Future Foundation’s Second Family program ushers student success

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Future Foundation is a nonprofit youth development agency with an 18-year history of empowering Atlanta’s youth and their parents to overcome the negative impacts of intergenerational poverty. Future Foundation is leveling the playing field for metro Atlanta youth by creating a Second Family who serves as a support system and broadens access to opportunities. The program occurs in the afterschool setting and focuses on five key areas of healthy development: relationships, health, life skills, academics and family.

While Atlanta is one of the nation’s most affluent metropolitan areas, it is also one of the most physically divided by income. Unlike high-income neighborhoods in north Fulton County, intergenerational poverty, limited economic prosperity, poor educational outcomes and severe health and public safety issues face youth and families in East Point, College Park and other South Fulton neighborhoods.

Future Foundation’s innovative Second Family model connects community organizations to give youth in East Point and College Park access to education, experiences, relationships and life skills to become capable, courageous adults. The Second Family does not replace a student’s family, but rather fills gaps and provides access to opportunities that would not likely be available within the student’s family of origin. The Second Family is comprised of Future Foundation staff, school teachers and administrators, adult family members, other students and partners across sectors providing a broad array of wrap-around services across program sites and throughout the community.

One hundred percent of Future Foundation’s students graduate high school on time and continue on to the post-secondary school of their choice. They also receive the support needed to feel confident, valued and empowered in their day-to-day lives. Many participating students say they would not be here today without Future Foundation. Ivery was one such student. She entered programming as a seventh grader with low grades and thoughts of self-harm. Today, she is a college freshman who graduated high school as senior class president and received multiple college acceptances. Ivery shares how her time at Future Foundation shaped her view of herself and her potential, “Future Foundation has been so much more than just an after-school program – it’s been a family for me and everyone else who joins. It’s my safe haven and it’s the support system that has pushed me to be the person I am today. I wish everyone could have the kind of support I have received.”