23 years ago, I was busy working in Denver at Mental Health Colorado and being a new mom to two little kids. Then my husband got a job offer in Boulder—our hometown. I immediately started my job search and came across an ad in the Daily Camera which read: “Recruiting Executive Director at the 'I Have A Dream' Foundation of Boulder County.” It was my dream job—part-time, leading a team of two staff with a budget of just $80,000, working with kids and families from low-income communities in the town where I grew up. I couldn’t apply fast enough. 

If you’ve ever met me, you know that “part-time” went out the door a long time ago. Since 1990, thanks to an amazing board of directors and staff, we have launched 22 student cohorts serving 50-60 kids each to reach more than 1,100 students and 4,000 of their family members. Ten of these cohorts already graduated high school! In 2020, this incredible work is carried out daily by 35 staff members, 22 Notre Dame AmeriCorps members, 700 volunteers, and over 100 community partners. 

Needless to say, serving “I Have A Dream” as President and CEO gave me the career of a lifetime. As you likely know, I recently announced that I'll be retiring. While I look forward to getting more sleep, playing more tennis, and staying involved with the national "I Have A Dream," it is hard to say goodbye to my day-to-day role.

Fortunately, my retirement coincides with a special occasion—our 30th Anniversary. To commemorate this momentous year, we chose the theme, "We Have A Dream.”

Why “We Have A Dream”? Over the last 30 years of "I Have A Dream" in Boulder County, we ALL came together to make this dream come true. And together, we’re looking forward to the next 30 years with an even bolder commitment to making our community better, richer, and fuller for everyone.
As we celebrate this milestone year, we’ll be sharing stories from 30 of our community members, including Dreamer Scholars and alumni, donors, parents, partner organization staff, volunteers, and our team. 

We’ll also be hosting many special events and parties to honor our collective accomplishments and prepare for the years to come. Please see our calendar below. Finally, we’ll be announcing a special 30th Anniversary Campaign Fund to sustain the next 30 years; stay tuned for details. 

Our first 30th Anniversary Celebration event is next Monday, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We’ll join Dreamer Scholars to march in honor of Dr. King’s birthday on January 20th at 10 AM. You can find more information on our website , or email if you’d like to join and walk alongside our students.

Friend, I hope you’ll join us this year as we celebrate. We couldn’t have gotten here without you. 

With gratitude,

Lori Canova, MSW
President and CEO