Making Dreams come true

It was by sheer chance that the ‘I have a Dream’ foundation came into existence. In the year 1981, when businessman Eugene Lang was invited to his childhood school to pep up the students, the message he wanted to convey in his speech was to ‘work hard, and achieve your dream’. But while moving to the podium for the address, the principle informed the businessman about the continuously rising drop out rates of the school. In his address, the businessmen came up with the idea of sponsoring 60 students till they complete their high school education and enabling them to enter college. The program turned out to be highly successful as the school saw 45 out of the 60 students finish their education with the financial support of the foundation.

Most of the sponsored students belonged to the low-income and high violence communities. It was found that only 50% of students in low-income communities are expected to finish high school and only one out of seven will graduate from college. The program was so successful that the dreamers or the adopted students have gone on to become teachers, social workers, secretaries, scholar-athletes, lawyers, and more.

With the success of the program in New York where it was initiated, it was adopted in other regions as well. The program was started in Dallas by Bill and the late Elaine Farrell in Sept 1986, after reading about it in the Sixty Minutes. The board members of IHAD-Dallas has many dignitaries including David Disiere of the Deep South Surplus of Texas, Helen M. Dorsey, Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc. James W. Loose Galloway-James Inc. and others. The number of students entering college has increased after the initiation of the program in Dallas.