Organizations: Atlanta Metropolitan College Foundation
The Atlanta Metropolitan College Foundation specializes in a mission known as “gap funding.” This nonprofit in southwest Atlanta covers the balance of the tuition if a student falls short, to help him or her stay in college and complete a degree at Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC).
“Some of these students may owe only a small amount, but even that can cause them to drop out,” says Lauretta Hannon, interim vice president of Strategic Marketing and Advancement.
Established in 1984, the foundation supports at least 150 students a year, most of them with local roots and plans to stay put and give back to their communities.
“Atlanta is the tale of two cities,” says University President Gary McGaha. “The void between the haves and have-nots here is wider than in any other place in the nation. That’s why our college is so important. We are the bridge – we are the actual institution that is closing the opportunity divide.”
“We’re dealing with some of the most disadvantaged students in the state,” Hannon says, “but they are also among the most successful.” AMSC boasts the highest graduation rate in the Georgia state college system, she says, and its pre-engineering curriculum has prepared many of the students to thrive at Georgia Tech.
The organization has partnered with several corporate entities, including Georgia Power and Delta Air Lines, which donated $50,000. “We can do so much with a donation like that,” Hannon says, adding “If I had to sum up what our foundation does, I’d say we help individuals transform their setbacks into comebacks.”