Future Foundation Celebrates Atlanta Investments in Education for Underserved Youth

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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.

I want to be part of a community in which every child has the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, educated, employable. Future Foundation literally lifts up the community to that aspiration...

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.

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Alexa Adamo-Valverde
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