Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteers needed: Career Bingo

We are excited that our National Dreamer Conference is just a few weeks away! We have several volunteer opportunities available, including a fun networking practice activity that should be easy for professionals to participate in over lunch.

“Career Bingo”
When: Thursday, July 19, Noon-1:15 p.m.
Location: Hubbell Dining Hall, Drake University

Help Dreamers practice networking skills by participating as a professional in our “Career Bingo” game. Eat lunch and mingle with the teens, sharing some stories from your own college and career journey. The students will try to meet professionals with experiences that match descriptions from a “Bingo” sheet. Don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Note: Please plan to pay for your own lunch, which should run about $7.50.
Free parking is available in the Olmsted lot on University Avenue, just east of 31st Street.

RSVP: If you are able to volunteer, please contact the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation by reaching Brianne Sanchez: or 271-1974.

About the Conference:

The Des Moines “I Have A Dream” Foundation is proud to host the 11th annual National Dreamer Conference, which brings together students supported by “I Have A Dream” programs nationwide. 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 Dreamer alumni who have achieved their college goals, and engage in conversation about how to achieve their dreams.
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


One month until our Sweet Dreams event!

The RSVPs to our annual Sweet Dreams event are rolling in and we couldn’t be more excited!

Special thanks to Ephemera Design and to Universal Printing for contributing design and printing support for these gorgeous invitations:


The April 25 event will go toward our goal of fully funding the 2018 Dreamer Class.

Sweet Dreams was envisioned by a group of women as an inspired opportunity to blend friendship and philanthropy. We call the generous community of women who donate through Sweet Dreams “Dream Makers,” because their contribution goes directly to fulfilling our promise to pay for each of our Dreamers post-secondary educational endeavors.

Would you like to attend the 2012 Sweet Dreams event? Contact the IHAD office for more information about how to join the Dream Maker women.

Happy Pi Day!

We love celebrating March 14 (3.14) as Pi Day!


Image via the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NCTM Illuminations. (There are lots of Pi Day graphics on the site!)

How will you celebrate? It’s easy to find all sorts of Pi Day ideas online. Maybe next year we’ll have to throw a Pi Day bake sale fundraiser for IHAD! 


Have any of you ever read “Sir Cumference and the Knights of the Round Table“? It’s a story that has fun with math.

Conferences take place tonight and tomorrow at Callanan Middle School, so we’re looking forward to seeing our Dreamer families.

Meet Sarah, our AmeriCorps VISTA member

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation values the service of our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Sarah Myren. Sarah is working with IHAD for one year on projects that will help us better organize and track our volunteers and volunteer data, and she has been instrumental in planning the 2012 National Dreamer Conference, which will be held in Des Moines in July.

Sarah helps out at the Dreamer Family holiday party

Read more about Sarah and AmeriCorps:

What made you decide to join AmeriCorps VISTA?

I fell in love with service and non-profit work during my undergrad years at Simpson college through service trips and internships. I met many prior VISTAs who were able to gain experience working at non-profits that ultimately led to full-time positions and I knew this would be a great way to gain that experience while learning more about the Des Moines community. It worked out that a great opportunity opened up at Children and Family Urban Ministries the fall after I graduated and when the IHAD position opened up, it was a way to work in another non-profit focused on education but learn slightly different skills along the way.

What book inspires you?

The Noticer by Andy Andrews is probably one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read. It’s about how perspective can have an incredible impact on a person’s life and the importance of taking a step back from a situation to look at it from a different perspective. I think if we all took the time to see something from a different perspective, there would be more understanding and positive growth in the world.

Are you involved in any networking organizations for nonprofit professionals, or other community groups?

I’ve been participating in DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) for the past year. It’s a group of non-profit professionals who work with volunteers and we meet monthly to network and grow professionally through workshops. I’m hoping to participate in a new networking group for young non-profit professionals in Des Moines as well. Outside of work, I’m part of a group, Iowa AIR, interested in sharing information about immigration and immigration reform in Iowa and around the country.

What would your theme song be?

A song by a Latino group, Tercer Cielo, called “Mi Ultimo Dia”. It’s about appreciating and being thankful for every moment. Living life to the fullest and not being afraid to pursue life’s adventures.

Your favorite spot in Central Iowa?

I have two “home[s] away from home” here in the Des Moines area.  The first is in Grimes with my best friend and her family who have taken me in over the past couple years and the second is Las Americas-Trinity where I spend most of my evenings and weekends.  As for public spots, I seem to split my time between Smokey Row coffee shop, Fong’s and restaurants like El Salvador De Mundo (Best papusas!) and my newly discovered fave, the Tamale Industry.

Best trip you’ve ever taken?

While I’ve had some awesome service trips around the US, the best trip I’ve ever been on was my semester studying abroad in Thailand. We became very immersed in the culture of our new Thai friends and the university where we lived and studied. Of course, the ability to travel by public transportation to Bangkok and any number of beaches was also a plus! Overall though, the best part was the time with our best friends from the Thai university and the family who’s restaurant we went to each night.

Any idea what your next big adventure will be?

Delving into the non-profit world with a full-time position is the goal, although taking that trip through Latin America isn’t very far off the top of the list!

AmeriCorps Fast Facts

  • 775,000 Number of people who have served as AmeriCorps members since 1994.
  • 1 Billion Total number of hours served by AmeriCorps members since 1994.
  • 3.5 million Number of disadvantaged youth tutored, mentored, or served by AmeriCorps members in fiscal 2011.
  • 3.4 million Number of community volunteers managed or mobilized by AmeriCorps members in fiscal 2011.
  • $480 million Value of cash and in-kind donations leveraged by AmeriCorps members in fiscal 2010.
  • 15,000 Number of nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations served by AmeriCorps members.
  • $2.2 billion Total amount of Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards earned by AmeriCorps members since 1994.
  • $7.6 billion Amount of AmeriCorps funds invested in nonprofit, educational, and faithbased community groups since 1994.

Want to learn more about AmeriCorps? Visit their website,