East Lake Programs

The Foundation sponsors programs that offer Atlanta’s East Lake residents opportunities to build a better future for themselves and their families. Our success relies on a model that combines mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness as its foundation.

Mixed-Income Housing

The Villages of East Lake

The Villages of East Lake is a great place to live for people who want a sense of community and the conveniences of intown living. The beautiful apartment and townhome complex has tennis courts, a swimming pool and play areas and is encircled by the picture-perfect Charlie Yates Golf Course.

Cradle-to-College Education

At Drew Charter School, students are guided from Pre-K through the pivotal middle school years and beyond.  In 2014, the cradle-to-college mission was fulfilled when the Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy at the Charlie Yates Campus opened. Drew's unique academic model, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) along with a strong foundation in literacy, is the key to students' success. The Before and After School Program provides academic, cultural and recreational opportunities that support strong intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.
Students who graduated from Drew Charter School before the Senior Academy opened receive out-of-school academic support to help them successfully navigate high school and beyond. The CREW (Creating Responsible, Educated and Working) Teens program is designed to help East Lake teenagers complete high school and develop a plan for post-secondary education and careers. Information and support focus on high school planning/transcripts, college and career awareness, college requirements, credit recovery, college admissions testing, college applications and essays, financial aid/scholarships, community service, tracking of academic progress, and social/emotional support. Students attend college fairs and make college visits, both in Georgia and out of state.
The Foundation also offers several scholarship opportunities including the Tom and Ann Cousins Scholarships for CREW Teens graduates, the Charles Harrison Scholarships for high school and college students who are employed by Charlie Yates Golf Course and East Lake Golf Club and the Dr. J. Don Edwards and Clara Maestri Scholarship, awarded annually to a graduate of Drew Charter School.

Community Wellness

Resident & Community Support Program in The Villages of East Lake

At the center of the East Lake neighborhood are The Villages of East Lake, 542 market-rate and affordable townhomes, villas and garden apartments.  Fifty percent of the units are affordable-rate apartments while the balance are rented at market rates. In 2011, the Resident and Community Support Program (RCSP) was introduced to develop a sense of community while providing resources to help residents thrive. Programs are focused on economic stability and community engagement and include career development, financial literacy and community-building events.  The RCSP teams with several community partners that enhance its efforts to offer employment readiness through financial education workshops and services.

East Lake Healthy Connections

East Lake Healthy Connections (ELHC) ensures that all eligible East Lake families (in The Villages of East Lake or served by the Drew Charter School pipeline) are connected to accessible medical homes, effectively utilize primary and preventive health care services, and properly manage chronic diseases. The program builds on a comprehensive health scan survey conducted by the Foundation and national research on best practices for community health programs.

East Lake Healthy Connections leverages existing relationships with the Foundation’s partners, particularly the East Lake Family YMCA, to benefit families served by the East Lake Foundation’s programs and services. This program is funded through a generous three-year grant from the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation. 

Start: ME East Lake

Start: ME East Lake is 14-week program in partnership with Social Enterprise @ Goizueta at Emory University that offers the business training, mentorship support and early-stage financing that promising micro-entrepreneurs need to develop viable and sustainable microbusinesses. When successful, these microbusinesses (employing between 1 and 4 employees) not only generate income for entrepreneurs and their families, but also help build neighborhood vitality. Between 15-20 entrepreneurs in the East Lake and Kirkwood neighborhoods are chosen to participate in an intensive skills-based program, meet and work with a panel of banking experts, and be mentored by a carefully selected group of business leaders and peers.

The program features a loan pool of $30,000 that will be invested in top three businesses, enabling the most promising entrepreneurs to receive low-interest working capital loans at the end of the program. The entrepreneurs themselves select who receives these loans.

For more information, visit the Start: ME East Lake website

The First Tee® of East Lake

East Lake AffiliatesThis year-round golf instruction and life skills program of the East Lake Foundation helps to enhance the academic achievement of area youth.

Formerly known as the East Lake Junior Golf Academy, The First Tee of East Lake is now part of the World Golf Foundation’s First Tee program. This initiative provides young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship through golf and character education.

The program serves East Lake children and teens (ages 5-17) at the Charlie Yates Golf Course, a public, nine-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones.

Students in grades 2-8 who attend East Lake's Drew Charter School learn about golf through physical education classes and other golf-related activities held during and after school, along with summer and Saturday programs and golf outings with corporate executives and professional golfers.

Some junior golfers go on to compete in golf tournaments around the country. Drew graduates who continue with the program quickly learn golf can help open doors to college, scholarships and jobs.

To be eligible to participate, a child must currently attend or have graduated from Drew Charter School or live in the 30316 or 30317 zip code. 

For information, please call 404 373-4351 or visit The First Tee of East Lake website.

The Friends of The First Tee of East Lake

We salute this group of community leaders with an appreciation for golf and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of East Lake children. The Friends of The First Tee of East Lake organization was symbolically created March 17, 2004, on legendary golfer Bobby Jones’ birthday.

Current board members include:

Cary Weems, Chair Frank Mummert
Robert Murphy, Co-Chair David Poer
Mark DiCristina Bert Ponder
Willis Dobbs Drew Reifenberger
David Falgoust Hamilton Reynolds
Lillian Giornelli Tony Ruane
Jim Hatcher Patty Stafford
Douglas D. James Jim Thanner
Bruce Kirst Dom Wyant
Mary Lange  




Upcoming Events

East Lake Foundation News

James M. Cox Foundation Announces $2.5 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education at Charles R. Drew Charter School

March 13, 2017 - The James M. Cox Foundation announced a five-year $2.5 million grant to the East Lake Foundation to further early childhood education through Charles R. Drew Charter School. The...

The East Lake Foundation Honors Tom and Ann Cousins at Inaugural Party on the Green Event

March 7, 2017 - The East Lake Foundation will host the inaugural Party on the Green event on April 29, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the historic East Lake Golf Club. This signature event, proudly prese...

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