What is the Dream Big Initiative?: A Cradle-to-Career Approach
The Dream Big Initiative is a collaborative of Boulder County nonprofits, the local school district, government agencies, businesses, and other community organizations all working together toward the same goal: to ensure all Boulder County youth and their families are provided the academic, social, and emotional resources needed to succeed. The collaborative is expanding the successful “I Have a Dream” model to develop a streamlined approach to serve more of the county's low-income youth with deepened wrap-around services from Cradle-to-Career.
We're Dreaming Big, with the following Vision:
To “increase Boulder’s collective commitment to eliminate the opportunity and achievement gaps” so that “by 2040, all children in Boulder County are succeeding academically and reaching their full potential.”
All Partners listed above have invested financially in the collaborative, as well as:
City of Boulder Human Services Fund
Colorado's Department of Higher Education, Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI)
Front Range Community College
Nonprofit Cultivation Center
The Millennium Trust, Community Foundation Serving Boulder County
United Way Foothills Impact Initiatives Fund
University of Colorado
The Dream Big Initiative began meeting in 2014, when "I Have a Dream" Foundation of Boulder County, Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), and the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) began discussing the idea of deepening their partnership into a larger, more intentional collaborative. They received a grant from the Nonprofit Cultivation Center to explore this further. The goal of this collaborative was to serve more children through “I Have a Dream” and to address the achievement and opportunity gap (building on the efforts of the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County’s School Readiness Initiative’s Community Action Plan for Early Learning). Since then, the partners expanded to include additional stakeholders, meet monthly and have established a structure for the collaborative, including a Steering Committee of community leaders led by Lori Canova, CEO/President of "I Have a Dream," and Rene Brodeur, Director of Operations at Boulder Housing Partners. The collaborative has established workgroups and a “cradle to career” pipeline; and in 2017 the Dream Big Initiative is focusing on formalizing its shared measurements, additional strategies and expansion priorities.
K-12: Starting in 1st grade, "I Have a Dream's" student support program provides 12-16 years of academic, social, and emotional support to low-income youth (Dreamers) and their parents to and through college or post-secondary education, in both school settings (Dreamer Academies) and housing sites (Bringing School Home).
02.08.2017- 'I Have a Dream' dedicating Lafayette's Sanchez Elementary's new La Vista class, Daily Camera
06.18.2016 - I Have a Dream, CU-Boulder give high schoolers head start on college, Daily Camera
04.30.2016 - Boulder High seniors celebrate 'college signing day', Daily Camera
03.21.2016 - I Have a Dream high school students attend CU internship bootcamp, Daily Camera
12.13.2015 - First round of grants approved for local scholarships across Colorado, The Denver Post
06.26.2015 - High school students experience college with 'I Have a Dream' program, UC News Center
06.19.2015 - 'I Have a Dream', CU-Boulder partner on pre-collegiate summer program, Boulder Daily Camera