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What & How

What we do.

With CIHAD Dreamer classes now starting in 2nd grade, our Dreamers are with us for 12 years. Such a time- and resource-intensive program means the number of at-risk youth we are able to help is limited. But their opportunities to succeed are limitless.

That’s because every Dreamer class benefits from an unparalleled depth of year-round academic and life-centered programs and services. They also have access to a wealth of caring, committed adults who guide them along the way including full-time class program directors and CIHAD staff, volunteers, participating teachers and schools, families, community groups and, of course, the Dreamer class Sponsors.

Working in concert, they strive to help the Dreamers graduate high school, rise above their desperate situations and become successful, productive adults.

How we do it.

Unlike many organizations, CIHAD does not accept applications to join the Dreamer program.

We work closely with our financial sponsors to select each Dreamer class – typically an entire class from a low-performing, high-poverty elementary school or a multi-age group from a public housing project. Our staff and volunteers provide each class with a range of support and services starting in 2nd grade and continuing through high school graduation. The same program director is assigned to stay with the same group of Dreamers throughout their time in the program.

This continuity builds trust, not only with the Dreamers, but also with their families. Not being part of the school or the government helps considerably.

Perhaps most importantly, we become advocates for our Dreamers and empower them to make smart decisions that will lead them away from The Edge to a better, brighter future.