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East Point center helps youth achieve
by Christine Fonville
November 26, 2013 02:06 PM | 811 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, Brianna Ways, 12,  and volunteer Darrell Shack at the Reef House.
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, Brianna Ways, 12, and volunteer Darrell Shack at the Reef House.
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The Future Foundation’s Reef House Learning Center in East Point is helping south Fulton’s youth and inviting parents or volunteers interested in doing the same to tour the facilities at 1892 Washington Road.

The center offers an after-school program providing homework help and mentoring for middle- and high school students.

Program Aide Brittany Gray said the center welcomes volunteers, mentors and supporters for various events, fundraisers or after-school help.

“We know a lot of parents work during the times we’re open, but we encourage them to come and see all that we do here and how we help students achieve more,” , she said.

Gray said the center’s founder, NBA star and former Atlanta Hawks forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, had a personal reason for starting the foundation in south Fulton.

“He grew up in East Point and had friends in these neighborhoods who, like him, felt unprepared going to college, so he wanted to start an organization to help local kids get support,” she said.

Abdur-Rahim’s sister, foundation Chief Executive Officer Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, said her experiences growing up in the city made her want to be a part of the center as well.

“As a youth who grew up in East Point, I experienced the challenges of poverty the children in these neighborhoods still face today,” she said in a statement.

Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim said the slow growth and lack of economic opportunities in the communities immediately south of Atlanta has put the area at a disadvantage compared to the north side.

“The imbalance has resulted in limited opportunities which are most evident by the poverty rate of about 24 percent, meaning one in four families in south Fulton lives below the poverty line,” she said.

Through the programs offered at the center and through the foundation, Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim said greater success and higher education are the end goals.

The center, built in 2004, has a computer lab, library, art room, kitchen, game room, group discussion room and back yard area with a basketball court.

“Our staff helps students with school projects and homework and provides a stable, secure place for them to get help and communicate,” Gray said.

Students participate in activities like dance, culinary arts and graphic design at the facility.

“The idea is to provide a level playing field for metro Atlanta youth through providing educational health,” Gray said.

Along with the tutoring and mentoring provided at the center, the foundation offers two other programs to engage and help youth in the community.

“RealTalk ATL is a program where we go to local high schools and talk to students about healthy relationships, love, and abuse prevention,” Gray said. “Parent Connect provides case management and educational programming to parents and helps them connect with their teenage children.”

Information: (404) 766-0510 or www.future-foundation.com.

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