit an application or contact our office for more information (213) 572-0175.

Wilmer Valerrama dream speaker Boyle Heights IHADLA
Wilmer Valderrama came and presented to our 3rd grade Dreamers in Boyle Heights as a Dream Speaker!
Dreamer Boyle Heights IHADLA Wilmer Valderrama
Our Dreamers listening intently as Wilmer gives his Dream Speaker presentation!


IHADLA loves having volunteers come out to our program sites and get to know our Dreamers in a hands-on way. General volunteers are needed to: help during our after-school programs, assist students at Saturday Academy, tutor Dreamers in different subjects, read to our Dreamers, chaperone fun-filled field trips, and assist with our enrichment programs. We are especially in need of tutors who are willing to help our high school Dreamers with math and science at their Saturday Academy. General volunteers can help IHADLA as often as they would like. One of our long-time volunteers, Ms. Ann, has been involved with our Inglewood team for many years. She recently helped chaperone their Northern California College Tour and had a blast with the Dreamers!

For those who are looking to do something once or twice a month, coming out to our after-school programs and helping students with homework and enrichment programs is a great option. The Dreamers love having guests assist them in the classroom! Our 3rd graders in Boyle Heights and 6th graders in Watts partake in after-school program Monday – Friday from 3:30 – 6:00 PM.

Please contact Janell Lewis (Program Manager) at janell@ihadla.org if you are interested in volunteering at IHADLA’s Program Sites.

volunteer Los Angeles IHADLA LA Regional Food Bank
Domonique, volunteer Ms. Ann, Kalilah, Malekah, and Emily stand in front of the bread bin they helped clean out for our MLK Day of Serivce in January.
IHADLA Saturday Academy Black History Month
An IHADLA volunteer assists Sammy with his homework at IHADLA’s Saturday Academy.


Mentoring is so important to a child, and it’s fun! We have seen how mentoring changes the lives of both the mentors and the mentees, our Dreamers. We would love for every single one of our Dreamers to have an amazing mentor to simply live life with them.

Not only is being a mentor rewarding, but it is easy and fun. A mentor is asked to meet with their mentees a minimum of twice a month for the first three months and once a month thereafter. They should also keep in touch once a week via telephone, text, or internet. Typical mentor outings include going to the beach, checking out a free concert in the park, seeing a movie, baking cookies, or playing a game of catch. IHADLA also organizes large group outings in which mentees and mentors can participate together.

Please contact Janell Lewis at janell@ihadla.org if you are interested in beginning your journey as a mentor!

Boyle Heights IHADLA p14 Mentor and Mentee men
Boyle Heights IHADLA Program 14 Mentor and Mentee, Jason. Jason is currently in his 2nd year of college and is looking to transfer to a local CSU.

How You Can Help I Have a Dream Foundation Los Angeles