The Future Foundation of Atlanta has reached a milestone in 2023 with 100% of the young people taking part in foundation programs graduating from high school. This is approximately 15% higher than the average graduation rate at most Atlanta area high schools.
Future Foundation is a non-profit organization working to help inner-city youth succeed both in and out of the classroom. The foundation serves more than 500 families each year and manages programs that give young people academic tutoring, social and emotional support, and life advice.
Ronnette Smith is the President and CEO of Future Foundation, she said, “We are proud of the fact that the 100% graduation rate among our graduates shows that our second family model approach is working. Many students who face social and economic issues at home, just need a helping hand from outside the immediate family to be positioned to succeed in life.”
The foundation has been operating in the city for more than 22 years and uses strong community partnerships to support students and families. Atlanta native and former NBA player Shareef-Abdur Rahim and his family started the foundation. Rahim remained committed to the city after his playing days were over and became involved in several community efforts focused on disrupting generational poverty.
For the past 15 years Future Foundation has operated on a budget of more than $1.7 million dollars annually to support this work. Support has come from community leaders such as the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Department of Family and Human Services, The United Way of Greater Atlanta, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Delta Community Credit Union, as well as a wide range of state and federal grants.
The impact of the foundation during the pandemic in 2020 was especially important as the organization worked to feed more than 500 families during Covid.
Currently, Future Foundation provides after-school programs that cater to low-income families and focus on math, reading, and life skills, as well as a summer program that offers all-day activities to keep young people engaged.
Smith was named President and CEO of Future Foundation in 2022 following a successful career in the corporate world. Smith is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. Smith says, “The work we do has never been more important and as we go through the holiday season, we hope our friends will consider supporting young people who are looking for the path to a better life. Our guidance and support are the very least we owe them.”