About the Program
The I Have a Dream program was launched in 1981, when founder Eugene Lang returned to his alma mater, PS. 121 in East Harlem, to address the graduating sixth grade class. When he learned that three-quarters of the school’s students would probably drop out of school, Lang promised college tuition to every sixth grader who graduated from high school.
The results were truly amazing. 90% of those sixth graders graduated from high school and 60% went to college. This remarkable accomplishment led to the creation of the I Have a Dream Foundation, which consists of 200 affiliates across the United Sates, and one in New Zealand. Within those 200 affiliates, there are 65 current cohorts serving more than 18,000 Dreamers in 30 U.S. cities.
The Miami chapter was founded in 1995 by Stephanie and Jules Trump (no relation to Donald Trump). The foundation adopted the entire second grade class (97 Dreamers) at the Charles R. Drew School in Liberty City. 95 Dreamers reached the twelfth grade, 83 of them graduated in 2005 on time and, 54 graduated college and several are currently enrolled in higher education. In a community where the average income is $11,000, 1 out of 4 children is arrested by the age of 16, teenage pregnancy is prevalent and the graduation rate of less than 25%, the “ I Have a Dream” Miami program has helped defy these odds. These Dreamers have proven that just because one is born into poverty, does not mean that one cannot succeed, if only given the opportunity to.
In October of 2021, we started a new class of Dreamers at Fulford Elementary School; the class of 2032. We have promised this new cohort of Dreamers the same opportunities as the class of 2005 and class of 2020.
I Have a Dream” Foundation is the only not for profit in America that works with lower income children from kindergarten with unbroken, year-round support through college.
What makes this program so effective?
Our program adopts an entire kindergarten class at a low performing school in an economically disadvantaged area. At least 75% of the children in the school must be on a free lunch program for the school to be chosen. Once chosen, we provide tutoring, mentoring, pregnancy and drug prevention programs, college prep classes and counseling to our Dreamers. We have two full time directors, Jonas Severe and Nicole Taylor, who work closely with our Dreamers and their parents. We also involve their families by showing them how to support their children’s academic success.
These Dreamers are provided with year-round (after school and summer) programs of academic enhancement, as well as cultural, social, and recreational activities, throughout their entire educational years; elementary, middle and high school. This continuous motivation and support at an early stage in their lives remains consistent through high school giving them the stability and proper tools that children need and deserve to reach their academic success.
Stephanie Trump was born and educated in South Africa. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English, Speech and Drama, as well as a Master’s degree in Education. She also has a Certificate in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City.
In 1974, Stephanie and her husband emigrated from South Africa to the United States, preferring to live in a country without apartheid.
Stephanie’s passion is inspiring disadvantaged youth to create and help make their dreams a reality.
The Trump family founded the I Have a Dream Foundation of Miami in 1995 as a way to give back to the Miami community, and to help change the lives of at risk children. They felt that education would make the greatest impact on these children.
The mission of the I Have a Dream Foundation of Miami is to help ensure that these children graduate with literacy and become proud and productive citizens, making their dreams a reality.
The first “I Have a Dream” Foundation Miami’s program, started in 1995 with the entire second grade class at Charles R. Drew Middle School in Liberty City. Of 100 Dreamers, 95 reached 12th grade, and 83 of them graduated 12th grade. Today more than 58 of these Dreamers have completed a 2- or 4-year degree, or received a trade school certificate. Several are still completing a degree, and a few are doing post graduate degrees.
Currently the Trumps now sponsor a new group of Dreamers, the class of 2032, from North Miami Beach.
Our Dreamers are currently in the 3rd grade.
Stephanie’s efforts also inspired other philanthropists to rise to the occasion and sponsor their own I Have a Dream programs in Miami.
Stephanie resides in Miami with her husband Jules.
Jonas Severe serves as the Executive Director for “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Miami, Inc. As a Miami native, he attended North Miami Beach Senior High. He’s also an alum of Upward Bound at the University of Miami (1999-2003). Jonas later attended Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he earned his degree in Psychology and Education. While attending Florida A&M University, Jonas gained experience with working with students while serving as a volunteer at Ruediger Elementary. Jonas enjoys working out, technology, snorkeling, reading, sports, and spending time with family & friends. His major aspiration for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation is to guide the Dreamers to their high school and college graduation, so they may grow to become healthy, well-rounded, educated adults. Exposing the Dreamers to new activities, like camping, snorkeling, kayaking, and tricking them into learning is the most rewarding part of his job.
Nicole Taylor currently serves as the Program Director for “I Have a Dream” Foundation, Miami. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida by parents who derived from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Nicole attended the University of Florida where she graduated with a degree in Sociology and later obtained a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. After a year of working as a social worker with the Department of Children and Families, she became a Social Studies teacher with Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS). Nicole believed that as a teacher, she would have more of an impact in the lives of children. It was here that she would cross paths with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, Miami and have a long lasting relationship. In 2013, she joined the foundation as an after-school teacher. She quickly took on the role of creating and directing performance pieces that the Dreamers would present at the Foundation’s annual gala. After 15 years as an educator with MDCPS, Nicole fully transitioned to the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, Miami as the Program Director. In this position, she hopes to guide and inspire Dreamers to be their greatest selves in every aspect of life. Nicole is a certified Zumba Instructor who loves to dance, travel, sing, be creative and devote time to her faith.
I Have a Dream Foundation of Miami
17749 Collins Avenue, TS40
Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160
(305) 937 – 7834