Featured photo: Georgia’s Own Hits Record Fundraising For L.E.A.D. Center For Youth
IN THIS ISSUE Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan Joins the L.E.A.D. Team Annual Meet The Ambassadors Event Ambassador & Alum Updates Recognizing Our Parent Volunteers
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Georgia’s Own Hits Record Fundraising For L.E.A.D. Center For Youth For the past 11 years, Georgia’s Own Credit Union has supported L.E.A.D. through its annual golf challenge. This year sponsors raised a record $130,000! Overall, Georgia’s Own has raised over a million dollars to help L.E.A.D. mentor and empower over 4,000 at-risk, Black boys in Atlanta since the partnership began. In 2020, L.E.A.D. was without a home to deliver programming when the pandemic shut down APS schools and shut L.E.A.D. out of its home base at Washington High School. The credit union’s support was instrumental in L.E.A.D. securing a lease on its first home - The L.E.A.D. Center For Youth located in the West End community. This 5,500 square foot facility provides a safe place for L.E.A.D. youth to learn the game of baseball and have healthy, positive relationships with coachmentors and peers right in their own community. Thank you, Georgia’s Own, for your continued generosity that allows us to develop our youth into Major League Citizens!
Featured photo: CJ Stewart and Harmen Wesley hold check from Enterprise Road Forward
Teamwork Spotlight We all know having the right team means everything to achieving goals. This section highlights a few individuals and organizations that help us make L.E.A.D. work each day in Atlanta. Advance The Lives: L.E.A.D. received a transportation grant from Advance The Lives, a foundation started by Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan. Transportation is one of the main barriers of access that youth from low-income households experience when trying to engage in sport-based youth development programs. Ensuring that our boys have safe, reliable and quality transportation is how we remove that barrier and provide our parents/guardians with peace of mind. Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward Grant: In its efforts to deepen respect, expand opportunity and enable achievement in order to unleash the power of diversity, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation is dedicating funding to support under-resourced populations in the communities they serve. L.E.A.D. received a ROAD Forward grant to support the Ambassador Program as part of Enterprise’s focus on youth health and wellness. Learn more here. Degree’s Breaking Limits Program allowed us to strengthen our coaches’ skills through live and pre-recorded webinar training courses. The Mary Allen Lindsey Branan Foundation provided Ambassador Program support and provided our families with emergency support related to COVID-relief. The Jesse Parker Williams Foundation provided L.E.A.D. with general operating support that assisted us in our day-to-day operations.
AMBASSADORS In addition to raising vital funds for L.E.A.D.’s year-round programming and the L.E.A.D. Center For Youth, Meet The Ambassadors gives our boys an opportunity to meet and interact with powerful, influential leaders in Atlanta. Thank you to all of the organizations who supported this event and all of the guests who came out to live a day in the life of our Ambassadors.
LEADERSHIP We are excited to welcome the following community champions to our organization:
Executive Board Member
Department Head of Brand Experience Marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA
Why I decided to join L.E.A.D. Atlanta has a plethora of organizations with amazing intentions, missions and execution. However, L.E.A.D. stood out for several reasons, most notably its first-hand approach to tirelessly work with Atlanta’s youth to create meaningful change that fosters systemic growth. The dedication to educating the boys on how to navigate life through sport is a unique approach that is not only proven but timeless. In my role with L.E.A.D., I hope to bring marketing expertise to further grow the organization in new ways. And perhaps closer to my heart, I have a passion to create the right brand voice for L.E.A.D. not only in Atlanta but beyond. There’s great work happening. How we tell that story matters for the overall success of the organization, and more importantly, the visibility of the youth impacted.
LEADERSHIP ADVISORY COUNCIL I watched over the years as L.E.A.D. valued and led the black boys of Atlanta to brighter outcomes through baseball. I’ve seen CJ and Kelli in the community influencing lives on and off the field across the city. I wanted to be a part of the Advisory Council because it is imperative that the work of L.E.A.D. not only continues but grows.
This program is not just saving our black boys but building black men - preparing them to occupy positions of leadership instead of prison cells.
I joined the Council because I felt it was my obligation to do so, as I was once an Ambassador receiving lessons and values that ultimately shaped me into the man I am today and the man I’m becoming! Joining made me feel like I have a way to contribute to the future success of the organization. I’ve been involved with L.E.A.D. for a while now; from player to alum to now council member. I'm here for the long ride!
I’m excited to be a part of the L.E.A.D. Advisory Council to empower the young men of Atlanta in a meaningful way. In a world where youth are so easily influenced and vulnerable to taking the wrong step, it is vital that we have the L.E.A.D. Center For Youth to engage, mentor and advocate for our youth to increase their likelihood of going to college, develop better attitudes towards school, increase social and emotional development, improve selfesteem and promote overall success.
Featured photo: Some of our parent volunteers recognized this summer
Parent Appreciation Parents play an important role in helping us provide a great L.E.A.D. experience. Whether they’re assisting with transportation or volunteering at events, L.E.A.D. parents can be found throughout the organization rolling up their sleeves and getting into the game of developing their sons and other youth. Over the summer, we recognized a few of our parent volunteers.
THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!
Ambassador Updates The leadership growth that our Ambassadors gain through L.E.A.D. programming is evidenced within our organization and throughout the community.
We would like to congratulate the following Ambassadors on their recent achievements:
Ambassador JaBorris Kimbrough was selected for the Student Advisory Council representing South Atlanta High School.
Ambassador Thomas Fennell was selected as 12th Grade Class President at Booker T. Washington High School.
Ambassador JaKari’ Wade (Kicker) helped his South Atlanta Hornet football team advance to the 3rd round of playoffs.
Follow our IG account to learn more about our Ambassadors.
Alumni Updates Board members provide vital connections to career pathway opportunities for our Ambassador Alums. Nick Slappy joined our board in the spring of this year and has already made many meaningful contributions to L.E.A.D., including connecting Alum Brandon Sykes with an internship with Southern Company: “This summer, I had the pleasure of doing an internship with Phillips & Jordan. It was full of a lot of new experiences. The project focus was building a labyrinth spillway/dam at Plant Yates, a Southern Company site,” said Brandon Sykes.
Ambassador Alum, ‘17 Drew Charter School Graduate, '17 Southern University A&M College/Electrical Engineering Major/Class of 2022
"Under the leadership of Mr. Nick Sullivan, I got to see the construction process from the administrative and out in the field perspectives. In the office, I learned how to complete material quantity takeoffs, and I practiced reading plans. On site, I got to see
how the plans correlated by doing some land surveying, learning about site equipment and safety protocols. I also got to visit another Southern Company site, Plant Wansley, where I saw some dirt work and learned about the photogrammetry drone. It was a great experience!”
" black excellence is honoring those who have helped along the way." HONORING BLACK EXCELLENCE: VOL 2 CJ AND KELLI STEWART adidas, L.E.A.D. Staff, and Student Ambassadors in Atlanta, GA honored and celebrated the legacy of CJ and Kelli Stewart and the community growth they foster daily.
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