Last weekend, the latest CBS Cares Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the national education nonprofit, the I Have A Dream Foundation (IHDF), aired during CBS’ extensive coverage of the Super Bowl.
The PSAs featured CBS stars Tea Leoni (MADAM SECRETARY) and Tom Selleck (BLUE BLOODS) in order to bring attention to the urgent need to increase access to and affordability of higher education for children from low-income families.
You can watch the videos here.
The Super Bowl ads are the latest in a national ad campaign featuring IHDF. Over the holidays, CBS celebrities Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles) were in similar PSAs urging support for IHDF’s mission. The PSAs will continue to run throughout the Spring.
With more than 100 million people tuned into Super Bowl 50, IHDF reports all-time high web traffic and engagement.
“At IHDF, we have helped put the dream of a college education within reach for tens of thousands of our ‘Dreamers’ across the country,” said Donna A. Lawrence, President and CEO of the National “I Have A Dream” Foundation. “The increased attention to our organization as a result of being featured during Super Bowl 50 will help us to expand our programs, making the dream of a college education a reality for thousands more children.”
Through its national office and 16 affiliates across the country (including Atlanta, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, L.A., New Jersey, New York, and Oregon), IHDF supports students in under-resourced public schools. But this isn’t a typical financial assistance or scholarship program. IHDF chooses entire classes of students, and in some cases entire schools, and supports each student from early elementary school all the way through college. Every student in the program receives guaranteed tuition assistance for higher education as well as continued support throughout their college career. As a result, students who have passed through IHDF’s program (dubbed “Dreamers”) are more than two times as likely to receive a Bachelor’s degree as their low-income peers.
“Some kids don’t get to do the same things as us, so I want people to do the same thing as us and get a good education,” said Johnny Castro, a “Dreamer” and Des Moines middle school student, who helped to promote the Super Bowl CBS Cares PSA campaign.
Since 1981, “I Have A Dream” programs have operated in 28 states, Washington, D.C., and New Zealand, together serving nearly 17,000 students. The CBS Cares attention comes at a crucial point for the foundation’s future; IHDF, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, is launching a growth plan to significantly increase the program’s reach and capacity. Over the next five years, IHDF intends to triple the total number of active Dreamers in the program from 3,200 to 10,000 and increase their footprint by doubling their network from 16 to 32 local “I Have A Dream” affiliates around the country.