Joe Skopitz/Centennial Olympic Park
Less than two decades ago, Centennial Olympic Park’s neighborhood was a run-down part of town. That all began to change on the day Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games CEO Billy Payne gazed out his office window and a brilliant inspiration came to him – to convert a multi-block eyesore into a glorious gathering spot for visitors and residents to enjoy during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and for years to come. Tremendous support, coupled with the willingness of the State of Georgia to take the lead in the Park’s development and to assume ownership after the Games, transformed a dream into a grand reality – Centennial Olympic Park.
Following the Olympic Games, a large portion of the park was closed and redesigned for daily public use. Today, this unique 21-acre park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia’s capital city. The Park sponsors community-wide free events including the Fourth of July Celebration, Music@Noon, the Wednesday WindDown concert series, and Park Market. The Park also hosts festivals, fundraisers and private events. These events, in addition to the normal day-to-day traffic, bring an estimated three million visitors to this urban oasis each year.
Maureen Kornowa/Gwinnett Children’s Shelter
The Gwinnett Children’s Shelter has been serving their community for more than 27 years. This past year GCS has embarked on a new journey with a program called “The Next Step…” where they now help homeless children of all ages along with their young moms. They are also looking to assist young girls who “age out” of the foster care system and those young women who have served in the Armed Forces who find themselves in a homeless situation with children. Their new idea is fresh and unique in that it is designed to keep the family together, determine the cause of the homelessness, and set each guest on a path to sustainability. For more information on “The Next Step…” visit gwinnettchildrenshelter.org.
Vanessa Anderson/Covenant Christian Ministries Academy
Covenant Christian Ministries Academy, a ministry of Covenant Christian Ministries Church, is a fully accredited school (ACSI and SACS CASI) established in 1994 which provides educational services to students both foreign (SEVIS approved) and domestic. Excellent learning opportunities are available at CCMA! Class sizes are moderate to allow individual needs to be addressed. Their academic training, which includes advanced placement and honor’s classes, has produced notable achievements. Student accomplishments include: Zell Miller scholarship recipients, perfect scores on advanced placement exams, and national winners in history, spelling, geography and math, and participants in the People to People Ambassador Program to Harvard in Cambridge, MA.
All students, K5 – 12, are required to take Spanish each year with the goal of developing spoken and auditory proficiency. Latin instruction begins in 3rd grade for their elementary students providing them with additional tools to decipher new vocabulary as formal phonics instruction ends.
Various activities are available to students in addition to the academic rigor – basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, chorus, yearbook, spelling bee, and more. Their basketball program produces true student-athletes with several recruited to NCAA Division I colleges.