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.

History


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

Programs

Graduation Generation enriches Atlanta’s K-12 community by driving its charter through a variety of programs. Here is a list of our most recent programs. 

Curriculum Boost provides academic support across the curriculum for select middle and high school teachers in Atlanta, including creating/supplementing lessons and establishing enrichment opportunities.

S.E.E.D. is a mentoring program for 9th-12th grade students. Emory undergraduate and graduate students host visits called A Day at Emory on Emory's campus. The mentors created academic and social activities for the students, such as stress management techniques, exposure to careers in science and business, campus exposure, etc.

The SAT/ACT Preparatory Program is designed to support and enrich the academic and curricular needs of students preparing for college entry exams. Graduation Generation provides weekly study guides, test preparation, and academic enrichment to help students tackle the SAT/ACT with confidence.

STEAM club is a monthly after school program. A team of Emory undergraduates, graduate students, and community members implement STEAM lessons and engaging hands-on activities. Emory undergraduate and graduate students gain experience working with K-12 students and teachers and the K-12 students receive innovative and interesting exposure to STEAM fields.

Model UN is a program for high school students. Emory interns instruct the high school students in Model UN methodologies; such as research, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. The students participate in one conference per semester.

Paving Our Futures is a mentoring program led by Emory students, designed to assist high school students with the college application process, including searching for scholarships and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

SOAR is a program meant to help high school students pursue research under the wing of a mentor. It matches high school students with professors at Emory and covers resume writing and professionalism in an effort to prepare students for their future ahead of high school. SOAR hopes to bring in graduate students to speak on their experiences in research as well. For the 2019-20 academic year, the SOAR team matched three high school students with three professors at Emory.
Emory Reads is a student-run organization in Emory College of Arts and Sciences. This organizationworks with local public schools to provide tutoring to K-8th grade students in the area. All Emory students may apply as volunteers or work-study students. Emory Reads tutors pledge to be a consistent resource for each of the schools they work with as well as empower Atlanta youth to excel in their education no matter the circumstances.
Black is Gold University is the college branch of the organization. Their chapters consist of Black collegiate women that are dedicated to empowering Black women across their college campuses, serving local communities, mentoring young women in high school, and building sisterhood.

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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 

  1. Reach out to us 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.

Resources

Leaders, Staff, Student Workers

James Roland

Sr. Director, Civic and Community Engagement


Micah Tucker

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


Roxana Castillo Rivas

Student Intern


Raven Nesbitt

Student Intern