Deb Gordon’s guest was Melodi White, Managing Director of Data and Knowledge Management at “I Have A Dream” Foundation, the name of which was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous speech. The Foundation was started in 1981 by Eugene M. Lang` who actually attended the 1963 March on Washington, and makes a commitment to provide mentorship, educational and financial support to underserved, low income children from early school years to adulthood.
Ms. White discussed how the “I Have A Dream” Foundation’s program started out with the goal of ensuring that the “Dreamers” completed high school and entered college, but has been modified in recent years to help young people get the support they need throughout and after college. Ms. White provided details about the ways the programs are implemented in schools and housing developments, discussed some of the successes and positive outcomes experienced by those who have participated, and provided data about the high percentage of “Dreamers” who get into college and find fulfilling careers.
Also discussed were the Foundation’s annual Dreamers Conference which provides participants across the country the opportunity to meet, network and gain the skills they need to succeed; as well as their annual Dreamers Service Day which encourages community service and civic participation in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.