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Poverty & Equity Thought Leadership

Georgia Power Helps Power Families First’s Mission: Building Resilient Communities so All Children can Thrive

More now than ever, major corporations are making an impact beyond providing great products and customer service. They are also giving back and creating more opportunities for the communities they serve. Over and above just turning on the lights, Georgia Power is helping empower families to move from surviving to thriving. Recently, Georgia Power donated $100,000 to Families First to support initiatives focused on education equity, criminal justice and economic empowerment, which are all areas of community assistance provided by the 132 year old family service organization. 

“Georgia Power is clearly committed to advancing racial equity and social justice, and we’re honored they have chosen to include Families First in their giving strategy, which allows us to further expand our services to bring more families to a place of economic and educational equity; as well as furthering our work towards criminal justice equity and helping young fathers rebuild their lives,” stated Families First CEO DePriest Waddy. “This generosity shows how Georgia Power is working across the state to bring light and power to families in so many ways. These resources will be empowering our families for generations to come.” 

“Creating generational and sustained positive change really begins with improving the stability and resiliency of families, providing a strong foundation and base of support for Georgia’s children so they can thrive and grow outside of the home,” said Bentina Terry, Senior Vice President, Region External Affairs for Georgia Power. “Families First is well known and respected for its decades of service in helping parents, caregivers and children face and overcome challenges across areas such as mental health, education, housing and more. We’re proud to support their mission as part of our broader effort to advance social justice in Georgia communities through 2025.” 

Education Equity

To achieve equity in education, Families First invests in safe and supportive networks that stimulate learning, provide access to community programs, and prepare youth for high-paying jobs. Taking a two-generation approach through its Navigator Care Model, there is a focus on creating stability for children with an emphasis on reading at grade level and graduating from high school. The Parents as Teachers program offers in-home parenting education, advocacy, and skill building support to both pregnant and parenting teens, as well as families from households where English is not the primary language. These educational efforts are furthered through a myriad of partnerships in metro Atlanta such as Raising Expectations in Atlanta; the Georgia Center for Opportunity and Impact46 in Gwinnett County. 

Offering parenting services to the Spanish speaking community, the CHISPA (Spanish for spark) program focuses on the early education of children, ages 0-5 years old. Bilingual parent educators visit parents and children in their homes, providing parent leadership training as well as school transition and literacy activities. Through this array of programs and initiatives, Families First realizes that education equity isn’t a “one size fits all.”  The organization has thereby created programs and currently partners with other organizations to provide individuals and families with tailored services to best suit their needs. This approach ultimately fosters success through education, despite what systemic and environmental issues they may be facing. 

Economic Empowerment

Over the next three years, more than 6,000 parents and their children will receive an assessment for resilience through Families First’s new psycho-social resilience tool and be offered mental health and coaching services from Families First, with the goal of increasing their access to livable-wage jobs and higher education. By focusing on employment readiness and access to employment resources, families are being accelerated out of poverty by first understanding their access to social determinants of health – i.e. basic needs (such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation); connectedness to individuals and organizations who can lend a hand; and optimism that life can get better after facing a setback. 

Over the past few years, it’s come to the forefront of how much of an impact mental health can have on a family’s ability to succeed both at home and in the workplace. With mental health and coaching services, helping to increase optimism, and enhancing their opportunities for career achievements, in turn financial stability is increased and the heightened sense of stress for these families is lowered. 

One way that families are being navigated towards home ownership is through FLOW. This partnership with Atlanta Housing and the City of Atlanta provides tenant-based housing assistance for individuals and families that successfully “graduate” from living in permanent supportive housing arrangement to stable housing with light-touch supportive services. From mental health and job readiness services to living arrangements and childcare, Families First provides and partners with other organizations to give families the comprehensive care they need to become economically empowered and self-sufficient. 

Showing its commitment to the communities it powers, Georgia Power’s generous donation provides Families First with more power to create a sustained path for the city’s most vulnerable citizens for generations to come and to empower families with opportunities to go from striving to thriving. Georgia Power is a Visionary Supporter of our Equitable Communities are Resilient Communities events series which will launch on May 12, at Dining for a Difference at the Georgia Aquarium.


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