United Way Achievement Club Members Celebrate Success at First Graduation

IMG_2622YELLS Parents and Franklin Gateway community members celebrated their shared success at last month’s Achievement Club Graduation. Spirits were high as each club member reflected on the goals they achieved and the relationships they built by working alongside each other to improve their lives.


We’re so grateful to the United Way of Greater Atlanta for choosing YELLS and Franklin Gateway for their incredible Achievement Club initiative.  Ms. Kelleyina Johnson addressed her peers as Valedictorian of our first YELLS Achievement Club. She got her whole family engaged in a multi-generational approach to family empowerment.

Through this new partnership with United Way, the YELLS Achievement Club provides parents with the support and extra motivation to improve their lives in meaningful ways. YELLS parents collaborated with community members to set realistic and purposeful SMART goals for themselves. Under the monitoring of United Way and YELLS staff, community members actually receive cash for working toward their own goals and develop relationships and a support network in the process!  Listen as Ms. Kelleyina thanks United Way for their support and looks forward to the next session of Achievement Club:

Many stories began the same – people were skeptical about whether this club could really make a difference and hesitant to engage because they already had such busy lives.  Yet, each person shared how their perspectives were changed as they began to build friendships with their neighbors who pushed them to strive for their goals.  Michael Graham shared that his neighbor Otty Koesoema would show up at his door in the morning and wouldn’t accept “no” to her invitation to take a walk and help him achieve his desire to live healthier.


20180120_151326Shakira McCullough shared that the Achievement Club reminded her not to lose herself as she worked to provide the life she envisions for her children.  To Shakira, YELLS and her Achievement Club offer the family love and support she craved and motivated her to invest in herself and her family.



Check out the proud graduates receiving their certificates:

All of the club members couldn’t say enough about Ms. Renelda, their greatest coach.  She provided the motivation, love, and extra push everyone needed to keep reaching toward their goals.

It’s easy to see what incredible friendships and community emerged through the testimonies of our YELLS Achievement Club members.  Enjoy hearing from them in their own words:

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