Students experiencing homelessness in Georgia are dropping out of school at alarming rates.
In a study based on the 2016/17 school year, the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) indicated over 38,000 Georgia students experienced homelessness in their lives - that's almost 2% of the total Georgia population of students. These students are almost 90% more likely to drop out of school due to poor attendance, failed courses, disciplinary issues, compared to their non-homeless peers, according to according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
It's one reason why Stablegold Hospitality (SGH) supports non-profit organizations such as Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading and Serving (YELLS), which gives Franklin Gateway youth the opportunity to avoid this fate by offering afterschool and mentoring programs.
"Sometimes the Franklin Gateway community gets a bad wrap because our neighborhood is economically challenged," said Laura Keefe, who co-founded the organization in 2013 along with a coalition of community partners. "Our initiatives set up Franklin Gateway youth for success and prove what a positive impact they can have when given the chance."
Providing unique leadership opportunities, such as directing, marketing, and managing large scale community events are at the forefront of YELLS' mission. These opportunities encourage youth to foster positive relationships with community partners such as City Council, local police, and the Marietta Fire Department, from a young age.
"These are teens who are actively looking to learn and grow" said SGH CEO Ali Jamal. "YELLS offer youth who don't have access to tutoring and other support the ability to succeed at the high school or even college level."
To date, SGH has committed $20k to YELLS Inc, and will be renewing its annual funding in January.