Posted on May 21, 2019



Allison Fried: (571) 236-2589 (

Emilee Lamb: (571) 480-2367 (


National network welcomes social entrepreneur-led organizations driving solutions to break the cycle of poverty in Atlanta

 ATLANTA, Ga., May 20, 2019 – Stand Together Foundation today announced new partnerships with 10 organizations working to break the cycle of poverty in Atlanta. They will participate in Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program and join a growing national network of now 141 high-performing nonprofits that are transforming communities across the country.

“Atlanta is a hotbed of social innovation with top-notch organizations working to break barriers that are holding people back,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of Stand Together Foundation. “We are excited to work with partners in Atlanta developing some of the most effective solutions to the complex problems of poverty. Their incredible work helps people transform their lives, and our goal is to simply help them help more.”

Stand Together Foundation’s newest cohort will kick off today, May 20, with an opening summit and will join eight existing Stand Together Foundation Catalysts with locations in or around Atlanta as part of the Catalyst Network. Selected organizations include:

  Addiction Recovery, Mental Health and Trauma

In-Prison, Reentry and Second Chances

 Workforce Development

Youth and Education

The Stand Together Foundation Catalyst Program brings together nonprofit organizations that have demonstrated success in addressing one or more of the root drivers of cyclical poverty. Through its highly selective training and mentorship program, Stand Together Foundation works with catalyst partners to support, strengthen, and scale their work across six issue areas: Addiction and Mental Health; Financial Empowerment and Entrepreneurship; Housing and Homelessness; In-Prison, Reentry and Second Chances; Workforce Development; and Youth and Education. Organizations selected into the Catalyst Program also gain long-term access to, a project of Stand Together Foundation that connects individuals, donors, fundraisers, and skills-based volunteers to nonprofits around the country.

About Stand Together Foundation
Stand Together Foundation is breaking the cycle of poverty by supporting the creative solutions of individuals and communities around the country. Our goal is to help effective, high-performing social entrepreneurs maximize impact—to help them help more—by bringing a business-like approach to the social sector. The result is a vetted Catalyst Network of some of the most highly effective and top-performing non-profits in the U.S. that are helping people in poverty transform their lives.

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CEO & Philanthropist Millard Choate Joins Bright Futures Atlanta Board of Directors

Bright Futures Atlanta, a non-profit that focuses on helping youth of limited resources on Atlanta’s Westside by providing spiritual,
educational and familial support, today announces the addition of Millard Choate to its Board of Directors by a unanimous vote.



“Millard has had an active role with Bright Futures Atlanta now for several years and we are so excited to have him join our Board of Directors as we expand our impact on the west side. With his skill set, experience, resources and enthusiasm, he is sure to bring a level of passion and professionalism to assist Bright Futures Atlanta in its mission to teach, train and transform the youth of our community,” says Philip Ross, Executive Director of Bright Futures Atlanta.


In addition to sitting on the board of directors at Bright Futures Atlanta, Millard Choate has graciously donated the Westside building site that will become the new Bright Futures Atlanta Community Youth Center.



Due to the continued success and growth of its programs, Bright Futures Atlanta broke ground on its new Community Youth Center this week, located at 744 Gary Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318. The organization’s current Bright Futures House was built in 2008. The success of their after-school and summer camp programs – resulting in record enrollments – means that they have no more space to continue their growth. Mr. Choate’s generous donation of the Westside site will enable Bright Futures Atlanta to continue to meet this community’s needs for its kids. 


Bright Futures Atlanta was formed in 2002 in order to promote the spiritual, academic and physical growth of its youth participants and their families through year-round programs. That vision continues to come to life through the highly effective Bright Futures Atlanta programming that is helping young people overcome the barriers they face to achieve a successful life filled with meaning and purpose. For more information, visit



Millard Choate founded Choate Construction Company, Inc. in 1989 and has served as its President for almost 40 years. Since March of 2017 he has transitioned to Chairman of the Board and CEO of the company. He has also been previously chosen as an Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Ernst & Young, Inc. Magazine, and Merrill Lynch, Volunteer of the Year by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and was inducted into Clemson University’s Construction Science and Management Department Hall of Fame. He is active in several charitable organizations including Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympics Georgia and Homestretch. For more information, please visit

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Ground Breaking Event for the New Bright Futures Atlanta Community Youth Center

Bright Futures Atlanta has a vision for the community of West Atlanta. Since its inception in 2002, Bright Futures Atlanta has inspired, educated and promoted it’s youth participants to graduate High School and become self-sufficient members of the community who have enrolled in college, joined the military or secured full time employment.


Due to the continued success and growth of its programs, the Bright Futures House – built in 2008 – has become too small to accommodate their current enrollment.  To make room for their growing after-school and summer camp programs, they have secured a new facility located at 744 Gary Road.


The Bright Futures Atlanta founders, board members, community members, major donors and students will be involved with the ground breaking event on February 19.


WHAT: Ground Breaking for new Bright Futures Atlanta campus

WHEN: Tuesday February 19; 11:30 am program begins

LOCATION744 Gary Road, Atlanta, 30318

Bright Futures Atlanta founders Philip and Gail Ross, have lived in the community for 20 years and have built deep relationships with youth and their families in west Atlanta, including Bankhead, Vine City, the Bluff and surrounding areas.

It was from their seeing and building an understanding first-hand of the challenges faced by the youth in the area, that Philip and Gail felt led to first develop Bright Futures Atlanta. That vision continues to come to life through the highly effective Bright Futures Atlanta programming that is helping young people overcome the barriers they face to achieve a successful life filled with meaning and purpose.

This new space will allow for continued growth of the Bright Futures Atlanta mission. With the support and commitment of their board, committee members, and donors, Bright Futures Atlanta is truly realizing the vision that it’s founders had in 2002.


Sportscaster James Brown Visits Bright Futures Atlanta Students

ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) Sportscaster James ‘JB’ Brown visited with students at Bright Futures Academy where he inspired them to reach for the sky. 

Eyes were locked in on the legendary broadcaster at the assembly where he stressed that each student has a bright future ahead of them.

“He can relate to us, because he came from the same place that we came from,” said 16-year-old Jordan Jones, a student at Bright Futures Academy.

Brown says he wants students to know they can do exactly what he has done.

“They can do better, and whatever their passion, whatever their gift is, they can pursue it to the max, with the spirit of excellence, irrespective of the environment or what others may have said about them,” said Brown.

The school’s Executive Director and Founder, Philip Ross, says they want their students to get advice from someone other than their parents and teachers.

“Just to kind of give them a little bit of insight on where he’s come from, how he got where he got,” said Ross, “Our kids need to talk and see people who look like them, people who have come from where they’ve come from, people who can relate to their situation.”

Brown, who is in town for the Super Bowl, spent his afternoon trying to provide encouragement to the next generation.

“I come from similar circumstances, so I’m hoping that sharing that with them, and understanding what I’m doing now is not what many people would have thought I would be doing years ago,” added Brown.

“He makes me feel like we can do anything we set our minds to,” Jones said, “He made it up there, so it made me feel like I can also make it up there too.”

Brown says although he was brought in to make an impression on the students, it was them who really made a lasting impression on him.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Bright Futures Atlanta Holds Wall Breaking Ceremony

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46)- A metro Atlanta school focused on helping youth of limited resources on Atlanta’s west-side had its groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

Bright Futures Academy is growing and expanding to better serve the next generation in our community.

“Oh, my goodness, it’s had a big impact, Marquesha, she went from F’s and C’s to A’s and B’s,” said Ruby Mattox, whose granddaughter, Marquesha, attends Bright Futures.

Ruby Mattox gleams as she talked about her 17-year-old granddaughter.

“Bright Future’s has really changed her life,” Mattox added.

“We have to be intentional about supporting our youth, and giving them what they need, so when they become adults, they are giving back to the community that they’re serving,” said City Council President, Felicia A. Moore, with the City of Atlanta, as she spoke to the crowd.

This new space will be used for summer camp and after school programs.

“When the kids get out of school at Bright Futures Academy, they’ll be brought here for after school programming, snacks, then dinner, and a ride home,” said Philip Ross, the Executive Director of Bright Futures.

Ross called the area an “opportunity desert” and wants to help these kids have some experiences they might not otherwise have.

“We expose them to all kinds of things they’ve never been exposed to before,” added Ross. 

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“They always take the kids out on trips during the summer, and during the school year as well, and I couldn’t afford to take them on some of the trips they are taking the kids,” Mattox said.

The expansion means the world to parents and grandparents whose children already attend Bright Futures.

“It means a great deal, because that means they can help more kids,” said Mattox.

The goal is to give more students an opportunity to receive a quality education to be successful in life.

School staff members say they hope this is one of many expansions as the school continues to grow.


Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Andrea’s Story

“That was the moment I knew Bright Futures was where I needed to be. It was a place that made me believe in dreaming.”

How did you become a part of Bright Futures?

In 2005, I was a middle school student at West Fulton Middle School and during that time Philip was known for walking the halls. One day while I standing in front of my school’s poster that read “Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Philip came up next to me and said, “No, it’s wrong. It should be ‘Shoot for the moon, if you miss, aim again.’’’ That was the first time I met Philip. His quote spoke deeply to me because I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of a place that made me believe in dreaming. I wanted to be a part of Bright Futures.

How did Bright Futures help you?

One of the things that I loved about my time with Bright Futures was the exposure I received. There were so many things I did not know I could do. This may seem like a simple thing, but before Bright Futures I did not know how to swim, had never gone to the beach or the mountains, and I don’t know if I would have without them.  Things that other people may take for granted (like going to the beach), Bright Futures opened my eyes too.

What I’ll never forget is that when Philip and Gail saw how my family was living at that time, they stepped in and helped us.  There were seven of us living in a two bedroom apartment, my parents in one room and myself, four sisters and one brother in the other room. Gail came in and redid our room and it was beautiful.  Philip and Gail have been there for us over the years. They covered the cost for my SAT tests and helped me prepare and study for it. They taught me and my siblings how to drive! They even helped me purchase my first car after I graduated high school.

What are you up to now?

In 2016, I graduated from Georgia Southern University and my major was Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources and minor in marketing. Today, I live in Savannah and am a manager at a Belk department store. I am currently teaching myself Korean and plan to move to Korea to teach English and travel the world.

I give Bright Futures credit for helping me believe in myself and achieve my proudest moment to date which is moving to Savannah and having my own apartment. Because of them, I am independent.

If you had to use one word to describe your experience with Bright Futures what would it be?

Life-Altering and Hope

What else do you want others to know about Bright Futures?

Bright Futures gave me hope when everything else felt hopeless to me and opened my eyes to God which is the ultimate hope so I think everyone should know that. They taught me that education is important. But what they are doing is more than just education. They are taking kids out the hood and changing them into God loving people. That’s something that goes beyond giving back.

What I also want people to know is that my family and story is one of many. Philip, Gail and Bright Futures have done so much for me and others and I am just so grateful to them.

Andrea’s story would not be possible without the support of people like you. Click “Make A Difference” to help us reach our end-of-year goal of $150,000 and give other deserving kids a brighter future.
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