On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright were honored by the I Have A Dream Foundation with the Eugene Lang Lifetime Acheivement Award in New York City.
Since its founding in 1981, the I Have A Dream Foundation (IHDF) has worked to change a critical reality: in our nation today, only 10% of students in low-income communities are expected to earn a college degree. The IHDF vision is that one day, every student in every neighborhood will have the opportunity to achieve higher education and capitalize fully on their talents and passions. IHDF has impacted the lives of more than 14,000 students in urban and rural communities, sponsoring entire cohorts of students from elementary school through high school. Upon graduation, each ‘Dreamer’ receives guaranteed tuition assistance for higher education.
During her acceptance remarks Suzanne Wright quoted Harriet Tubman- “Every great dream begins with a Dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Wright added “My dream is to help everyone, everywhere - who live with autism every day.”
Today, more than 3,000 Dreamers are working their way to college in 17 states, Washington, D.C., and New Zealand, following the 11,000 alumni who came before them. In many sites, Dreamers are graduating from high school at twice or even triple the rate of their peers. Many Dreamers will be the first in their families to earn a college degree. As IHDF looks to the future, it is building on its legacy to launch an ambitious new model to work with some of the nation’s top school reformers to enable many more students to reach and graduate from college on a large and sustainable scale.
IHDF annually recognizes leaders in education.
The Social Diary covered the event on their website: http://www.nysocialdiary.com/node/1908115