Alumni Classes

Since its inception in 1990, the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County has graduated seven classes of Dreamers. The Boulder Class sponsored by Bob and Diane Greenlee from the San Juan del Centro housing development as third through fifth graders in 1990, doubled the expected graduation rate of known Dreamers from this group, and 86 percent of those graduates went on to post-secondary education.

"I Have a Dream's" first Lafayette Class was comprised of 79 Dreamers in the fourth grade who qualified for the free and reduced lunch program. This class was sponsored by Dianne Ladd, Bruce Holland, and Edie Ortega and consisted of Dreamers from three elementary schools—Ryan, Pioneer, and Lafayette. Ninety-one percent of the known Dreamers from this group graduated in 2000, and 87 percent of those graduates have gone on to post-secondary education.

The Kalmia Class sponsored by Midge Korczak was "I Have a Dream's" first collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners (City of Boulder Housing Authority) and the University of Colorado. The Kalmia Dreamers were adopted from three of the City of Boulder’s low-income housing sites—Kalmia, Iris Hawthorne, and the Diagonal—when they were in third through fifth grades. Ninety percent of the Kalmia Dreamers graduated in 2007, and 96 percent continued on to post-secondary education.

With assistance from a Department of Education GEAR Up grant, the Broadway Class was sponsored in 1999 in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners, the Boulder Valley School District, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Coming from three low-income public housing sites—Broadway, Kalmia, and Iris Hawthorne—these Dreamers ranged from third through sixth grade when they were sponsored. In 2009, 90 percent of the Broadway Dreamers graduated high school, and 86 percent went on to some form of post-secondary education. Franciso Meijas, current program director for the Iris Class, was their program director.

The Pioneer Class was sponsored by the Lilly Foundation in 2001 in collaboration with the Boulder Valley School District. This class consisted of 45 Dreamers in second grade who qualified for the free and reduced lunch program at Pioneer Elementary. Of these Dreamers, 90 percent graduated in 2011 and 81 percent have continued on to college or vocational school.

The Sanchez Class, another school-based program created in collaboration with the Boulder Valley School District, began in 2002 with 53 second graders at Sanchez Elementary School in Lafayette, and of those Dreamers, 90 percent graduated from high school or earned their GED and 94 percent are attending post-secondary education.

The Columbine Class, sponsored by Catherine Ray, began at Columbine Elementary School in the St. Vrain Valley School District (Longmont) with 50 second grade Dreamers. In 2012, 90 percent of these students will graduate from high school and 96 percent have plans to attend post-secondary education.

The Casa Dreamer Class served 53 children who lived in the Casa de la Esperanza low-income housing site in Longmont. This housing site-based class was sponsored by Debra Lane & Steve Szabo and in partnership with the Boulder County Housing Authority and the St. Vrain Valley School District in 2000. Since the Dreamers were different ages when they were sponsored, the last of the Casa Class graduated in 2014; of theCasa Dreamers who received 5+ years of programming, 98% graduating high school.

Most of the Dreamers from the Iris Class have graduated high school! Currently 12 Dreamers are still in after-school programming and the last of the class are set to graduate in 2018.