Partner News: NCR commits $1 million to Westside Future Fund in support of cradle-to-career education strategy

Westside Future Fund (WFF) is proud to announce that Atlanta-based NCR Corporation (NCR) is WFF’s newest partner in the revitalization of Atlanta’s Historic Westside.

NCR, a global technology company, has pledged $1 million toward funding education initiatives at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy (Hollis Innovation Academy, Hollis), the STEM-based, pre-K-8 school that opened on the Westside in 2016.

Watch below video from the announcement open house at Hollis Innovation Academy! 

NCR’s commitment is a boost to WFF’s cradle-to-career education strategy — one of the four impact areas WFF has identified for the focus of its work.

“NCR is honored to partner with Georgia Tech’s Center for Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) to build student interest and achievement in STEM topics at Hollis Innovation Academy through a $1M investment over five years to the Westside Future Fund,” said Yvonne Whitaker, NCR Foundation Lead.  “STEM Education is an important focus area for NCR Foundation, our intent is to promote diversity and wider access to STEM education through this investment.”

NCR’s Yvonne Whitaker (left) pictured with Hollis Innovation Academy’s Dr. Diamond Jack (center) and Westside Future Fund’s John Ahmann at the March 21 announcement event and open house at Hollis Innovation Academy.

The NCR gift will directly fund WFF’s $16.4 million pledge to Atlanta Public Schools (APS), which includes Hollis Academy.

Westside Future Fund’s efforts to elevate the quality of life for residents in four of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods revolves around the following four impact areas: community health and wellness, safety and security, quality mixed-income neighborhoods, and cradle-to-career education.

In July 2017, WFF announced a five-year, $16.4 million partnership with APS, a fundamental pillar of the cradle-to-career education strategy. The partnership targets children in four Westside neighborhoods — Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, English Avenue and Vine City — with improved access to high-quality educational options and wraparound support services.

NCR’s contribution will specifically support this partnership, funding education initiatives and interventions at Hollis Academy. The school serves approximately 500 residents, most of whom – 88% as of 2016 – are living in households falling below the poverty line.

NCR’s gift will fund Hollis’ partnership with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics & Computing (CEISMC) and Horizons program, which are drivers of the Hollis’ STEM curriculum.

NCR employees leading Hollis kindergartners through a STEM exercise during the STEM Lab open house on March 21.
NCR employee pictured with Hollis Innovation Academy kindergartners during the March 21 STEM Lab open house.

A Formula for Making the Grade

NCR joins Atlanta-based companies The Coca-Cola Company, SunTrust Bank and AT&T as direct supporters of WFF’s commitment to APS and Hollis Innovation Academy.

Previous gifts have funded the addition of one new teacher in every Hollis classroom, cutting the student to teacher ratio in half, as well as more wraparound support services. These combined initiatives contributed to Hollis making significant gains in statewide testing after just one year in operation.

“I am completely overjoyed by this gift from NCR Corporation,” said Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy principal, Dr. Diamond Jack. “The impact of such a significant investment in our school and in our students is monumental. Philanthropic support from entities like NCR is crucial to Hollis as we continue to provide an innovative, quality learning environment. Such partnerships are absolutely priceless as we strive to be a beacon of light in the lives of our students, their families, and in our community.”

A Holistic Revitalization Strategy

WFF’s partnership with APS is central to its commitment to quality cradle-to-career education as part of its collaborative community revitalization strategy.

As a key component of the APS turn-around strategy, APS and WFF agreed to focus on Hollis Innovation Academy as the pilot initiative. Additional support will be directed to other schools in the Westside’s Washington High School cluster later on in the five-year commitment.

WFF is also supportive of affordable, high-quality early childhood education, illustrated through its support of the YMCA’s new Leadership and Learning Center, that serve as a feeder into Hollis. It is scheduled to open in Vine City in fall 2018.

WFF is simultaneously working with its execution partners in its other three impact areas. In recent months, significant progress has been made in community retention/mixed-income housing.

  • In December, Atlanta City Council announced the adoption of the community-driven Westside Land Use Framework Plan, sponsored by WFF and the City of Atlanta. The plan reinforces WFF’s goals of resident retention and historic, cultural preservation and will now guide all future development in the district.
  • In February, in partnership with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, WFF announced more than 50 new quality, affordable housing units for the community’s legacy renters, with the first property coming available for current residents as soon as 3Q 2018.

“The leadership of WFF understands that truly transformative neighborhood revitalization cannot happen in isolation,” said John Ahmann, executive director of the Westside Future Fund. “High-quality educational options for the children in the target neighborhoods will anchor and sustain the revitalization, but we must also work in tandem to bring high-quality options and opportunities across all four impact areas. If students have access to a better education but can’t stay in the community, our efforts will be in vain. We are focused on addressing every factor contributing to generational poverty.”



About Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy: Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy is a PK-8 model in the Atlanta Public Schools. Hollis opened in the fall of 2016 and began by servicing PK-5 and adding a grade level each year. We are a newly formed school through an aggressive turnaround strategy to improve the academic performance of the students formerly zoned for the now closed Bethune Elementary School. Hollis uses a STEM framework guided by GA Tech CEISMC and the rigorous EL Education model to focus on relational character building and preparing students for college and career.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables nearly 700 million transactions daily across financial, retail, hospitality, travel, telecom and technology industries. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier. NCR is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with about 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries. NCR encourages investors to visit its website which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

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