About Us

Graduation Generation knows the exponential power of access to education for our young community members. For some, it’s an uphill climb. We engage students more fully, involve families more regularly, and empower teachers more effectively so kids have every opportunity. We mobilize the students, faculty and staff, of Emory University to collaborate with K-12 schools and community organizations to provide and support effective programs and services with schools in the metro Atlanta area seeking to prepare students to graduate to the next level and be both career and life ready.


Graduation Generation has a history of meeting the community during its hardest times. We were founded in 2010 during the great recession as an effort to invest in improving schools in local neighborhoods. Mr. Rick Rieder - a philanthropist, businessman, Emory alumnus/trustee, Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc., and member of the Communities in Schools National Leadership Council - donated $1 million to jumpstart the GradGen initiative.

Want to learn more? Read these:

Grad Gen 2019 - 2020 Annual Report

Grad Gen 2020 - 2021 Annual Report

Grad Gen 2021 - 2022 Annual Report

The Grad G.E.N. Way

Genuine Presence

Genuine presence in K-12 schools. Upholding Emory standards and K-12 school mandates through the fidelity and validity of our programs.

Effective Approaches

Effective approaches to learning and leadership. Implementing practices and procedures that provide structure and support success.

Numerous Connections

Numerous connections within the program. Engaging the community by building community.

Mission, Vision, and Purpose


To mobilize the students, faculty, and staff of Emory University to provide and support effective programs and services with K-12 schools and community organizations seeking to collaborate and prepare students to graduate to the next level of being both career and life ready.


To educate and empower all members of the GradGen community to recognize their value and potential to make a profound and positive impact in their school, community, and world.


To foster a community of support by empowering members of the Emory community, K-12 communities, and community organizations so that students remain in school, graduate, and achieve in life.


Across more than ten signature and affiliate programs, Graduation Generation is a consistent and valued presence in Atlanta K-12 schools. GradGen gives Emory students opportunities to provide service to others and to see service to others as privilege. Our approach of supporting experiential learning aligns with GradGen’s themes of college and career readiness, preparation, and exposure and has yielded tangible outcomes—not only for Emory students, but for K-12 students within the GradGen service area. Each semester, our efforts reach more than 300 local students across numerous schools and grade levels.

Beyond this direct involvement, GradGen also provides a variety of resources for Emory students, local educational professionals, and everyone in between. We frequently welcome local students to campus to give them a taste of life at Emory, and we also host roundtables and other events to connect students and educators with Emory administrators and professionals in a variety of fields.

To learn more, read our recent newsletters:

Fall 2022 - Edition 1

Fall 2022 - Edition 2

Spring 2023 - Edition 4

Spring 2023 - Edition 5

Spring 2023 - Edition 6

K-12 Partnership Packet 2022-2023



Graduation Generation enriches Atlanta’s K-12 community by driving its charter through a variety of programs. Click this link for a list of our most recent programs and the Graduation Generation interns who lead them!

How To Get Involved with Graduation Generation

With different projects happening every week around Atlanta, there are many ways to get involved.

All of them require different commitments from volunteers. Most of our undergraduate students have elected to continue as interns for seven semesters or more they find working with GradGen so rewarding.

“The ideas of college and the college application process are two very daunting ideas and students who come from low-income communities, who are often first-generation, may feel distant from the idea and even be intimidated by it. This should not be the case because the students we work with are incredibly talented.” –Emory undergrad volunteer 


Emory Volunteer

  1. Reach out to us (see contact information at the bottom of this page) to see which program you’re right for.
  2. See what works in your schedule.
  3. Sign up and get any training you need to start.

Emory Partner

  1. Refine your proposal for an affiliate program. What students/schools do you hope to work with? What subjects or curricula will you teach, and how will your efforts fit in to existing programming at schools around the Atlanta area?
  2. Gauge student interest in volunteering for your program, and forge connections. Do you have a K-12 school placement lined up? Are there enough student volunteers to run your program, or do you need help recruiting additional volunteers?
  3. Contact our leadership (see the bottom of this page) to identify an optimal collaboration.

K-12 Partner

  1. Review the resources on this website to understand the Graduation Generation partnerships model and identify potential areas of interest for your school. The Impact and Programs blocks on this page are great places to start!
  2. Contact our leadership (see the bottom of this page) to identify an optimal collaboration. We are always open to supporting K-12 schools through new offerings as our capacity allows!

Leaders and Staff

James Roland

Sr. Director, Civic and Community Engagement

Christy Bradley

Director, Atlanta Urban Debate League & K-12 Engagement

Micah Tucker

Senior Program Coordinator, K-12 Outreach and Support Graduation Generation