At the recent June MARCH Foundation board meeting held at the UPS corporate office in Atlanta three Atlanta community based organizations made presentations to the board. The first presentation was given by Kim Dennis of Create Your Dreams, accompanied by two current college students who were participants in the program as young children. Originally the organization focused on helping kids graduate from high school, but eventually the mission also focused on helping them into college as well. According to Ms. Dennis 94% of students enrolled in their program graduate from high school. The average income of families with children participating in this program is $13,000.
Ms. Katie Delp of FCS (Focused Community Strategies) explained how her organization is working in five neighborhoods in Atlanta. Through its work FCS has completed 80 affordable homes, operated 3 small business providing much needed services in those communities (thrift store, coffee shop and a food co-operative), provided jobs to single moms and teens and partnered in the development of a local charter school.
Members of the MARCH Foundation board were invited to participate in a panel discussion by the African American Business Resource Group at the UPS corporate office. Board members (left to right) Eric Leufroy, Doug Smalls, Jim Winestock, Ken Jarvis, Jim Castillo and Keith Jones field questions presented to the group by moderator Mike Johnson, Vice President Human Resources. The African American Business Resource Group established goals in the areas of growing the business, connecting with the community and connecting with and supporting each other. UPS Chief Information Officer Dave Barnes serves as the Executive Sponsor for the AABRG.
Ken Jarvis, the first African American UPS driver, shared how he was able to navigate the challenges and opportunities that came with being the first black driver and what helped him become successful later in his UPS career. The other board members on the panel also shared what made them successful and what people needed to do today to prepare themselves not only for today’s opportunities but future ones as well.
Sandra Barnhill, National President and Beth Wettlin, Program Director for Forever Family explained the importance of ensuring that the children of incarcerated parents maintain contact with their parents and get the support that they need to become successful citizens in our nation. Forever Family helps by providing transportation to the facilities for the children, support and counseling for the incarcerated parents and their children, as well as an after school program that provides the children with a safe place to interact and get support from staff and other children in similar situations. Since its inception 25 years ago Forever Family has helped over 20,000 children.