Future Foundation Atlanta

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I just returned from Israel where I ate, prayed, fell in love with 50 of the world’s most beautiful souls. I was there as part of Reality Israel, an initiative created by the Schusterman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization whose mission is nothing less than to repair the world. The purpose of the trip is to bring changemakers to the always awe-inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking, country of Israel so that they can learn about the vibrant, complicated region, then take that knowledge, and apply it to other communities in order to make our world a better place.

I can’t speak for the other participants, but I can say that for me, the journey was nothing short of transformative and life-affirming. On the eight-day odyssey, I not only made friends and got to know myself better, I also deepened my understanding of the complexities in the region, learned about Israel’s history, and re-committed to the purpose God placed in my heart long ago: to help people. 

Before I embarked on the trip, I set my intention to listen to others and understand what I was seeing, hearing and feeling. What I heard has changed my life and my outlook. 

While herding goats, I heard that we need to take care of ourselves, to be well so that we can enthusiastically lead others. 

While building and sailing a raft, I heard, “don’t be so competitive—sometimes the winners don’t ‘take all.’” Instead of competing, try to listen and understand these new people entering your life. 

Crossing through the Israeli countryside and seeing the most sacred elements of nature God created, I heard my hosts and my fellow travelers, and I felt my heart reopening to the kind of innocent love I felt as a child. 

I listened to an Ethiopian vocalist sing, an activist talk about Palestinian Trap music, and my tablemates pray as I participated in my first Shabbat dinner, and I heard the importance of building community through different cultures. 

I also listened to the stories of the 50 global leaders on the trip, the tour guides, and organized speakers, including one of the last few Holocaust survivors. I heard stories of trauma, evil, oppression, and conflict, but also of forgiveness, privilege, love, compassion, empathy, understanding, resilience, and peace. 

As the daughter of an Imam growing up in a devout Muslim household, I heard the synergies between the three religions while having dinner with a Christian and a Jewish woman.

Finally, as I walked through the desert praying on our last night in Israel, I heard the words God whispered: “We are ONE.” 

Through all of these experiences, I heard that each of us holds multiple experiences which build into our personal truths. As human beings, I believe it is our personal responsibility to listen rather than to shut down other people’s experiences when they make us uncomfortable or don’t mirror our own lives. 

I wish everyone could participate in a trip like Reality Israel. But I have to come to realize that you don’t have to travel to the Holy Land to learn these truths. We just have to look for the holiness within ourselves and each other. 

Wherever we are, we can expand our consciousness by meeting people where they are and working to understand the experiences that created their personal truths. As we work to create that understanding, we must also push ourselves to examine how the truths we hold dear impact the systems that govern our lives. Personally, on the trip, I found myself asking, does it make sense to argue or discount the story of a Palestinian’s woman recount of oppression and murder? And I found I had my answer: It’s important to recognize my feelings, but also to recognize the facts and the truths of systems in which people are marginalized, as uncomfortable as that may make me.

We think we have come so far, and in many ways, we have. But this trip made me realize that in Israel, and in the world over, we are still evolving, and we still have equally far to go. People are still becoming the first woman to perform a task, the first person of a given race to receive an honor. All over the world, human beings are still suffering. And wherever we are, it is our duty to help alleviate their pain.

I left Israel with a sense of duty and a sense of hope. Together, we have an opportunity to lead with grace, to create spaces where narratives that are different from our perspectives are shared and truly heard. We can strive to uplift those narratives along with our own and change the dynamics of systems that promote injustice and improve our world. 

Instead of focusing on making our own corner of the globe great “again,” we need to expand our understanding of what constitutes our world. We must listen to the voice that whispered in the desert, and understand that we are all neighbors. Then we will make our entire world not great again, but great at last.


RE: Notice of Intent to Submit an Application for the 2018-19 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant

In accordance with the application instructions from the Georgia Department of Education, Future Foundation submits a public notice to the community of Fulton County, its intent to submit an application for the 2018-19 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) After School Programs grant to serve students in the aforementioned areas.

The purpose of the 21st CCLC Program, as described in the federal statute, is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities that focus on:

Improved academic achievement
Enrichment services that reinforce and complement the academic program, and
Family literacy and related educational development services
Future Foundation is applying for the 2018-19 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant to support the following schools:

Paul D. West Middle School
McNair Middle School
Sandtown Middle School
Hapeville Charter Middle School
Hapeville Charter Career Academy
Tri-Cities High School
Banneker High School

We welcome input from parents and other stakeholders on the design and focus of our 21st CCLC program. Please contact Jerry Sterling at (404) 766-0510 or [email protected]

This fall TechBridge honored Future Foundation CEO Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim as the inaugural recipient of its Bill Bolling Nonprofit Leader Award. The award celebrates people who exercise original thinking and use the benefits of technology to address problems in our society.

“Qaadirah is recognized for her authenticity, innovation, and effectiveness as a servant leader,” said James Franklin, CEO of TechBridge. “Her collaborative approach as CEO of Future Foundation really unlocks purpose and ingenuity in those around her, resulting in higher performing fulfilled employees and more engaged volunteers.”

Having grown Future Foundation from a two-person team serving a dozen students, Abdur-Rahim has expanded the nonprofit’s work through the years to serve more than 11,000 students. She’s currently working with TechBridge and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, among others to empower youth beyond Atlanta to the rest of the state and the nation.

“I feel honored to have our efforts at the Future Foundation recognized by an award named for the fantastic work that Bill did for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and others,” said Abdur-Rahim. “It’s vital that we continue to help our youth recognize their potential and thrive in the face of challenges, so they can realize their dreams and create a brighter future for us all.”




For 14 consecutive years, 100% of Future Foundation program participants have graduated from high school and attended post-secondary institutions. On March 20, 2019, Future Foundation will celebrate Atlanta’s past, present, and future investments in education for resilient youth at its Keep It 100% luncheon.

Led by a host committee of Atlanta’s business and civic leaders, this signature fundraising event invites the metro Atlanta community to become 100% Circle Investors with the goal of raising $300,000 for Future Foundation’s remarkable youth.

At the previous year’s Luncheon, the Jean Childs Young Individual Leadership in Education Award was presented to Rodney Bullard, Executive Director of The Chick-fil-A Foundation, and the Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award was presented to SunTrust Bank. Future Foundation chose these distinguished awardees for their significant investments in education for metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable youth.

Join us this year for Future Foundation’s Keep It 100% Luncheon, and join our 100% Circle Investors major gift society with a gift of $1,000 or more. Invest now and help us make underserved youth a philanthropic priority for Atlanta!

Keep It 100% Luncheon
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Gathering Spot
384 Northyards Boulevard, NW, Atlanta, Georgia  30313

Donate Now!

  • Purpose
  • 2019 marks Future Foundation’s 18th anniversary and our fourth annual Keep It 100% Luncheon. The luncheon celebrates metro Atlanta’s rich history of philanthropy devoted to education and empowering resilient youth.

    The luncheon and the critical work of Future Foundation would not be possible without strong philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations like you. Our goal is to raise significant awareness and $300,000 for our mission to level the playing field for metro Atlanta youth through quality education, life skills, and health programs.

    Click here to download the Event Overview.

  • Leadership
    • Host Committee of metro Atlanta business and community leaders

  • Awards
  • Two awards will be presented during the 2019 Keep It 100% Luncheon.

    Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award, named in honor of Ms. Cramer’s legacy of socially responsible corporate leadership in education and underserved communities of metro Atlanta.

    Jean Childs Young Individual Leadership in Education Award, named in memory of Jean Childs Young’s legacy of tireless advocacy for education, children, and civil rights.

  • Giving Levels and Investor Benefits
  • The Atlanta community is invited to join the 100% Circle Investor major gift society starting at $1,000 for individuals and small businesses, and $5,000 for corporate and foundation investors.

    Gifts of any size will make a remarkable difference. Click here to donate or contact [email protected] to learn more.

    Click here to download the full list of Investor Benefits.

  • Donor Pledge Form
  • Whether you are an individual, small business, corporation, or foundation, you may donate now or download and complete the Donor Form and email to [email protected].

    For more information about the Keep It 100% Luncheon, contact Future Foundation at (404) 766-0510 or [email protected].

  • 100% Circle Investors
  • Thank you to the current major gift donors who invest in Future Foundation’s innovative model!

    Major gifts at the following levels to be announced soon!





Donate Now!

To RSVP and for more information, contact us at 
[email protected].

After the Future Foundation had achieved a 100 percent success rate (seeing every one of their participants graduate high school, and 99 percent move on to post-secondary education), CEO Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim was pleased – but not satisfied. Rather than let success get in the way, Abdur-Rahim set out an entirely new strategy, launching an ambitious pilot aimed at no less than nation-wide poverty disruption. The results of that pilot recently won the Atlanta-based nonprofit a $4.5 million grant, ensuring five more years of research into the community-raising approach developed by one determined young nonprofit leader and her team.

In her opening address to the 2017 YNPN National Conference & Leaders Institute, Abdur-Rahim shared her methods for advancing the cause by embracing personal and professional growth. The following piece is based on that address.

Young leaders: We are living in the most extraordinary times. Technology and education are opening up new vistas, barriers to entry are lower, access to information is better than ever. The impact on business in America has been undeniable. What makes me truly excited is considering the impact this disruptive thinking can have in the nonprofit world: how one ripple can inspire another and another and another until it becomes a wave – a tide – of change, making the world a better place for generations to come.

The world needs us more than ever. Seize this moment: a time to create and build on the ripples you’ve created, and amplify the impact of opportunity.


  1. Embrace continuous learning. Two years after founding Future Foundation, I had quadrupled the budget. That created amazing opportunity for impact, but also amazing business problems. I succeeded by embracing my curiosity about those problems: I went to Emory for my MBA, which helped me learn strategies to take our nonprofit to greater heights. Professional development opportunities should be on your priority list, and your team’s priority list, annually. If not, you will be left behind.

  2. Collaborate often. Look for partners who do not do the things you do, or who do things better than you do. Unusual collaborations are taking place everywhere, and they are maximizing stakeholder value and experiences.

  3. Challenge what you think you know. Poverty statistics haven’t changed in 50 years. So how do you disrupt the sector and challenge the possibilities? By surrounding yourself with networks that don’t look like yours. Immersing myself in other-industry learning networks enabled me to see what’s possible in the nonprofit world today. Good and challenging ideas come from working across sectors.

  4. Disrupt yourself. Companies that don’t examine their surroundings don’t make it. Look at some of the companies that have been around for 50-plus years: It’s not the strong that survive, it’s those that are most adaptable. Just like a company, you must always examine how you are growing in relation to where you are now, personally and professionally.

  5. Embrace your mentors. Build your “second family” by embracing your mentors, and embracing mentorship. Don’t be afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants: One of my mentors has encouraged me to go back to school, another has shared her network. But I have also learned just as much from my mentees – they help you think about how you do what you do.

  6. Be resilient. They say failure teaches us more than success; that courage is grace under pressure; that when things are not going smoothly, those are the times you’re being tested. It’s true: This is when you will be forced to come up with solutions you never could have under normal circumstances. Don’t be afraid. Instead, ask a new question. Explore a new path. Think differently. Employ positive self-talk. And never give up on something you believe in deeply. I can tell you first-hand: It really works.

  7. Be well. This work is hard. We cannot be an inspiration or lead change if we are not well. Establish a weekly routine that allows for physical activity and meditation. I don’t know if work-life balance is real, but I do know that such a routine has helped me become aware of when I’m pushing myself too hard, and the level of warmth and kindness I’m exhibiting as a leader. Above everything else I’ve said: Be well.

We are gathered here today as a second family, some of the greatest thinkers ready to change the world. Let’s bind the uncommon partners. Let’s discuss the ideas we are holding inside. Let’s rethink the 50-plus years of policies and strategies, and find the courage to do something different.

Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim is CEO of Future Foundation, which seeks to improve the life chances of youth through a five point, wrap-around strategy helping Atlanta-area families take the hard steps up and out of poverty. Find out more on their website, or by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.