Lori Canova, CEO of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County, is retiring after 23 years, but will remain a board member for the national “I Have a Dream” Foundation.
The foundation emailed a news release sharing Canova’s decision.
The foundation adopts groups of low-income students in elementary school, who are guaranteed four-year tuition-assistance scholarships after graduating high school.
To support the “dreamers,” a project coordinator, mentors and tutors work with them through their high school years and into college or vocational school. Along with afterschool tutoring, the organization also provides summer programs and, for high school students, an internship program.
Under Canova’s leadership, the organization has grown to serve more than 1,100 students and their families in Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont and Carbon Valley within the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts.
The foundation currently supports 12 active dreamer classes. The 20th class launched at the Diagonal Boulder Partners Housing site in Boulder in 2018.
Canova helped start the local Mentors Matter group, which focuses on recruitment of mentors, especially mentors of color. She also helped launch a county-wide collaborative school supply drive, Crayons to Calculators, and is a co-founder and co-chairwoman of the Dream Big Initiative, which focuses on closing achievement and opportunity gaps.
She has received the Woman of the Year award from the Boulder Professional Women’s Group, the Partnership Award from Boulder Housing Partners and the Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
Al Manzi, publisher of Prairie Mountain Media, is a board member of the Boulder County foundation. Prairie Mountain Media is the parent company of the Boulder Daily Camera, the Longmont Times-Call and the Colorado Hometown Weekly.