A Holistic Approach
The seeds for success were planted in Atlanta, Georgia in 1995 when local real estate developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins learned that East Lake Meadows was a place without hope, and committed to changing the conditions and destinies of the people living there.
Mr. Cousins partnered with Atlanta Housing Authority President and CEO Renée Glover, resident leader Eva Davis, and local business leaders to undertake the monumental task of revitalizing the neighborhood. This devastated neighborhood was home to some of the worst crime rates in the country, rampant drug use, a substandard school, and extreme poverty.
Building A Better Community
Mr. Cousins and his partners developed a holistic approach for revitalizing the East Lake area that included new mixed-income housing, opening a charter school with rigorous academic standards and high expectations, constructing a YMCA, and bringing in an array of services and resources, including:
- A Before and After School Program at the Charles R. Drew Charter School, that provides academic, cultural and recreational opportunities to support strong intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.
- The CREW (Creating Responsible, Educated and Working) Teens program, which helps East Lake teenagers complete high school and develop a plan for post-secondary education and careers. Participants receive tutoring, homework assistance, standardized test preparation, community service and leadership training, career advisement and assistance with navigating the college admissions and financial aid process.
- The Resident and Community Support Program (RCSP), which helps build a sense of community and provides resources and programs focused on economic stability, career development, financial literacy, and community partnerships that enhance employment readiness and help residents thrive.
- The First Tee® of East Lake, a year-round golf instruction and life skills program that provides young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship through golf and character education.