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In just about two weeks, the APS Class of 2021 will graduate! This class has persevered through innumerable challenges, some of which seemed too hard to bear. And yet, here they are, about to achieve this momentous milestone. The high school finish line is in sight. Soon, APS seniors will cross the graduation stage, in person, and begin new and exciting chapters in their lives.

Last week at Scholar Night, we celebrated students’ accomplishments and dreams for the future as we welcomed the 2021 cohort of Achieve Atlanta Scholars. We also celebrated Scholars’ parents and caregivers, who have pushed, pulled, and prayed their babies to the finish line throughout their lives, and especially this year. My own baby will be an APS graduate this spring and will head off to college in the fall. My heart bursts with pride, joy, sadness, and worry, but most of all, with love.

For all of you who are getting ready to celebrate a young person’s graduation, enjoy this season of accomplishment and inspiration. May we all be reminded that the best is yet to come.


Be well,
Tina

Achieve Atlanta added four new team members during 2021! We are excited to introduce these new team members, who bring additional capabilities and increase our ability to carry out our mission and vision.
 
As our new College Success Coach FellowBreale Howard delivers holistic coaching support to a caseload of Scholars (primarily at Atlanta Technical College and Atlanta Metropolitan State College) and provides resources to help Scholars successfully persist and complete.
 
Femi Johnson joins our team as the first Director, College Access, leading our college access partnership efforts.
 
As our very first Data Strategy FellowNatalee Jones supports the team by cleaning and organizing data and conducting analysis to inform programming.
 
Brandy McDonald-Johnson is our first Marketing & Communication Intern. She is a recent Achieve Atlanta graduate who earned her degree from Georgia Southern University.
Click here to read their full bios.
Please continue to encourage Atlanta Public Schools (APS) seniors to apply for our need-based award designed to support APS students pursuing various postsecondary paths after high school. When combined with other possible sources of financial aid, the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship should greatly reduce the need for students and families to take out high-interest private loans to pay for school. The scholarship application closes on May 31st.
Click here for more information and to apply!
Last week, we hosted a Virtual Scholar Night for our incoming cohort of Achieve Atlanta Scholars. Future Scholars, their families, and our partners joined us for a Zoom webinar where we celebrated these students’ accomplishments while also setting expectations for their college journey. This week, our incoming Scholars will participate in Virtual College Nights for their respective colleges, and we will provide them with a resource guide.

APS seniors are also participating in "Decision Day(s)" this week and are announcing where they plan to attend college on social media. We’ve shared a few APS seniors' photos below.
Achieve Atlanta, in partnership with APS, OneGoal and College Advising Corps, received a $100,00 grant from National College Attainment Network (NCAN) and The Kresge Foundation. This grant will help the APS high school classes of 2020 and 2021 to enroll and/or persist in college this fall. We were one of 10 organizations selected out of a pool of 110 proposals from across the country! 
 
This funding will support multiple initiatives this summer and early fall, including:
  • hiring counselors to provide postsecondary support to a targeted group of 2021 graduates
  • implementing a robust texting initiative staffed by College Advising Corps advisers to keep college-intending class of 2021 grads on track with enrollment tasks
  • supporting OneGoal Fellows from the classes of 2020 and 2021 to successfully transition into, or persist through, college this fall
Click here to read the full press release.

We are celebrating our spring 2021 Achieve Atlanta Graduates who have worked so hard to earn their postsecondary degrees! We will be sharing our graduates on social media in the coming weeks. You can meet four of them below.

Omar

Graduating from Kent State University with a degree in fashion merchandising. He graduated from Jackson High School.

Kyra

Graduating from Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. She graduated from North Atlanta High School.

Josh

Graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in criminal justice studies and sociology. He graduated from North Atlanta High School.

Nia

Graduating from Valdosta State University with a degree in exercise physiology. She graduated from Drew Charter School.

We've now had five cohorts of Achieve Atlanta Scholars, and last fall we surveyed a sample of Scholars about their financial situations and unmet financial need. They answered questions about their financial wellness, submitted their financial aid award letters or college bills, and estimated other school-related expenses. After analyzing the survey responses, we summarized the key findings in the report, A Snapshot of Achieve Atlanta Scholars’ Finances.

Click here to read the full report.
Click here to read Tina’s blog on work-study.
Are you following Achieve Atlanta on your favorite social media channels? Stay updated on what we're doing by following us. Click the social media icons below and visit our website!
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Achieve Atlanta · 191 Peachtree St NE Ste 1000 · Atlanta, GA 30303-1741 · USA