Ravenswood II Program
Photo: Courtesy of I Have a Dream Foundation — New York

I Have a Dream Foundation — New York

The I Have a Dream Foundation — New York motivates and empowers children living in low-income communities to reach their educational and career potential. The organization does this by providing a long-term program of academic support with a 3:1 student-to-volunteer ratio along with mentoring and enrichment. College-bound students get support from the organization’s “last dollar” pledge which provides tuition assistance. The Elmezzi Foundation sponsors entire grades of students starting in first grade and going through college.


Nearly 90 percent of children in the I Have a Dream Foundation — New York graduate high school, compared to 65 percent of children city-wide. Seventy-two percent of Dreamers pursue post-secondary education, compared with 49 percent of children city-wide.


Saul Arvelo, the son of immigrants, grew up in the Ravenswood Houses in Astoria. He credits the constant support, advice and encouragement offered by the “I Have a Dream” family for his success. He graduated from Hofstra University and now works in the sales department at ABC Television. He aspires to become a network executive.