ATLANTA, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Families First, an Atlanta-based organization that has been providing support for children and families for 125 years, is collaborating with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (Laureus USA), through the support of Mercedes-Benz USA, to engage Atlanta's Westside community through the power of sport. The organizations will focus on delivering after-school youth sports programs to the English Avenue, Vine City and Washington Park neighborhoods and a longer-term initiative to explore how sports can help strengthen families and children in this community. With the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on the horizon of the Westside as a reminder of the power of community and sport, Families First and Laureus USA will be working to extend that power and energy to the neighborhood.
"We are proud of our partnership with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA," said Kim Anderson, CEO of Families First. "We know from Laureus' work around the world that sport is a tool to positively impact underserved communities. As we look for innovative ways to be a positive contributor and good neighbor on the Westside, collaborating with the community to design programs that will bring about social, health and education outcomes for the youth is the smart solution. We are glad that Laureus understands the importance of Westside residents informing their plans at the onset, which is the core of our strategic plan priority to engage and galvanize community to create a shared responsibility for all children."
Families First has served Atlanta's Westside neighborhoods since 1890 creating sustainable solutions that connect, sustain and strengthen children and families. Families First will use their existing relationships with community leaders and residents to help Laureus USA identify community needs and deliver meaningful sports programming.
"We're honored to be working alongside an organization like Families First to contribute to the city of Atlanta," said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus USA. "Just as we made accomplishments with the Laureus Initiative in New Orleans, we know implementing sustainable sports programming on the Westside will strengthen not only the youth, but the community as a whole."
Laureus USA Chairman, Edwin Moses, is no stranger to the importance of sports for youth on the Westside. As a young man, Moses trained for the 1976 Olympic trials while a student at Morehouse College using the public high school facilities in the community because there was no track at Morehouse. "As a graduate of Morehouse College, I know first-hand that Atlanta's Westside is in need of long-lasting support," says Moses.
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a long-standing partner of Mercedes-Benz, has a 16-year history of investing in sport development programs and advancing the movement to use sport as a vehicle for social change across the globe.
Here in the States, Laureus USA is supported by Mercedes-Benz USA, and since 2012 the two have impacted over 400,000 at-risk youth in 58 cities across the nation by providing safe and healthy environments through in-school and after-school programming.
On June 16, ESPN announced that Mercedes-Benz USA, in partnership with Laureus USA, is a finalist for the ESPN Humanitarian Corporate Community Impact Award for their collaboration on the Laureus Model City Initiative in New Orleans. The initiative is an innovative way to create collective impact, and brings together 20 community organizations in New Orleans to work together to increase access to quality youth sports programming. Thus far, the Laureus Model City Initiative has benefited over 25,000 youth in New Orleans.
Families First and the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, USA are excited about the future and the strides they will make, together, on the Westside.
ABOUT FAMILIES FIRST:
Families First is Georgia's leading nonprofit, family-service agency, serving metro Atlanta for 125 years. Our mission is to ensure the success of children in jeopardy by empowering families. We impact more than 37,000 of Georgia's children and families each year through our 11 core program strategies. Families First fosters strong communities by delivering comprehensive and sustainable solutions for children and families -- solutions that improve child well-being and family self-sufficiency to break generational cycles of poverty. For more information, please visit www.familiesfirst.org.
ABOUT LAUREUS SPORT FOR GOOD FOUNDATION USA:
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (Laureus USA) is a public charity whose mission is to change the lives of youth and strengthen communities through the power of sport. Laureus USA achieves this by supporting organizations in their delivery of quality, sustainable programming that leads to positive social, health, education and employment outcomes for youth in underserved communities. Laureus USA is part of an international network, which includes the global Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Laureus World Sports Academy, and the Laureus World Sports Awards. For more information, please visit www.laureususa.com.
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SOURCE Families First; Mercedes-Benz USA