Future Foundation Atlanta

Author Archives: FF_Admin

Reef House Afterschool Program students arrive each day during the school year with homework in hand, asking for help. YOU can assist an individual child in many subjects by directing fun learning activities and initiating educationally based games or activities.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • Share your passion and excitement for learning by helping a child with homework in core subjects, working one-on-one or in small groups.
  • Minimum 19 years old and experience working with youth;
    • No court ordered volunteers.
    • Must be to pass a State background check.
  • Middle school-level math and beginning Algebra abilities;
    • Must be able to pass a Math and ELA tutor assessment.
  • Strong spelling and grammar skills.
  • Availability during the hours of: 3:30pm-7:30pm, Monday-Friday.

Come help us support student engagement and achievement towards high school graduation! To sign up, click this link.


Marc Becker

Where do you live?

I live in Kennesaw, Georgia.

What is your current job? What does it involve?

Merchandising Vice President – D30 Millwork, The Home Depot. I’m responsible for the strategy and sales for Home Depot’s millwork department. 

How did you learn about Future Foundation?

Through the Partnership with Home Depot’s Foundation.

 Are you involved in any other volunteer activities?

Local church and sports activities.

 What do you hope to gain from volunteering?

Community connectivity with an organization that is helping young people maximize their potential. I enjoy seeing and supporting youth development.

 What is your vision for the future of Future Foundation?

I’m still developing my vision for Future Foundation. For now, I’m happy to jump in and assist in the current vision.

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Nakeya Shelton

Where do you live?

I recently relocated to Atlanta (my hometown) from the San Francisco Bay area. 

What is your current job? What does it involve?

I’m Vice President for Business Development at UPS. In this role, I lead global Sales Training and Enterprise Sales for the sales function. I am responsible for the learning and talent management strategies needed to achieve organizational objectives. I am also responsible for driving revenue growth by developing sales initiatives that target the acquisition, growth and retention of the UPS customer base.  

How did you learn about Future Foundation?

I initially learned about the foundation through a UPS colleague. I was immediately intrigued once I read more about the Foundation’s mission and Theory of Change.

Are you involved in any other volunteer activities?

I am a mentor for Compact Mentors of Florida (where I lived prior to California). I was also an active member of the Young Professionals Network at the Urban League of Broward County.

What do you hope to gain from volunteering?

Primarily, I hope to give; give a relevant and impactful perspective that will broaden the reach of the Foundation and improve the lives of underserved children.

What is your vision for the future of Future Foundation?

Being a new member, I am certain my vision for the Foundation will evolve. However, initially my focus will be on evaluating how we can scale existing programs that are demonstrating success. From there, the focus will be on creating value for children and their networks of support that help to minimize the negative impacts of poverty.

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Jeetendra Kumar

Where do you live?

I live in Duluth, Georgia. 

What is your current job? What does it involve?

I am currently IT Director at Coca-Cola European Partners. I am responsible for application management in Supply Chain and Enterprise Integration. This involves creating and executing future roadmaps of applications to support planning, procurement, optimization, manufacturing and maintenance of supply chain business operations. I enjoy the successes we are creating for business and our people. 

How did you learn about Future Foundation?

I learned about Future Foundation from the CEO, Qaadirah, who happened to be my classmate at a Leadership Atlanta Class. I was very impressed with the amazing work this Foundation is doing for youth development in Atlanta. 

What are you looking forward to doing as a Future Foundation board member.

I am looking forward to helping shape the organization’s strategy and execution, lending a hand in volunteer work and raising funds for the foundation. 

Are you involved in any other volunteer activities?

I have been involved in volunteering activities such as Computer for Youth programs, supporting education and coaching /mentoring/career counseling.

What do you hope to gain from volunteering?

I am a firm believer in giving back to the community and that the more I give, less I need. I believe this will also help me gain an additional understanding of communities at large and which programs help them most.

What is your vision for the future of Future Foundation?

I see Future Foundation as an organization developing and creating an ecosystem to bring together resources and participants to drive youth development programs globally.


Get to Mathew a little better…
Tell us a little bit about your background-education, current job, where you live.
I have a BA in History and German from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I concentrated on the ways people come together socially and culturally, which cemented my interest in community involvement. The bulk of my professional career has been in the nonprofit field: Prior to Future Foundation, I was Economic Development Director and then Interim Executive Director at CDF Action, a partner to the residents of Clarkston, Georgia, focused on asset-based community development. I came to CDF Action from Refugee Family Services (now New American Pathways), where I managed the Refugee Organizing in Action Collaborative that provided coaching and technical assistance to local immigrant-led organizations. I also supported public policy, communications, and program assessment and evaluation. I started in Clarkston at the Global Village Project, teaching English to recently arrived refugee young women with limited or interrupted formal education. Previously, I worked with City Year in Washington, DC, mobilizing advocacy for our nation’s service and volunteer programs.
I joined Future Foundation as a consultant in January 2016, helping with process documentation in support of larger work around business planning and strategic directions. In May I was fortunate to begin as Chief Operating Officer.
My wife and I have lived in the city of Atlanta for most of the time since we arrived in the area in 2010. She also works for a nonprofit organization, which is focused on health education, and we have a two-year-old daughter who keeps us honest and busy.
What is the toughest job you’ve had? What stuck with you?
During college I studied in Austria for a year, which inspired me to live and work in another country again after graduation. The Peace Corps then took me to Zambia for three years. There I helped rural villages too far from formal public schools set up locally run centers for children in first through seventh grades. The curriculum required few resources and was based on a daily program broadcast on the national radio station; the program was like Sesame Street, with recurring characters and set pieces, plus songs and stories that introduced and reinforced learning, which concentrated on literacy and math. Instructors identified by their communities would translate the program from English into the local language (Zambia has more than 70 languages and dialects). Over time, students’ English improved and they “interacted” more directly with the radio teacher and characters.
Peace Corps is called “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” I was a suburban American dropped into a Zambian village 50 miles from the nearest paved road, without electricity or running water or another native speaker of English. It is where I learned what persistence and commitment and resilience really mean, and it is how I formed my approach to community development-leading through coaching and facilitation, to help others achieve their goals and realize their dreams. It was where I discovered what “service leadership” really means.
How did you first learn about Future Foundation?
At the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s 2015 Neighborhood Summit, I attended a youth-led panel discussion featuring Future Foundation students. I admired their poise as they went through their prepared presentation and crafted thoughtful answers to audience questions. A few months later, a friend and colleague introduced me to Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, who was looking for consulting help with project management. I saw in her, the CEO, the same passion I heard from those students, and I knew this was an organization where I wanted to contribute.
Describe your activities as Future Foundation’s COO.
As COO I help turn strategy and ambition into program delivery. In addition to helping staff as they plan and execute activities with our students, this includes shoring up our talent-development processes, supporting facilities upkeep, reinforcing the places of data and evaluation, and maintaining external partnerships.
How do you hope to contribute to Future Foundation’s mission and overall goals?
Future Foundation’s mission speaks to innovative, fundamental transformation in local communities across metro Atlanta. I like moonshots, and I see my responsibility as supporting staff to design, deliver, and assess quality programs that meet that ambition. Every day we are fortunate to serve the students and families in and around East Point and College Park, and they rightfully deserve the best from us. Asset-based community development requires us to be conduits for individuals to achieve their dreams, and as our staff does that for our students, I will do this for our women and men at Future Foundation.
How do you think Future Foundation will change over the next two to three years, and how do you see yourself contributing to that change?
Future Foundation will continue to grow in its global outlook, looking for partnerships and allies for joint creation and execution of programs. We must make sure that we keep hiring qualified and energetic staff members, and that our staff members receive training to remain at the forefront of our field. Our processes and systems need to keep up with innovation across sectors, emphasizing efficiency and effectiveness in our operations so that attention and resources stay focused on our programs and relationships. It is my job to strengthen the environment that enables these successes to continue.

Over the past fifteen years, we have proven that our methods work. We have implemented our three core programs within 15 Atlanta Public and Fulton County schools and our afterschool program has produced a 100% graduation rate among our teen participants since 2007. Creating access to quality education has always been at the heart of metro Atlanta’s civil rights movement. And it continues to be the single most important civil and human rights issue today. Two women – Ann Cramer and Jean Childs Young – have done so much more for Atlanta’s youth through education. We celebrate Curley Dossman, recipient of the Jean Childs Young Leadership in Education Award; celebrate Georgia Power, recipient of the Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award; and Atlanta’s long legacy of philanthropic investments in education for underserved youth. Future Foundation is honored to be able to celebrate their contributions and legacies through these awards. Metro Atlanta – and especially our children – need to know their stories. The Keep It 100% Luncheon celebrates Atlanta’s past, and honors our current investments in education for underserved youth, so we move into the future as informed and strategic agents of change. Let’s all KEEP IT 100%!




Founded by NBA pro Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Future Foundation will celebrate Atlanta’s past, present and future investments in education for underserved youth at the Keep It 100% Luncheon on April 20, 2016. Event chair Cyril Turner, president of Delta Global Services and Delta Private Jets, will present the inaugural Jean Childs Young Individual Leadership in Education Award will be presented to Curley Dossman, president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, and the Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award will be presented to Georgia Power.

The most important civil rights issue facing the United States today is education in underserved communities. Here in Atlanta, activists and philanthropists have long made education for our most vulnerable, at-risk youth their top priority.

From Jean Childs Young (1933-1994), the former first lady of Atlanta during the 1980s and internationally known educator and tireless advocate for children’s rights; to Bennett Brown (1929-1997), former NationsBank chairman, who invested in education to improve the lives of low-income children who, like him, did not have access to college; to Ann Wilson Cramer, who has been committed to education and empowering children in Atlanta for four decades through her corporate role with IBM and her personal advocacy as a community activist and co-founder of Communities in Schools. Each of these philanthropists or their families are involved with Future Foundation: a young, but powerful organization with a strategic model that utilizes education to change the trajectory for impoverished youth.

“I want to be part of a community in which every child – every child – has the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, educated, connected, employable, and then become a contributing, interdependent – not dependent and not independent – contributing citizen. That’s how I see Future Foundation,” said Ann Cramer. “The Future Foundation literally lifts up the community to that aspiration for all to be reaching their full potential.”

On April 20, 2016, Future Foundation will celebrate Atlanta’s past, present and future investments in education for underserved youth at the Keep It 100% Luncheon. Led by event chair, Cyril Turner, president of Delta Global Services and Delta Private Jets, and a host committee of 21 business and civic leaders, this signature fundraising event for Future Foundation invites the metro Atlanta community to become 100% Circle Investors with gifts of $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for corporations and foundations with the goal of raising $225,000. The inaugural Jean Childs Young Individual Leadership in Education Award will be presented to Curley Dossman, president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, and the Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award will be presented to Georgia Power. The distinguished awardees were chosen for their significant contributions to education for metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable youth.

Atlanta’s philanthropic investments in education for the underserved are so important because Georgia still ranks 42nd among the 50 states in overall child well-being. The American Dream of upward mobility is just barely alive here. A Harvard study ranked Atlanta #48 for being one of the most difficult cites to climb out of poverty.

They estimate that Atlanta children born into poverty have just a 4.5% chance of climbing out. That’s worse than any developed country with comparable statistics.

Thought leader in youth development, CEO Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim described examples of the institutionalized inequality Future Foundation works against, including the state and local $1,200 per student revenue gap for high poverty vs. low poverty districts, and students in poor schools receiving A’s for work that earn C’s in affluent schools. Originally from East Point, Abdur-Rahim articulated the conundrum of “helping young people today in the community where I grew up build their American Dream, while personally understanding how the social, political and economic fabrics woven into that dream can diminish their chances for success.”

Future Foundation has served more than 10,000 low-income, at-risk youth and parents in metro Atlanta since its founding in 2001. With a mission to level the playing field for underserved youth by providing quality education, health, and life skills programs, they work to end the multi-generational cycle of poverty. Future Foundation achieves a 100% graduation rate for its teen participants – since 2007 – and 100% of these graduates matriculate to two- or four-year post-secondary education.

“Holistic programs, strong evaluation, and cross-sector partnerships are key to our ability to transform lives and graduate students prepared for college and career,” said Abdur-Rahim. “Our donors know that an investment in Future Foundation is an investment in the future pipeline of high-performing, dedicated talent in metro Atlanta.”

The Keep It 100% Luncheon launches Future Foundation’s first major gift society, the 100% Circle Investors. The metro Atlanta community is invited to become 100% Circle Investors with contributions of $5,000, $2,500 or $1,000 for individuals and small businesses, and $25,000, $10,000 or $5,000 for corporations and foundations. All donors giving in 2016 are “founding investors” of the Circle, including Georgia Power, Buckhead Dermatology, The Home Depot, Federal Home Loan Bank, and many others.

To make a gift and become a founding 100% Circle Investor, go to http://www.future-foundation.com/keep-it-100 or bit.ly/futurefoundation, or call 404.852.1913. One hundred percent of 100% Circle Investor contributions support Future Foundation’s programs and operations.