The Des Moines "I Have a Dream" Foundation is now the By Degrees Foundation
Des Moines, Iowa – Today, The Des Moines “I Have a Dream Foundation” announced that, after 28 years as part of the national I Have a Dream Network, they are disaffiliating and becoming an entirely local organization. The organization’s new name will be the By Degrees Foundation. The announcement took place at Findley Elementary School, located in Des Moines’ north side community, in front of students, parents and community partners. The name “By Degrees” better reflects the organization’s commitment to ensuring more central Iowa students graduate from high school ready to pursue post-secondary education with the tools they need to be successful.
“Our new name reinforces our belief that changing the trajectory of a child’s path by a few degrees can have a long-term impact on their future,” said Emily Westergaard, Chief Executive Officer of the By Degrees Foundation. “Our organization has evolved over the years and our new name better aligns with our mission to serve our community as a local and independent non-profit focused on a future-ready approach to education.”
The organization’s approach to supporting education will remain the same. The By Degrees Foundation will continue to immerse young scholars in a culture of college and careers beginning in kindergarten, while its innovative College Savings Account program and support for the program’s graduated Dreamers will remain strong.
The By Degrees Foundation is now able to fully customize programming to meet the needs of students and create local solutions that fit the central Iowa community. In conjunction with schools and community partners, the By Degrees Foundation will continue the work of lifting up students, families, and neighborhoods, ensuring area youth are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education.
“We are excited about the future of the By Degrees Foundation, not because we have a new name, but because we recommit every day to the vital mission of preparing our youth with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful adults,” said Angela Gallagher, board chair of the By Degrees Foundation.
About By Degrees We believe education is a community effort and recognize the transformational impact incremental changes can make on a student’s life. Our work begins in kindergarten and follows students to and through high school graduation, ensuring they’re immersed in a complete culture of college and careers. Partnering with entire schools, we work to increase high school graduation and postsecondary readiness rates while engaging community partnerships to uplift students, families, and whole neighborhoods.