LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 21, 2014) - Debra Fine has joined "I Have A Dream" Foundation - Los Angeles (IHADLA), as the new CEO/Executive Director, it was announced at the National Staff Conference held in Nevada in August. Debra has been CEO of both private and public companies in the educational media, technology, and consumer product sectors. She has served on several nonprofit boards and was the CEO of Project-Access, a non-profit organization that supplied food, jobs and children's education to those in low-income housing. Debra's role as CEO/Executive Director will have an emphasis on fundraising. Fine has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, capital raising, marketing, operations and business development/strategic alliances.

"When the Board approached me with this opportunity, I knew it was a perfect fit. I was immediately interested because of IHADLA's mission to proactively reach children and young adults. This organization provides in school and after class tutoring, mentoring, cultural enrichment, college counseling and scholarship opportunities," says Debra. "Grades 3 - 12 have a 93% graduation rate, versus the average rate of 43% for other schools in at-risk areas. IHADLA's programs contribute to the wellbeing of these young people, getting ahead of crime, creating community safety, and breaking the cycle of poverty. As the CEO of IHADLA.org, I will bring to the table years of experience as a Foundation CEO and concentrate my efforts on fundraising for this essential organization."

"We are excited to introduce Debra Fine as the Chief Executive Officer of the "I Have A Dream" Foundation - Los Angeles," said Grant F. Little, III, Chairman of the IHADLA Board of Directors. "Debra's background in running blue chip companies and organizations, her background in raising funding, (over $100 Million) and her hard work in Children's Education, Mental Health Reform, Services and Foundations makes her the perfect leader for IHADLA as we begin a major Capital Campaign."

Katy Garretson, IHADLA's previous Executive Director, added, "I am so pleased that Debra Fine will be my successor, and I look forward to her bringing the incredible IHADLA services to even more at-risk youth across Los Angeles." Garretson will be staying on with the foundation as the Sponsor of the Dreamers in Watts. Prior to her years as the CEO, Garretson had been a Mentor and served on multiple Board Committees as a volunteer. She requested a move back to a volunteer role in April, and is returning to her creative roots in the television industry.

The "I Have A Dream" Foundation - Los Angeles has been sponsoring students, "Dreamers," throughout Los Angeles since 1987. The Foundation sponsors an entire grade at an inner-city, Title 1 elementary school, and stays with those students for over ten years, providing after-school and summer programs, academic and cultural enrichment, counseling services, arts instruction, mentors and tutors. Upon high school graduation, IHADLA then provides each Dreamer a last-dollar scholarship for college or career training. www.ihadla.org

Current classes of Los Angeles Dreamers include 47 8th grade and 91 9th grade students in Inglewood, 149 now mostly college freshmen and sophomores in East LA. The newest group of 70 Dreamers, in Watts, began with IHADLA in 2012.

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