Providing the resources, relationships, and opportunities children living below the poverty line need to reach their potential.
Create Your Dreams (CYD) is a long-term, youth development program dedicated to nurturing the talents and dreams of students living in underserved areas on the Westside of Atlanta. We provide the resources, opportunities, and relationships to children living below the poverty line to equip them to reach their potential and break the cycle of generational poverty. Funding for CYD is provided in part by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, under the guidance of the Fulton County Department of Community Development.Read More
CYD '12, Georgia State University '16, CYD Board Member '18 Interview by Ericyonna, CYD 9th grader 1. How do you define success? Success for me is the ability to be completely free in all aspects of life whether it be financially, physically spiritually, and emotionally.
2. How did CYD help you succeed? CYD has helped me by providing me with the necessities I needed to finish college and unconditional love and support. 3. What advice do you have to overcome obstacles? No matter how tough your circumstances, you have to continue to believe that your situation will change for the better. The way you visualize your outcome will become your reality. 4. Where did you go to college and what was your major? I went to Georgia State University and majored in Journalism with a minor in African American Studies. 5. What are your long-term goals? My long-term goals are to become a media mogul and to change the world through healing and unconditional love.
CYD '03, Dillard University '07, University of Nebraska '15, CYD Board Member '18 Interview by Ajone, CYD 9th grader 1. How did CYD help you? CYD was instrumental in providing the resources that I lacked, coming from an impoverished neighbor, that gave me a fighting chance to become successful. Although, I still had to do the work!
2. What was your favorite thing about CYD? Growing up and being a CYD student throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and having the opportunity to spend time with the same group of people each week, we became family. 3. How do you stay involved as an adult with CYD? After college, I moved back to Atlanta so I would often just stop by the studio because of the relationships we made as adolescents. Ironically, my staying involved as an adult was a catalyst for the success I’m currently experiencing as a adult. 4. What do you do for work? I’m currently a Certified Clinical Perfusionist. I’m a member of the surgical heart team at Emory hospital, operating the heart lung machine during cardiac surgery. 5. Do you like your job? I absolutely love what I do!!
Since 1994, we are proud that 100% of students who completed CYD graduated high school, 95% of those students began a post-secondary program, 75% of those students are either still enrolled or have earned their degrees, and 35% of the alums who earned their bachelor's degree, earned their master's degree!
This educational success directly correlates to income levels. In an analysis by the Equality of Opportunity Project, Atlanta Ranked next to lowest in economic mobility -- allowing only 4.5% of those born into poverty to move out of poverty.
Thankfully CYD graduates are breaking those odds! According to Pew Research data and the income of CYD graduates -- 15% reached the upper class, 65% reached middle class, and 20% remained below the poverty line. When data shows that with CYD, 80% of children born into poverty move out, compared to the 4.5% without CYD, it is evident that our program changes lives.Donate Today