MISSION, VISION & HISTORY
The “I Have A Dream” Foundation-New Jersey (IHDF-NJ) is a 501(c)(3) affiliate organization under the national “I Have A Dream” Foundation. We are the New Jersey program of the national “I Have A Dream” Foundation, which has operated over 200 programs since 1981 across twenty-eight states, Washington D.C. and New Zealand and that has served over 18,000 youth (called Dreamers) from K through career and often beyond. Our organization provides long-term support to youth and their families, living in under-resourced or under-served communities, to achieve their full potential. We promote, from an early age, values of higher education and career success. These opportunities are guaranteed through financial resources and other wraparound services. Our dream is a world where every child has equal access to the educational and career opportunities that will ignite their innate potential.
IHDF-NJ was founded in 2006 by brothers Jerome and Bernard Robinson and their friend Samuel Schwartz when they sponsored a group of kindergartners from the Burnett Street School and a group of first graders from the Warren Street School, both in Newark, NJ. Our original Newark, NJ Dreamers are now completing their first year in college or are preparing to graduate high school and enter college in the fall of 2019.
We are currently working with the Thirteenth Avenue/Dr. MLK Jr. School in Newark with the plan of launching our next cohort in 2020 with the incoming Kindergarten class. Click here to learn about our partnership with the Thirteenth Avenue/Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School.
Our Core Components
The entrepreneurial spirit of our founder, Mr. Eugene M. Lang, lives in all our programs. “I Have A Dream” programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of our Dreamers and their communities. However, eight core components define all “I Have A Dream” programs.
Long-Term: Consistent support from no later than third grade through college completion.
Individualized: Outcome-driven, grade level appropriate services & programming.
Community Focus: Opportunities for service learning.
Need Based: Focus on students from low-income communities.
Inclusive: Including all students in a class, grade, or school, regardless of ability or performance.
Mentorship: Consistent relationship with a supportive adult.
Family engagement, regardless of language barriers.
Guaranteed tuition support for college.