Monthly Archives: May 2012

National Dreamer Conference Volunteer/Sponsorship opportunities

The Des Moines “I Have A Dream” Foundation is excited to host the 11th annual National Dreamer Conference, which brings together students supported by “I Have A Dream” programs nationwide.

In July, more than 100 middle school and high school Dreamers from across the country will gather at Drake University to participate in three days of workshops focusing on college and career readiness.

Dreamers will interact with college professors, local professionals, current students, speakers, and program
alumni who have achieved their college goals, and engage in conversation about how to be successful in school and careers.

Students receive a reading list and come prepared to participate in seminars on college selection, career options, leadership, decision making, and public speaking. Dreamers leave having experienced life on a college campus. This time spent immersed in the college environment helps the students to envision their academic futures. They return home inspired and equipped with the tools needed to be personally successful.

We are currently seeking sponsors to help us present this fantastic opportunity to Dreamers, and highlight all Des Moines has to offer.

Individuals may also volunteer at the event, with registration/checkout on July 18 and 21, or a lunchtime “Career Bingo” networking event on Thursday, July 19, 2012.

Please contact Brianne Sanchez ( for Conference details on how you or your company can help!

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Thank you, Prairie Meadows!

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is a proud recipient of a 2012 Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant.

We joined hundreds of community nonprofit leaders and scholarship recipients at a luncheon last week. It’s so energizing to see everyone walking around with their oversized checks, catching up and connecting over the amazing work all of the organizations recognized are doing.

Executive Director Emily Hamilton (front left) and Project Manager Brianne Sanchez (front right), were joined by our newest Board Member, Grant Taylor, of JE Dunn Construction. Grant’s enthusiasm for the IHAD mission is boundless. We’re so lucky to have him on our Board!

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Meet Oakridge Project alumna Jenny

Dreamer Alumna: Oakridge Project, University of Iowa, Class of 2012

We’re proud of our successful Dreamer alumni who have gone on to pursue college and careers. Jenny shared how the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation (IHAD) impacted her academically and personally:

Without IHAD, I probably would not have had any idea what to expect after graduating from high school and all the world has to offer. Being a first generation college student, it was very helpful to have IHAD there by my side to guide me through the steps that I needed to take in order to make it to college so that I can further my education and do something with my life. I am finishing out the requirements for my bachelor’s degree in psychology along with some remaining courses for the pre-medical component of my studies at the University of Iowa.

IHAD was a life-changing experience that has helped shape who I am today. Thanks to the guidance, patience and support of the sponsors and project coordinators and everybody else who was involved, I am able to further my education and go after my dreams with 110% confidence in what I do. As a Dreamer, I loved going on trips and participating in outings that were both very educational and fun at the same time. Many good memories have stemmed from those times.

My advice for current Dreamers is to keep working hard in school and use the resources that are available to you — the Program Coordinator, mentors, sponsors, whoever! Just make sure to stay involved and never be afraid to ask questions. Lastly, remember to have fun! As a Dreamer, I loved going on trips and participating in outings that were both very educational and fun at the same time. Many good memories have stemmed from those times.

More than pancakes

This weekend, our Dreamer parents and families joined forces to put on the first annual IHAD Pancake breakfast, a benefit for Dreamer summer camp opportunities and programming.

From a fundraising standpoint, the event was a success, raising more than $1,300 and serving 208 guests who had a choice between plain and chocolate chip, and could add as many pancakes to their pile that they could eat. Bananas and delicious frozen fruit cups were served on the side.

More importantly, though, was the way everyone mobilized as a community to pull off the event. Dreamer mom Amanda McElvogue initially proposed the concept and rallied other parents to help seek raffle donations, work the kitchen and serve as cleanup crew.

The Dreamers took ownership of the event, working at the registration table and waitstaff. Amanda’s son, Daniel, definitely embraced the role of maître d’, seating and checking in on guests. We were so proud of how polite and helpful all of the students were.

This was a fantastic opportunity to connect the Dreamers with the community, practice their communication skills and showcase our organization. In the words of our Dreamers, “Let’s do it again next year!”

See more photos of the event on our Flickr. Thanks to all who joined us and donated, and to these generous sponsors:

Des Moines Area Hy-Vees

Save-A-Lot (SW 9th and Park Ave location)

Jordan Creek Wal-Mart

Fareway (Clive, IA location)

Fareway Grocery (SE 22nd Street location)

Target (Merle Hay Mall location)

Target (Southridge Mall location)

Target (Valley West Drive location)

An anonymous donor provided the pancakes and sausage

Bonus: Frozen Fruit Cup recipe (serves 16, multiply for large groups) 

Ingredients: 3 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 5 bananas, 20 oz. crushed pineapple, 12 oz. frozen orange juice, 22 oz. mandarin oranges (drained), 1 jar maraschino cherries, and 1/3 cup lemon juice.

Boil sugar and water until dissolved. Mix all other ingredients into sugar water and freeze in large casserole pans. Remove 30 minutes before serving.

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Be super! Participate in the Golden Circle Games supply drive

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is thrilled to be one of the recipients of the Golden Circle Games school supply drive, along with our friends at Children & Family Urban Ministries.

Golden Circle Games, which brings together co-workers from local companies to compete in an afternoon’s worth of wacky challenges, will be collecting the following at the gates of the Iowa State Fairgrounds in conjunction with the event:

  • 1 or 2 inch binders
  • Wide ruled loose leaf paper (150 sheets)
  • #2 Pencils
  • Pens (blue, black, red ink)
  • Boxes of tissues
  • Spiral notebooks (wide lined – red, blue, yellow, green, black)
  • 24 count colored pencils
  • Fiskar point tip scissors
  • Glue sticks

This year’s Golden Circle Games will be held on Wednesday, June 13th on the midway at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and all games will begin at 4:30 p.m. Presentation of awards will tentatively conclude by 9:00 p.m. The theme is superheros! Register your team today.

Can’t make it to the Golden Circle Games? You can always donate classroom items through our Amazon wish list!

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