The statistics in the zip codes that CIS of Atlanta serves can be discouraging. According to the United Way Child Well Being Index, Kids Count and Census Data, the rate of need is extremely high in Metro Atlanta. In the City of Atlanta, Clayton County, Dekalb County and South Fulton almost 300,000 students do not have the resources needed to succeed. 40.5% of these students live in households that receive public assistance. 26.4% of these students live in a household where no parent has a full-time job. These problems produce barriers to success and many students need extra support to realize and reach their dreams.
How can students beat all the odds and become successful? The answer is in one word: education. There is equity in education. CIS of Atlanta’s CEO Frank Brown was a guest speaker at Leadership Atlanta Education Day. During his speech, he spoke about how life obstacles can deter kids from becoming their best selves. “Everyone has a zip code. Unfortunately, in America if you’re in the wrong zip code it could predetermine your outcome; which could be jail, death or not being a full participant in the American Dream. Far too often, kids from certain zip codes drop out of school, don’t have jobs and have serious health conditions.”
Like many of the kids CIS of Atlanta serves, Frank was born in a zip code that wasn’t the best. There were many circumstances at home that could have hindered him from succeeding in life. Fortunately, he didn’t let those situations overcome him. Throughout his life he continued to further his education. He graduated from college, went on to law school and then dedicated his life to working in public service.
CIS of Atlanta is here to help students finish school no matter their obstacles. “We place loving adults in schools. The mission is simple: to knock down non-academic barriers,” Frank said. The goal is to change the outcome. CIS of Atlanta points students in the direction of higher education opportunities, technical opportunities or the military. CIS of Atlanta is changing the soil in these communities by letting students know that their zip code doesn’t determine their outcome.
Watch Frank Brown’s entire speech on our Facebook page.
Learn more about the CIS of Atlanta model here.