Community Accomplishments

Community Accomplishments to Break the Cycle of Poverty

Since the beginning of PPA there have been numerous community changes that respond to the issues raised. Some of these improvements are the direct result of citizen led PPA and OneAthens activity while others were in the planning stage prior to PPA. The fact that they were implemented during this period of intense attention to poverty is a positive outcome of the special community dialogue supported by PPA.





Athens Health Network




Early Childhood:

  • Expansion of Pre-K classrooms so that the Pre-K waiting list has been eliminated in Clarke County.
  • Expansion of child care centers and child care homes pursuing quality certification. The number of students impacted by programs pursuing state certification has increased from 543 students to 2412 students. Thirteen additional child care centers and six family child care homes in Clarke and adjacent counties are now pursuing the state quality certification.
  • Establishment of the Hope for Babies Fund. The Hope For Babies Fund is a fund administered through Nancy Travis House to provide scholarships for eligible children 0-3 to participate in quality early learning programs.
  • Creation of an early care and learning center at the Performance Learning Center to serve child care needs of students attending the school.


  • Approval of a Career Academy Charter School by the local school board. The Career Academy continues to be developed in collaboration with Athens Tech, University of Georgia, Clarke County Schools, Family Connections, and the Chamber of Commerce. The mission of the Athens Community Career Academy is to provide expansive opportunities for students to achieve educational and career goals while meeting local and regional workforce needs.
  • Expansion of dual enrollment opportunities provided to Clarke County high school students by Athens Tech. New classes will become available to these students 4:00-6:00 Monday through Thursdays and all day Fridays.
  • In the summer of 2008, UGA Human Resources will facilitate the placement of 30+ middle school students (grades 6 through 8) in internships/apprenticeships throughout UGA as part of the Junior Youth Apprenticeship Program. The purpose of this program is to provide these students with work experience during the summer.
  • In the fall of 2008, UGA Human Resources will facilitate the placement of 100+ high school students (grades 11 and 12) in new internships/apprenticeships throughout UGA as part of the Clarke County School District Youth Apprenticeship Program. The goal of this program is to empower students with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for successful employment/training in a chosen career field while providing them with pathways and information leading to postsecondary education.
  • Since 2002, the University of Georgia has increased its minimum hiring salary for benefit-eligible positions from $12,790 (July 2002) to $20,000 in January 2008. UGA is striving to continue to increase its minimum hiring rate.
  • In 2007, UGA Human Resources developed and implemented the UGA Community Partnership in employing people with disabilities ("UG/Ability/"). The agencies involved in this initiative include the University of Georgia, Advantage Behavioral Services, Goodwill, Hope Haven, the Georgia Department of Labor's Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Briggs & Associates. The goal of this partnership is to work collaboratively in the pursuit of securing employment at UGA for persons with mental and physical disabilities, and to be a business/employer role model for other employers in the region.
  • In the past, individuals with felony convictions were automatically disqualified from employment at UGA. Effective January 1, 2008, this is no longer the case, with the exception of UGA positions designated "position of trust."
  • Implementation of Jobs For Life. Jobs for Life is a faith-based partnership between local ministers, employers, and champions to provide soft skills to participants to help them to obtain and maintain jobs. A champion is a volunteer who is willing to enter into a relationship with one of the JFL students in which the champion helps the student reach his/her God-given potential. The champion will encourage the student during the class and maintain that support once the student is employed.
  • The Department of Labor has established a new Jobs for Georgia Graduates position housed at the Performance Learning Center.


  • Piedmont College has offered up to $500,000 in scholarships on behalf of PPA for students coming from poverty.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention:

  • A new comprehensive sex education policy has been adopted by the Clarke County School Board.
  • The Teen Pregnancy Task Force is working with non-profit and faith-based organizations to implement comprehensive curricula to reduce at-risk sexual behavior.
  • Opening of the new Teen Matters near Cedar Shoals that is now providing health services to teens. These services include health education and basic reproductive health services.
  • Implementation of a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Summit that has brought faith-based organizations, the school system, public health, and others together in a unified effort to reduce teen pregnancy.
  • The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force is organized to continue implementing the recommendations of the Implementation Team.


  • Increased bus service by four hours so that buses run Monday through Saturday until 11pm.


  • Supported the application and current follow-up on the Athens Neighborhood Health Center's bid for designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center.



  • A high school group organized Young Partners for a Prosperous Athens to address issues of poverty in the community.
  • 500 volunteers signed up at the PPA sponsored Volunteer Fair.
  • The Stable Foundation has been developed to support affordable housing for the homeless.
  • Supported the creation of the HandsOn North East Georgia Volunteer Center to coordinate volunteer recruitment and activities in Athens.
  • Supported the Food Policy Council's continued efforts to increase the affordability and accessibility of real food and increase entrepreneurship opportunities in local agriculture.