Wells Fargo Atlanta Regional President Mike Donnelly to be honored at 13th Annual Choose Success Awards Dinner

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Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta will honor Wells Fargo & Company Atlanta Regional President Mike Donnelly for his significant contributions to education and the community during the 13th annual Choose Success Awards Dinner in April 2017.

CIS of Atlanta will continue its tradition of presenting the Anne Cox Chambers Champion for Kids Award to a philanthropist who has gone above and beyond to support students and the entire community. Next year’s special recipient will be Donnelly, who was named Most Admired CEO in the finance category by the Atlanta Business Chronicle this past year. Donnelly is the senior leader for Wells Fargo in Atlanta, one of the company’s top three markets in total consumer households served.

Wells Fargo Foundation also supports CIS of Atlanta’s programmatic work to close the achievement gap for those students most at risk for dropping out of school. The Foundation has recently approved an additional $50,000 grant for CIS of Atlanta this year!

“At Wells Fargo, our commitment to our communities goes beyond proudly serving customers in our stores," Donnelly said. "Helping families, and the children in those families, have a more stable future is vital to the overall strength of the Atlanta communities where we do business, so I am honored that Communities in Schools of Atlanta considers me, and Wells Fargo, an ally in that important work.”

During the gala, students across Metro Atlanta will also be recognized for their academic improvements and for implementing service projects in their communities.

The Choose Success program enables CIS of Atlanta students in partner schools within Atlanta and Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton counties to identify needs in their communities, apply for small grants, implement their projects and document their results with the support of CIS staff. The Choose Success experience allows students who face various social and economic challenges to be of service to others in need. Young people are able to see that although they face challenges, they are assets to their communities. CIS believes that every child should have opportunities to give back to their peers and their communities.

The program will be held on Tuesday, April 18 at The Georgia Aquarium.

Last year’s sponsors included AT&T, COX Enterprises and HA&W. For sponsorship information for the 2017 event, please contact Director of Development & Communications Zachary Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Mike Donnelly:
Donnelly’s previous roles with Wells Fargo include regional president for the Mid-South region, including Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, retail banking executive, retail banking director, and financial specialist leader. Donnelly received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Radford University in Virginia. An active community leader, Donnelly chairs the Economic Development Committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and serves on the chamber’s executive committee and board of directors. Donnelly is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Beltline Partnership and the Wells Fargo Foundation in Atlanta. He is a board member of Teach for America in Atlanta, the Buckhead Coalition, the Woodward Foundation, Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees and the Carter Center Board of Councilors. Donnelly also serves as treasurer for Georgia Partnership for Education, and Leadership Atlanta and he is an active member of the Atlanta Rotary Club. In 2016, Donnelly became campaign chair for the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2016-2017 capital campaign. Donnelly is married and has three children.

Forest Park HS students are invited to the White House for beating the odds!

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Auriana and Amber are both college-bound in the fall - the first in their family to pursue further education after high school! This was no easy feat. Their chances of graduating from Forest Park High School and pursuing post-secondary education was nearly impossible without the support from CIS of Atlanta.

Both students were invited to attend the third annual Beating The Odds summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. As part of the First Lady's Reach Higher initiative and Better Make Room campaign, the event was an opportunity for more than 130 college-bound students from across the country to celebrate their tremendous accomplishments. At this year's summit, the First Lady was joined by YouTube personality Tyler Oakley, who moderated the discussion, as well as a panel with U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, a current college student, and musical artist Jidenna.

AURIANA
Auriana graduated with a 3.8 GPA despite growing up as a homeless student, spending her high school years in an extended stay hotel, and transferring from school-to-school. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her high school class. She will attend Howard University in the fall to study business.

AMBER
Amber is the epitome of dedication and perseverance. Due to the lack of focus and hanging around the wrong crowd, Amber had 14 credits – barely enough to be considered a junior. Through a rigorous work regime, Amber made up all lost credits and attained Honor Roll status in the 12th grade. Amber will attend Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the fall to study nursing.

Watch what Auriana has to say about her once-in-a-lifetime experience to the White House!



Check out photos below from their trip to the White House:

Failure was not an option for Westlake HS student

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Upon transferring from an Atlanta Public School to Westlake High School, Treshunda had low test scores, numerous failing courses and behavioral referrals for fighting. Even while in a new school setting, Treshunda was tardy for class more than 135 times, her grades continued to drop and her behavior seemed to get worse.


Treshunda was the first student CIS Site Coordinator Dr. Demona Warren interacted with on her first day at work. Demona devised a plan of action to help Treshunda set her goals, establish healthy relationships with her peers and adults, and get back on track academically, with only three months remaining until the end of her ninth-grade school year. Treshunda had already failed three classes first semester and was in danger of failing seven classes in her second semester, in addition to having several in- and out-of-school suspensions.


With support from CIS, Treshunda participated in after-school tutorials, made up missed assignments, had numerous parent-teacher conferences and completed two years of summer school. She continued to check in with Demona throughout the school day, have weekly Chat & Chew sessions, remained active in monthly small group mentoring programs and participated in various incentive programs.

Treshunda also joined the track team and excelled in Track & Field, receiving her first state championship ring in the 2014-2015 school year.

Treshunda had perfect attendance, zero behavioral referrals and passed all of her classes. She stayed dedicated to graduate with her Class of 2016, and she did. She will attend Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the fall to study business.


Videos featured at the 2016 Choose Success event

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Individual Student Award Winners

Five students received awards for Individual Student Achievement. The videos below provide an opportunity for you to hear some of their stories in their own words.


Community Service Projects

The service project video provides an overview of some of the outstanding community service projects implemented by our students.


CIS Programs and Impact

Community partners, educators and students talk about the impact CIS of Atlanta has on students, and program results.


George H. Johnson Tribute

This year's Anne Cox Chambers Champion for Kids Award recipient was George H. Johnson, a real estate visionary and philanthropist.


Photo Gallery

COMING SOON...
Photos from the 2016 event are courtesy of Paula M. Gould Photography.

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