02-29-2020 · African-American Partnership

Nikia jokes that he first came to the reading club at Welcome All Recreation Center just for the pizza.  

The teenager comes to the rec center most days during the fall for basketball practice. But one day on the court his coach told him he should check out the program in one of the adjacent classrooms.  

“I found out about this [literacy program], and we came in and Mrs. [Brenda] Coleman greeted us and taught us all about it,” Nikia says. “I came for the pizza, but once we started reading and writing I stayed. I like reading a lot.”  

Coleman is the executive director of Atlanta CARES, a nonprofit that partners with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership to offer its literacy program at multiple locations across the South Fulton area. Coleman says she picked Welcome All specifically because United Way reported that this was an area of low child well-being in Greater Atlanta.  

The grant funds give students at Welcome All access to new reading, writing and other learning materials.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the AfricanAmerican Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

“I really liked the characters in the books we were reading,” Nikia says, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms across the letters of his Georgia Tech sweatshirt. “I felt like the characters reminded me of myself.” 

Nikia wants to continue to get better at reading and writing. He says while he likes writing, he’s got problems right now dealing with the critique of his writing — that’s because he wants “to be the best at everything” he does. 

By giving to AAP, you can help other teenagers like Nikia reach their full potential and be the best they can be at everything they do.  

Join AAP today to help other kids like NikiaEmail aap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.