Bravo! Making Dreams Come True

The "I Have A Dream Foundation" of Charlottesville

Since 1986, the National “I Have a Dream”“ (IHAD) Foundation has carried founder, Eugene Lang’s, vision of higher education for children from low-income areas across the United States. There are currently 78 active IHAD Projects operating in 64 cities in 27 states. The number of Dreamers served totals over 13,000, and more than 3,000 have already graduated from an accredited college or university with this long-term program of mentoring, tutoring, enrichment, and assured higher education opportunities.

In January 2000, Chris Poe and Jeff Gaffney announced their intent to lead sponsorship of the Class of 2012 at Clark Elementary School in Charlottesville’s Belmont community in the IHAD program. Both already fathers themselves, they “adopted” this group of 60 children, currently second graders and began the program in September 2000.

IHAD-Charlottesville provides a year round system of support services to help the Dreamers excel academically and socially. Through the efforts of a full-time Project Coordinator and a host of dedicated professionals and volunteers, the children are receiving the tools they need to succeed: tutoring, mentoring, counseling, family intervention, summer school/camp, and cultural and social enrichment. Chris and Jeff are committed to providing this support to the Dreamers until they all graduate from high school.

Chris is in the financial services business with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and in addition to his commitment to IHAD, he also serves on the United Way Board and is actively involved with the Emergency Food Bank. Jeff is the managing broker for Forest Lakes and Glenmore and also serves on the Board of Directors for UVA’s Madison House, The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, and the Blue Ridge Home Builders.

For more information or to contribute to Charlottesville’s IHAD program, call 245-2520.

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