Future Foundation Awarded More Than $3.4 Million For Its Nationally-Recognized Programs
Southside-based Future Foundation was recently awarded $3,429,985 from the Administration for Children & Families, Georgia Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office for Children & Families to expand their RealTalk ATL and Reef House After School programs in South Fulton County. The funding supports a portion of program expenses for the next three years, and reflects the largest investment the organization has received to date for its nationally-acclaimed After School program.
Future Foundation, Inc. is one of the fastest growing youth development agencies in the nation—offering a safe haven to thousands of youth at risk in grades 5-12. The organization was founded by retired NBA player and Sacramento Kings assistant general manager, Shareef Abdur-Rahim. With a mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth in metro-Atlanta, the organization serves as an authority on holistic, youth empowerment—instilling self-confidence, healthy decisions and educational excellence through a supportive second-family culture – targeting high-risk environments with three core programs: Parent Connect (Home), RealTalk (At School), and Reef House (After School).
Recent data shows youth in East Point and South Fulton County need the help. East Point schools received a GreatSchools rating of a mere three out of 10 (based on standardized test scores and reading and math proficiency levels). None of the four South Fulton County high schools in the Future Foundation service area made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and only two of the middle schools made AYP.
The Georgia Department of Education awarded Future Foundation a three-year grant totaling $1,050,000 to support the Reef House After School program. The Administration for Children & Families’ Healthy Marriage Initiative awarded a three-year grant totaling $2,055,000 for the RealTalk ATL program. And, the Governor’s Office for Children & Families awarded a four-year grant for $324,985 to the Real Talk ATL program.
“These awards promote the sustainability of Future Foundation programs that have proven essential for our community,” said Eric Barnum, Future Foundation’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Hard hit by foreclosures, crime and staggeringly dismal education outcomes, our region has been classified as a high needs area, and Future Foundation is thrilled to be recognized as an on-the-ground partner that can help turn things around.”
The funding will allow Future Foundation to double the amount of youth served in RealTalk ATL, and to expand to offer services to parents. The funding will also expand after school services to more youth, including more individualized tutoring and enrichment activities, and resources for staff development.
“This $3.4 million goes directly to fund and support programming, and we are continuing our fundraising efforts to raise an additional 15% of the total grant award to support capacity- and infrastructure-building needs”, said Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, Executive Director.
The Reef House After School Program serves more than 100 students a week, offering homework assistance, tutoring, recreational activities, field trips and college tours to students in grades 5 through 12. Most of the students live in impoverished, single-parent homes and, without the Reef House; most of them would spend their after-school hours home alone or on the streets.
Last year, almost half of the students who started with Reef House failed the Math section of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in the previous school year. Those scores changed significantly after one year with the Reef House, with more than 80 percent of the students passing the Language Arts, Math and Reading segments.
Future Foundation’s RealTalk ATL program helps youth at risk (in schools and community centers) make healthy choices regarding sex, love, dating and relationships. The organization’s innovative approach engages hundreds of students throughout Fulton County with fact based workshops including culturally appropriate curricula, life stories, videos, and games.
The program is seeing significant, measurable results in informing more teens about healthy relationship skills, teen dating violence, teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). After the program, more than half of participating students report seeing marriage as an attainable goal; viewing hitting and violence as unacceptable in a relationship; and are committing to delaying sexual activity.
For more information about Future Foundation, or to interview any of the Future Foundation leaders or teens, contact Kinetra Smith at 404-671-9301, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.