“I Have A Dream” Foundation Names New President & CEO

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With the organization since 2011, Eugena Oh previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO

The “I Have A Dream” Foundation has announced the appointment of Eugena Oh as President & CEO, effective immediately. She will succeed Donna Lawrence, who began as the organization’s CEO in July 2014.

Eugena Oh has been with the “I Have A Dream” Foundation since 2011, and has previously served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Governance Officer, and Interim CEO. In these roles she built the organization’s administrative, operational, and program-support functions to maximize efficacy as “I Have A Dream” works to expand the number of students (“Dreamers”) served to 10,000 by 2020. Eugena also served as the “I Have A Dream” Foundation’s legal counsel, and has been responsible for overseeing governance and operations of the organization’s 16 affiliate sites across the U.S. and in New Zealand.

“I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity to lead the ‘I Have A Dream’ Foundation as we work together as a network to meet our ambitious expansion goals,” says Eugena Oh. “Over the past 36 years, we as an organization have learned what it can look like when children from low-income communities are given the same educational, social-emotional, and financial resources as their high-income peers. This work can be done in a scalable and replicable way, and our job will not be finished until every child has an equal opportunity to earn a higher education and fulfill their full potential.”

“We are so pleased to welcome Eugena in her new role at ‘I Have A Dream,’” remarked national Board Chairman Ron Terwilliger. “We trust that she will continue to pursue the ambitious goals set by past CEO Donna Lawrence, so that we may continue to serve more Dreamers with our high quality programs, and help level the playing field so that any child, regardless of the zip code they were born into, may have the opportunity to realize their American Dream.”

Eugena brings to her new role a passion for civil rights and social justice, matched with six years of experience working in her numerous roles at the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Prior to joining “I Have A Dream,” Eugena practiced commercial and products liability law, and served in development, strategy, and operations roles within several non-profit organizations, including Teach For America – New York City, Rock The Vote, and Washington State Court Appointed Special Advocates. Eugena received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

The “I Have a Dream” Foundation's mission is to empower children from low-income communities to succeed in school, college, and career by providing academic, social, and emotional support from elementary school through college, along with postsecondary tuition assistance. To date, “I Have A Dream” programs have served over 18,000 Dreamers, who today are over 3x more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees than their peers.

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About “I Have A Dream” Foundation:

The “I Have A Dream” Foundation (IHDF) is a leading education nonprofit focused on breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty through a comprehensive program of support that follows the same group of young people (“Dreamers”) from elementary school all the way through college. Founded 36 years ago through the vision of Eugene Lang, IHDF operates in 16 cities and has served over 18,000 Dreamers.

The numbers: 51% of students in U.S. public schools—over 25 Million children—are low-income, and only 9% of low-income students earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to 77% of their high-income peers. 90% of Dreamers complete high school, compared to 70% of their low-income peers, representing an additional $2.9 Billion in earnings over their lifetimes. Dreamers are nearly 3 times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their low-income peers. Without this level of support, the cycle of poverty continues: 65% of children whose parents have no more than a high school diploma live in poverty. Now, over 35 years after Eugene M. Lang’s life changing promise, Dreamers have children who are attending college themselves.

Visit ihaveadreamfoundation.org to learn more.

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Kaitlin Archambault
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