The I Have a Dream Foundation of Idaho announced last week that the organization has hired a project coordinator to help 50 Woodside Elementary School students succeed scholastically and eventually go to college.
Organization founder Ken Lewis said Kelly Ortego was hired for the job on July 1.
“I feel very honored that I got chosen for this,” Ortego said in an interview Friday. “I think it’s a very good idea. There’s a lot of children who need help and this program provides it.”
The I Have a Dream Foundation announced in February that it had taken the entire third-grade class of 50 students at Woodside and made them into “dreamers.” The foundation will assist them throughout their elementary and secondary school years and has guaranteed to provide them with funding for a two-year community college education.
Ortego’s job will be to help the students succeed academically so that they can realize college aspirations.
“I’ve already met 30 of the dreamers,” Ortego said, explaining that she has already taken the students on a field trip. “I will be following them from the third grade until they are out of high school.”
Ortego, 38, is a certified teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in elementary education.
“I changed my career a few years ago because I wanted to get into education,” she said.
Ortego has lived in the Wood River Valley for about a year. She said she moved here because “I was really wanting to get back to a mountain community.”