To motivate and empower students to reach their educational and career goals by providing resources, enrichment opportunities, tutoring and mentoring.
The original “I Have A Dream” Project was the spontaneous brainchild of businessman and philanthropist Eugene Lane, who in 1981 made a promise to the entire sixth-grade class of P.S. 121 in East Harlem: that he would provide financial support for a college education to every student who finished high school. Lang kept his promise and then some – he added a year-round academic and cultural enrichment component, made social services accessible to his “Dreamers” and their families when needed, and made a personal commitment to each student. Six years later, over 90% of his Dreamers graduated from high school – more than three times the expected average graduation rate of students from their neighborhood.
How It Works
Ken and Gail Henshaw sponsored the first Richmond program. After considering several geographic areas and schools, the Henshaws sponsored all second graders at Broad Rock Elementary School in 2006-07, extending enrollment throughout the next year to new third graders. There are now approximately 45 Dreamers in eighth grade. While many resources are focused on Dreamers and their families, the Richmond program has expanded to have a system-wide impact on City of Richmond public schools through activities such as sponsoring field trips, visiting authors, artists in residents, book report and writing essay contests.
In addition to serving the City of Richmond, various special projects benefit the larger surrounding community and have taken on an international focus. The “Read More Books!” program has provided over 100,000 books to students in the City of Richmond , Henrico and Chesterfield Counties for their home libraries. Challenger Day introduces hundreds of exceptional education students to the sport of baseball. Students from Haiti are studying in the United States, to return to their home country as strong leaders.
Though Ken Henshaw passed away, Gail Henshaw, other members of the Henshaw family, and cadres of volunteers continue to help students maximize their personal and educational potential through traditional and innovative initiatives and special events.