Future Foundation Atlanta

News & Events

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.

This holiday season we reflect on what drives us forward throughout the year, and we extend gratitude for all who invest in us.

Fifty-percent. That’s how many of the students in East Point and College Park graduate from high school.

At Future Foundation, we’ve doubled that average. In our first decade, we ensured that 100% of our students graduated, despite poorly performing high schools, and went on to post-secondary institutions. That’s one way we’re bridging gaps between dreams and reality – and combatting daunting statistics through our core programs.

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To view in entirety, click here.

Just as we’ve improved graduation rates, we’re serious about addressing poverty – and about ending the multi-generational cycle in our community. That’s why we have expanded both the breadth and depth of Future Foundation’s impact. Check out the video to discover how we are being more strategic and intentional in our work:

By sharpening our approach we’re increasing family connectedness and student outcomes. Moving forward, we want to maintain our 100% graduation rate for Future Foundation students, and we will further imbed our model so the schools they attend have strong graduation rates too.

Thank you for partnering with us to improve educational outcomes and economic opportunities for youth. With your support, Future Foundation students are rising above their circumstances and succeeding in school, community, family, and life.

This holiday season, let’s Keep It 100%,


Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim

Chief Executive Office

In the attached tool kit, you will find messaging to post daily on your favorite social media channels, plus email content for you to personalize and send to your network before and on Georgia Gives Day on 11/12/15.

Thank you for Keeping It 100% and taking action to make Georgia Gives Day a success!

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.