Atlanta Housing’s commitment to elevating its residents took center stage at the recent Teen Summit held at Roosevelt Hall. The event aligned with Atlanta Housing’s people-first approach to empowering residents and transforming communities while also reflecting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Strong Families Initiative pillars of health, education, and economic empowerment.

The atmosphere at Roosevelt Hall buzzed with excitement as Atlanta Housing volunteers and staff brought the spirit of higher education and economic advancement to life for teens. The transformative impact of the event was amplified by the presence of Atlanta Housing’s COO, Terri Lee, a proud alumna of undergraduate and graduate programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – Grambling State University and Jackson State University, respectively.

Sporting alma mater pride or donning their favorite college team gear, volunteers led activities aimed at equipping AH-assisted teens with resources, information, and inspiration crucial for their journey into adulthood. The agenda was carefully crafted to encourage actionable next steps for teens in preparation for their futures and for achieving economic self-sufficiency.

One of the highlights of the event was the College Grants & Scholarship Workshop, hosted by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. This session not only demystified the financial aspects of pursuing higher education but also provided tangible tools to assist attendees with navigating the scholarship application process.

An engaging panel discussion took place featuring esteemed guests who shared their personal and professional journeys. The panel included Shelvin Mack, a former NBA player turned Brooklyn Nets Recruiter and CBS College Basketball Analyst; Javar Gholson, a talent management and entertainment professional, and Khadija J. Head, PMP, CEO of Head Plumbing Sales and Services-a family-owned business and the oldest black-owned plumbing company in Georgia. The panelists’ diverse career paths and remarks demonstrated that there is no one ‘right way’ to reach financial and personal goals, inspiring attendees to explore their options in higher education, technical trades, and creative fields.

The panel concluded with a lunch and an Expo, which provided valuable resources and further opportunities for teens and their parents to network with educators, employers, talent professionals, and resource providers.

The inaugural Atlanta Housing Teen Summit proved to be an empowering event, furthering Atlanta Housing’s crucial work toward improving the quality of life for residents and providing opportunities to thrive for the youth, families, and individuals we serve.