Agape Youth & Family Center

aka Agape Youth and Family Center   |   Atlanta, GA   |


Agape empowers and supports underserved families within its community to discover and embrace their full potential. 
Agape achieves this mission by offering programs and services that areresponsive to a variety of needs for school-age children, disabled individuals, adults, senior citizens, and families of Northwest Atlanta.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Nell Benn LCSW

Main address

2210 Marietta BLVD NW

Atlanta, GA 30318 USA

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NTEE code info

Community Recreational Centers (N31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Academic-based Afterschool Programs for Elementary and Middle School Students

The 5-day a week academic-based afterschool programs for elementary and middle school students are designed to promote academic achievement, while expanding their social development and broadening their educational horizons.   The mission of the afterschool programs is to improve and/or maintain students’ academic performance through tutoring/mentoring, character building, and familial support.  Funding provided in part by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Housing and Human Services Department Grant Programs.

Population(s) Served

Each Summer Agape offers 8-weeks of free, intense-fitness summer camp programming for girls and boys ages 8 to 16. The goal of the program is to get girls and boys active, and to educate them on healthy choices that lead to healthy lifestyles.  Program components include: physical fitness, an educational curriculum including topics such as body image, teamwork, goal setting, nutrition and peer pressure, community service, college and university tours and journaling. These programs are based on a national teen sports initiative designed by Billie Jean King for the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Population(s) Served
Population(s) Served

The GKMI is a readiness program for high-school students that promotes graduation from high school, while teaching life skills, expanding socia ldevelopment, and ensuring exposure and access to post-secondary options.  The mission of the GKMI is to improve and/or maintain students’ (from the Atlanta Public School system) academic performance as well as assist them in designing and implementing an Individualized Career Plan, through the provision of mentors, tutors, college tours, internships, workshops, and speakers.

Population(s) Served

Backpacks full of fresh produce and other nutritious pantry staples are sent home with 35 children every weekend to help improve the diet of students in Agape's programs. 100% of Agape's students receive free or reduced lunch from the Atlanta Public School system, and Agape-To-Go program helps supplement the nutrition of Agape families each weekend.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Carl V. Patton President’s Award for Outstanding Community Partner 2011

Georgia State University

Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award 2011

Atlanta Women’s Foundation

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Agape serves a community which includes more than 1,500 school-age children from families qualifying for free or reduced price lunch at school. The children are drawn from local schools with large low income populations including Bolton Academy Elementary School (70% of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch), E. Rivers Elementary (41%) and Sutton Middle School (41%).

Agape provides a supervised, safe haven for the children enrolled each day after school. The program focuses on academic achievement, character development and reading proficiency by third grade.

Activities include tutoring and mentoring, character development and accountability activities, educational and recreational activities including field trips, music classes, arts & crafts, computer time, monthly birthday parties, monthly community service projects, CRCT standardized test prep, physical fitness programming and family involvement.

After school each day, the children are picked up by the Agape buses and brought to the program site. The first hour is homework assistance, tutoring and mentorship. Thirty minutes to an hour is then spent on life skills sessions, clubs or enrichment programming. Each child is then fed a healthy dinner every day, and then the Agape buses drop each child off at their doorstep. Clubs include The Agape Photography Club, The Agape Book and Cookie Club, The Agape Garden Club and The Agape Kings Basketball Team.

Students and tutors are paired in elementary school and often the relationship lasts through high school graduation. A significant focus of Agape is to recruit children as early as possible to begin long-standing positive, stable relationships with good role models.

The concept of a stand-alone academic-based afterschool program is among the three most prevalent and widely accepted afterschool program models in the United States. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, forty-three percent of all public elementary schools reported the availability of one or more stand-alone academic instruction/tutoring programs like Agape. For public elementary schools located in cities, this number increases to 57%; and for schools where 75%+ of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, the number increases to 59%.

Agape has been serving high school students in the service area since inception 16 years ago. In 2009, Agape developed the Ginger Kaney Mentoring Institute, to distinguish the specific needs of high school students, and identify the evolving approach to high school student success. The heart of the GKMI program, and all Agape programs, is the depth of commitment Agape makes to each student. More than simply providing academic support, Agape develops a community of positive contributors to each student’s efforts. Students benefit as beneficiaries of and knowing that they have a caring community who feels the students are worth investing in, and that they are worthy of our attention. The impact of the outreach programs providing holiday gifts, thanksgiving dinners, school supplies, fresh vegetables; and the volunteers who serve in our programs, is influential in the character development and overall demeanor of the children, as assessed daily by youth counselors.

Programmatic success is demonstrated by the 95% annual grade level advancement rate. The average high school student in that program has been with Agape for seven years, providing a remarkable amount of time to influence perspective and behavior. Since the inception of GKMI in 2009, 100% of the high school seniors in the program have successfully graduated.

Agape and the Carl Sanders YMCA are the two largest nonprofits in the service area and have a combined total capacity of just under 300 students. The need in the area defined by Atlanta Public Schools is more than 1,500 students. In 2012, The Board of Directors of Agape approved a five year strategic plan in 2012 outlining an increase in the capacity of Agape to serve 500 students each day through expansion and strategic partnerships. Since then Agape has managed to innovatively embed staff in Bolton Academy, Sutton Middle School and North Atlanta High School, to more seamlessly integrate Agape’s supportive services within each students’ school day. Agape hopes to embed staff at E. Rivers beginning August 2014.

In the past 16 years Agape has honed academic based afterschool programming with a focus on academic achievement, reading proficiency by third grade, character development, high school graduation and post-graduation placement. Agape’s practices are acknowledged by Georgia State University, which places 2 interns each year at Agape and charges them with fulfilling and Individualized Performance Plan (IPP), which includes

Agape has been acknowledged as a community leader as follows:

• Awarded the 2014 “Be Greater” Award by the Atlanta Hawks
• Host Site of the 2013 NCAA Final Four Kickoff Community Service Event
• Host Site of the 2013 Crawford & Company Global Day of Service
• Awarded 2012 Healthcare Hero Award by the Fulton Dekalb Hospital Authority
• Awarded $100,000 competitive grant in 2012 to build transportation capacity to increase program efficiency and build long-term infrastructure by A Million Matters
• Awarded a three year $100,000 grant by The Goizueta Foundation in 2011 to develop and pilot an in-school ESOL program for Spanish-speaking students with language barriers
• Recipient of the 2011 Atlanta Women’s Foundation Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award
• Recipient of the 2011 Georgia State University Carl V. Patton President’s Award for Outstanding Community Partnership

In 2012, the Agape Board of Directors approved a rolling strategic plan to increase capacity from 150 students served each day to 500 students served each day via strategic partnerships and expansion. Agape has achieved the following towards that goal:

Agape has secured dedicated program space at North Atlanta High School for two Agape staff members, who focus on academic support and post-graduation planning. Agape staff embedded at North Atlanta High School will allow for deeper integration with the North Atlanta High School faculty and will provide a seamless educational, supportive experience for students. This will also make the program accessible to far more students meeting the family income criteria without competing with after-school activities.

Agape has secured an agreement with Sutton Middle School to begin embedding a staff member there once an appropriate space there has been identified. This again will make the program far more accessible to students who meet the criteria and are already involved in extracurricular activities.

In winning the A Million Matters grant competition for $100,000 in 2012-13, Agape was able to purchase two 66-seat buses. This increased transportation capacity from 56 seats to 198 seats. This change immediately allowed students to spend an additional 30 minutes each day in program and provided a consistent time for them to arrive home each night. It also provides transportation infrastructure for future capacity expansion.

Agape has identified a potential funder and has submitted a proposal to increase the E. Rivers Elementary School program within After-School for Elementary and Middle School Students Program from Wednesdays only, to five-days-a-week with embedded staff at E. Rivers Elementary. The submission is pending.

Agape has identified a parcel of land that abuts the current Agape location and is exploring purchasing it for a building to increase the After-school for Elementary and Middle School Students program to 350 students.


Agape Youth & Family Center

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Agape Youth & Family Center

Board of directors
as of 12/19/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Marie Foster

Zeist Foundation

Lisa Bankoff

Molly Battin

Turner Broadcasting

Sharon Berman

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan

Kathryn Cook

Lesley Carroll

Emory University School of Law

Ashley Carson

Atlantic Capital Bank

Andrew Crews

Northern Trust

Jorge DeCastro


Elizabeth Fairman


Peter Faser

Suntrust Robinson Humphrey

Ashley Harris Groome

McGuire Woods Consulting

Nancy Hubbard

Retired Development Consultant

Clara Jefferson

Gay Love

Print Pak, Inc.

Felicia Moore

Atlanta City Councilmember

Melissa Moseley

Sid Nurkin

Alston & Bird

Laura O'Neill

Lucille Perry

Lauri Strauss

Atlanta Press Club

Jacquie Westney

Wedding Angels Boutique

Sarah Williams

Patrice Wright-Lewis

Sydney Alyson Concepts

Nell Benn

Agape Community Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No