For 17 years, I Have a Dream has helped over 950 Kiwi kids transform their lives, futures, and communities.
It started with four powerful words: “I have a dream.” Since 2003, I Have a Dream has put those words into action here in New Zealand, exemplifying Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of equality. We are empowering Kiwi kids – Dreamers – to navigate their own path to academic and life success.
Based on the work of the I Have a Dream Foundation, which was started in the US in 1981 and has served 18,000 youth in over 200 programmes, our evidence-based, whole-child approach focuses on providing kids with access to the resources they need to succeed, along with consistent, caring adults – Navigators – to guide and support them.
I Have a Dream began in New Zealand in 2003 with a group of 53 children – the entire Year 4 cohort – at the Decile 1A Wesley Primary School in Mt Roskill, Auckland. By picking up this US model and adapting it to the New Zealand context, it was a stunning success. In 2012, 38% of these Dreamers achieved University Entrance, compared to 7% of their non-Dreamer peers, and 80% of Dreamers entered tertiary study, compared to 30% of their non-Dreamer peers. This pilot project proved that the I Have a Dream philosophy and approach could be successfully used in Aotearoa to affect positive generational change.
In 2016, we expanded to four Dream Partner schools in the Tikipunga and Otangarei communities of Whangārei, and by 2025, I Have a Dream will work with over 1,000 Kiwi kids in these communities. We know that significant social change is possible. Our long-term intention is to shape educational and social policy and to provide positive, effective interventions for Kiwi kids nationwide.
Click on the image below to go to the I Have a Dream website.