Future Foundation Atlanta

News & Events

News Release

For Immediate Release

 

For 10 consecutive years, 100 % of Future Foundation program participants have graduated from high school and attended post-secondary institutions. On March 29, 2017, Future Foundation celebrated Atlanta’s past, present and future investments in education for underserved youth at its Keep It 100% luncheon. Led by event chair, Curley Dossman, President of Georgia Pacific Foundation, 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 the goal of raising $350,000. The Jean Childs Young Individual Leadership in Education Award was presented to Shan Cooper, Chief Transformation Officer of WestRock, and the Ann Cramer Corporate Leadership in Education Award was presented to UPS. These distinguished awardees were chosen for their significant investments in education for metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable youth.

 

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; this is the core of the Future Foundation mission.

 

A young but powerful organization with a strategic model that utilizes education to change the trajectory for impoverished youth, Future Foundation enjoys the support of the Atlanta philanthropic community. The families of Jean Childs Young, former first lady of Atlanta and internationally known educator and advocate for children’s rights, and Bennett Brown, former NationsBank chairman who invested in education to improve the lives of resilient children who, like him, did not have easy access to higher education, are ardent supporters.

 

Ann Wilson Cramer, who has been committed to education and empowering children in Atlanta for decades through her corporate role with IBM and her personal advocacy as a community leader and co-founder of Communities in Schools, is also a trusted advisor and supporter. “I want to be part of a community in which 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.”

 

Attendees at the Future Foundation Keep It 100% Luncheon included former Atlanta Hawks Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Josh Smith; radio personalities Veronica Waters, Chubb Rock and SiMan Baby; corporate senior executives Eduardo Martinez, Shan Cooper, Gerard Gibbons, Tim Davies, Cyril Turner and Ann Cramer; and Atlanta City Council Members, Ceasar Mitchell and Andre Dickens. Collaborative partners in attendance included Communities in Schools co-founder Neil Shorthouse, Fulton County Schools, 100 Black Men of America, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, C5 Georgia, and others. It was a who’s who from the metro Atlanta educational philanthropic community. Ceasar Mitchell called the group in attendance, “A gang for good.”

 

This was somewhat of a coming out party for Future Foundation; an emphatic statement that “we are here and we are fighting for all children growing up in poverty in metro Atlanta.” And metro Atlanta listened. They contributed, they applauded, they are engaged and getting more involved. Attendees gave a standing ovation for Future Foundation alumni Shawanda Edwards for her personal testimony. “I started Future Foundation when I was in the 4th grade. I was a student at Park Lane Elementary School and was struggling in some of my classes. I was a very shy kid. Future Foundation helped me learn to talk to people, plan for my future and learn…And I stand before you now, a first-generation, college graduate with aspirations of one day leading a nonprofit so I can inspire the next generation.” Shawanda said as she addressed the crowd of 165.

 

Honorary event chair Curley Dossman, President of Georgia Pacific Foundation, spoke to his involvement with the Keep It 100% Luncheon. “I support Future Foundation because they have a proven track record and exceptional leadership in CEO Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim. They work with youth who grow up in risk-filled environments and yet achieve a 100% graduation rate. The Keep It 100% Luncheon celebrates that achievement and the great work of activists like Jean Childs Young and philanthropists like Ann Cramer who led Atlanta by example and paved the way for us all to continue developing youth today.”

 

The annual luncheon celebrates Future Foundation’s 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. Donors giving in 2017, include AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Georgia Pacific, Sun Trust, Delta, UPS, Federal Home Loan Bank, Radio One, Cox Enterprises and many others.

 

To make a gift and become a 100% Circle Investor, go to www.future-foundation.com/keep-it-100 or call 404.766.0510.  One hundred percent of Circle Investor contributions support Future Foundation’s programs and operations.

 

About Future Foundation, Inc.

The Future Foundation of Atlanta levels the playing field for more than 800 youth and their parents annually through high-quality, place-based education, health and life skills programs that mobilize cross-sector partnerships with schools, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. With 15 years of history behind its work, Future Foundation has launched a new data driven model in partnership with Fulton County Schools to improve the graduation and college readiness rates of low-performing high schools. Planned efforts align with the implementation of the Fulton County School District’s Achievement Zone program. For more information on how to become a 100% Circle Investor, call 404.766.0510 or visit www.future-foundation.com/keep-it-100.

 

Future Foundation, Inc.

1892 Washington Road

East Point, GA 30344

www.future-foundation.com

 

For more information, contact:

Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim

Qrahim@future-foundation.com

404.766-0510

 

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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.

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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%!

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