Future Foundation Atlanta

Category: News

During the summer, our College 4 Careers (C4C) program presented an innovative program at the Opportunity Hub (OHUB) that stressed to students the importance of creating products that solve actual, real-world problems. We’re very excited that Ariana and Latavia (pictured above in the center), sophomores at Tri Cities High School, reached the finals with their unique jewelry collection.

Dismayed by statistics on the number of children who go missing each year, the two students decided to focus on a way to combat the problem by making missing children easier to find.

Their solution: jewelry—such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets—equipped with GPS devices that track the child wearing it and an app that shows their location. The students had learned that often the first thing an abductor does is take away a child’s phone. They wanted to create a way for children to be tracked using something that wouldn’t be obvious as a tracking device.”

Ariana and Latavia, who call their product “Hide & Seek,” worked closely with Chuck Barlow, the Community Manager at OHub, and other local business people to make their idea a reality. Through the process, they and the other students in the program learned how to create a business model, present ideas, and design and build a prototype. They also used the Google Applications suite for coding, app development, and media production.

“The app development class was interesting,” said Latavia. “It really helped me with my confidence and professionalism. After the classes we have had meetings and events about launching our app.”

Ariana agreed. “My experience with the app development class was a very educational journey,” she said. “I actually learned a lot in the short time period that we had to work. It gave me something to think about and actually looked forward to do. I loved it and I am now in the process of launching my first app.”

The girls’ work earned them first place in the Future Tank pitch competition, which was modeled after the Shark Tank TV show—students presented their concepts to industry professionals who determined which ones should move forward. Ariana and Latavia are slated to receive mentorship support from SOSSI (Saving Our Sons & Sisters International), who ran the app class at OHub.

One in a series of profiles of the people who make our work possible.

Where do you live?

I currently live in Sandy Springs and have lived in the area for almost 10 years.

What is your current job? What does it involve?

I am a Management Consultant at KPMG LLP. In my role, I am responsible for working with our large Fortune 500 clients, helping them achieve better organizational performance and growth by solving problems and finding new ways of conducting business. My focus area is strategy development and implementation, and financial management.

How did you learn about Future Foundation?

I learned of the Foundation through a good friend who mentioned the great work the Foundation had done for families in East Point and the South Fulton area. After researching the organization on my own, I was moved by the work of the Foundation—empowering youth and their families to take the necessary steps to uplift themselves out of poverty.

Describe your activities as a Future Foundation board member.

As a board member, I work closely with the board of directors and senior Foundation staff to help steer the Foundation toward a sustainable future by establishing a clear organizational strategy for growth; adopting sound, ethical, governance and financial management policies; and making sure the Foundation has adequate resources to advance its mission. One of the activities I enjoy most is nurturing and cultivating donor relationships.

As the new Fund Development Chair, what are your development goals for the committee and hopes for the organization?

As Development Chair, it is my goal to guide the board of directors in attaining and growing sustainable channels of financial support from organizational and individual donors to enhance the Foundation’s ability to provide quality services to the more than 1,500 youth and families that it serves. We’re at a critical time in which we need to significantly expand the amount of donations received from private donors and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to guide the Fund Development committee in this effort.

Through the committee, I hope to help implement strong development policies and practices to build a model for sustainable future fundraising. Additionally, I hope to help grow the Foundation’s reach to positively impact and inspire more youth and families throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta area.

Are you involved in any other volunteer activities?

Yes, I enjoy volunteering at Ivy Preparatory Academies here in Atlanta.

 What do you hope to gain from volunteering?

I’m passionate about education, particularly access to quality education for urban youth. Through volunteering, I hope to inspire these youth to seek and attain a quality education for themselves to ensure a successful future, no matter where they are from.

What is your vision for the future of Future Foundation?

My vision for the Foundation is to serve as a strong force for reducing the poverty rate in Atlanta through education via increased quality of our programs and expansion of our reach to more communities.

The Community Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country. Together with its donors, it averages more than $75 million in grants annually to an estimated 2,000 nonprofit organizations, encouraging and strengthening multi-sector partnerships and strategic philanthropy as a whole. Here are some of the ways Future Foundation is benefitting from The Community Foundation’s support.

Strategic Restructuring Fund Opportunity with Communities in Schools of Atlanta 

They say that two heads are better than one, and that has certainly proven true in our work with the Communities In Schools of Atlanta Partnership (CIS).

Both of our organizations serve students at Banneker High School–CIS is a partner with Future Foundation and other agencies in the College Park Enrichment Collaborative (CPEC), which serves residents of the Banneker High School Feeder Area and College Park Opportunity Zone who have limited access to culturally appropriate, systemic, and sustained enrichment services.

During the last months of 2014, we worked with CIS to develop a service delivery model designed to ensure that students at risk of dropping out of high school graduate and access concrete post-secondary education and employment options. Through this process, we discovered opportunities for joint partnership since major components of the model are afterschool (Future Foundation) and case management (CIS) services.

Encouraged, we participated in a unique program called FUSE15 (an initiative sponsored by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits), which offered nonprofit partners an opportunity to present a business case, issue or challenge and teams using DEEP design thinking methodology – Discover, Empathize, Experiment, Produce – to build their personal skills sets and the capacity of nonprofit partners knowing that their designs and prototypes impacted the Georgia nonprofit community. As a collaborative team with CIS, we selected one of the many ideas generated by the team to pursue: data sharing in real time. This concept envisions an app that enables schools to share information about what they see in our students during the day, while we share what we experience with them during after school programs.

This experience led us to apply for a grant from The Community Foundation’s Strategic Restructuring Fund to strengthen and deepen our partnership. Recently we were notified that we had been awarded a grant for Partnership Assessment, which will enable our two organizations to assess our readiness and suitability as potential partners and examine the different types of partnership models.

We’re excited about the new possibilities ahead as we collaborate with CIS to develop ways to help students more effectively by improving two-way communications and knowledge sharing.

The Community Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country. Together with its donors, it averages more than $75 million in grants annually to an estimated 2,000 nonprofit organizations, encouraging and strengthening multi-sector partnerships and strategic philanthropy as a whole. Here are some of the ways Future Foundation is benefitting from The Community Foundation’s support.

Grants to Green Initiative

At Future Foundation, we believe in setting a positive example in a number of ways—from our programs for youth to the environmental performance of our facilities.

That’s why we were excited to receive a grant from Grants to Green to assess our energy and water use. Grants to Green, a partnership between The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Southface, provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits.

Future Foundation was granted an assessment award in 2014. We are now seeking an implementation grant from the Community Foundation to implement the recommendations that were made. The value of implementation grants is that they will help us produce gains and significant improvements in a number of areas, including:

  • Better operating efficiencies.
  • Overall reduced costs, which contributes toward our long term sustainability.
  • Well-being and morale benefits to volunteers, students and staff as a result of improved lighting and heating systems.
  • Professional development and education opportunities for staff and students to become more environmentally conscious.
  • Modernization of outdated electrical and non-energy efficient systems.

Brittany Gray, Future Foundation’s Director of Planning & Strategic Initiatives, is also our Green Champion. “Our 2015-2017 strategic plan includes goals to enhance our organizational infrastructure to support long-term enhanced program development and to conduct a formal physical space audit to determine our long term space needs for administrative and programmatic effectiveness and efficiencies,” says Gray. “We are actively planning to address these goals and objectives in low-cost, innovative ways through partnerships.”

The key Grants to Green recommendations we hope to implement include lighting retrofit to LEDs; smart plumbing and air sealing of attic; and more efficient rezone and ventilation of HVAC systems to allow for more comfortable and effective air flow. “We believe these improvements will enhance organizational and employee health,” says Gray. “That’s why our board and stakeholders have bought in to this new initiative and are actively seeking additional funding to support these efforts.”

SIDEBAR

About Grants to Green

Grants to Green gives metro Atlanta nonprofits the opportunity to renovate or build healthier work places that are energy, water and environmentally efficient. The ultimate goal is to improve a nonprofit organization’s building structure to not only have less of an environmental impact, but also to increase the cost-efficiency of operations—ideally saving enough in operating expenses to enable it to provide additional services.

Future Foundation closes the gap between dreams and reality for 1500 Atlanta youth and families living in poverty each year. Though surrounded by challenges like substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and community violence, 100% of Future Foundation’s teen participants have graduated from high school since 2007. A full 100% went on to post-secondary education. One hundred percent. It is worth repeating.

Future Foundation’s model to empower youth to dream about, invest in, and prepare for their futures WORKS. You have asked how to get involved in this good work. Therefore, we invite you – and the Atlanta community – to become a founding member of the 100% Circle.

100% Circle launches on Georgia Gives Day 2015

Since 2012, Georgia Gives Day invites everyone, in every corner of the state, to support the organizations that make Georgia great. In three years, nonprofits have raised more than $5 million through the Georgia Gives initiative.

GAgives.org is as an important platform for Future Foundation as serve Atlanta youth through our afterschool centers and partner schools. Last year, we connected with 200 new supporters and received more than $15,000! That brought us to 10th in the state on the “Most Donors Leaderboard.”

This year, as we grow in reputation, expand our services and build financial sustainability, we need to do even better. That means we need more Future Foundation advocates. We need you.

Become a Future Foundation 100% Circle Member this Georgia Gives Day with a gift of $100.

Want to do more? Become a 100% Circle Investor with a gift of $1,000.

Simply go to GAgivesday.org/c/GGD/a/future-foundation. Whether you give $100, $1000, or another amount, your investment in Future Foundation will change young lives for the better. To learn more, contact AValverde@future-foundation.com.