LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER
Josette Hutton Evans, Founder/CEO
Whew! 2020 you stretched us, challenged us, motivated us, and inspired us to reimagine what equity in education and health needed to look like, sound like, feel like, behave like, and most importantly never again be like.
While we now know the importance of hugging our loved ones tighter, remembering to say I love you, and make those phone calls when people cross our minds because in a blink of an eye they could be gone, we also know what it is to band together, uplift each other, give voice to the voiceless, and finally speak truth to the gaps we've all known to be there for historically underserved communities, essential workers, and citizens left dangling in the gaps of our society.
But in all the ways we could easily exchange stories of the unwelcomed things that came with 2020 like senseless killings of unarmed black and brown people, I have to admit that I remain increasingly hopeful of a pathway forward where we can all live united, free to be unconditionally loved, honored, protected, respected, and heard. Not only because hope serves as one of the many building blocks of the foundation that undergirds our mission here at Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company, but because the strength, resilience, compassion, and leadership of our students, our team, and our partners is something that we can continue to find hope in. It is with hope that we dug in, thought big, and transformed what our programs could be, how we could still serve, where we could still operate- dismantling silos and using collaboration as a tool to forge forward.
In 2020, hope and transformation came in many different forms that led us to pivot successfully despite a raging global pandemic:
- In Mid-March when the world shut down, hope was the catalyst that calmed our fears and helped us pivot in innovative strategic ways by partnering with Active Network to build our virtual learning lab so we could turn everyday places like living rooms and kitchens into spaces that inspired giggles, inventions and ah-ha moments.
- In May when we were forced to cancel our largest annual community STEM event of the year with Microsoft at Lenox Square Mall, hope was the balm that healed our anxieties and challenged us to seek out virtual opportunities to still reach, teach and inspire so that students, parents and educators would still know that #WITHSTEMUCAN change the world.
- By June when summer camps were closed, hope is what inspired us to curate popup storytimes with volunteer readers, engage students with gamification using Kahoot, expand our Google Classroom partnerships and script talking robots that made learning math cool, and forever changed our approach with Artificial Intelligence software.
- In August as schools were gripped with uncertainty, hope is what guided us to create our Partnerships In Education program to help certify teachers with digital tools so they could confidently embrace technology, apps, and curriculum templates for the upcoming school year.
- By October, as the pandemic still raged on, hope is what pushed our Volunteer Coordinator to band together with an entire sewing community to crank out more than 1200 reusable masks that we distributed to at-risk senior citizens living across 20 Georgia counties in preparation for a second wave of coronavirus and the flu season.
- And as the year came to a close through the holidays, hope was what reminded us that innocent children and well meaning parents didn't deserve to miss out on Santa just because money was tight. So we partnered with Five Below to take 5 different school classrooms of children on a shopping spree to ensure they still remembered how it felt for someone to say YES this year.
And as we reflect on all the ways we showed up for the community, whether for students, parents or senior citizens that needed our help, it is hope that prepares us for the new challenges that await us to continue this important work. We are so extremely grateful for our 2020 "grow up" year, we are thankful to our amazing partners, sponsors and leadership team for helping ensure we are still a viable resource ready and able to stand in the gap in such a monumental time.
With over 750+ students, parents and senior citizens reached across 20+ counties, expansion of programs successfully executed through virtual platforms, with an additional 18 new partners and more than $30,000 in funding to aid in teacher and student scholarships, essential hygeine kits, reusable mask giveaways, parent workshops, we have triped our year over year impact for at-risk adults, while pivoting the way we serve the community to include a virtual platform that now reaches a significant amount of more students that reside outside of our traditional 13 county footprint.
Thank you for helping in the journey as we continue to transform what equity in education and health looks like and can become. With your continued support we can fuel hope into action to overcome the challenges, and seek out new solutions so more communities can thrive.
In this annual report I'm excited to share more of our accomplishments this year, while highlighting our partners, giving much deserved recognition to our volunteers, and thank our amazing sponsors and donors.
As we look forever forward, I also excitedly share our vision for the future- where everyone has a voice, everyone counts, and everyone gets to learn and grow to be their best selves.
2020 IMPACT STORIES
By the Numbers
Amazon AMAZED Us!
We were overjoyed to find out our organization had been selected by Amazon as one of the first charities to receive recognition through their #DeliveringSmiles Campaign.
We had so much fun opening the box of goodies and sharing our note of recognition with supporters on Instagram Live!
When the first group of boxes arrived, we thought how nice! Amazon picked some items off of our wish list to support our programs.
We had no idea what was about
Because of Amazon shopping our ENTIRE program supply wish list on our Amazon Smile account, in a matter of 2 weeks we went from planning an end of year fundraising campaign to partnering with more than 16 community partners to put to use all the great stuff including:
- Coding Caterpillars
- 3D Printer
- more than 85 different requested books & workbook resources for our literacy and STEM programs
- Tablets & accessories
- Maker Space items
- White boards
- Supplies for our Curriculum Kits
Our customized curriculum kits earned us several seats at tables with homeschoolers, pod learning teams, and school districts during such a stretch year for educators all across the nation.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
2020 was especially hard on high school seniors. No spring dances, no organized sports, no hanging out with friends just to meet up at Starbucks or the mall, no Prom, and for most- no opportunity to walk across the stage and feel like they actually graduated. But what we knew was the class of 2020 were resilient change makers, up to the task of perservering and using their hardships to press forward and level up. We decided to match their grit by offering our first ever Scholarships for high school seniors making a difference in their community. Pictured above is our team with 2020 High School Grad Keenan Wright, high school student in Fulton County attending Life University to become a chiropractor because he wanted to help people achieve balance through health after experiencing the pandemic.
Proud was an understatement.
Although masks were in full effect, the smiles beamed underneath from ear to ear.
In total thanks to supporters like you, we were able to provide 5 scholarships of $500 and shop college supplies for each college-bound student from their submitted Amazon Wish List.
We kept hearing moms, dads and grandparents say they were so concerned about the amount of screen time students were now experienced through virtual learning. We decided to let students vote, and we put some of our most favorite digital games to use by curating them as classic games and puzzles the whole family could use. What happened next was amazing. We sold out of our STEM Memory Game, Math Puzzle, and Sight Word Jenga so fast we decided to make them mainstay resources to serve as supplemental offline resources for parents and educators.
In addition to thanking our supporters through a Supporter PopUp Party with Amazon Smile in celebration for Giving Tuesday, we kicked off a GIFT ED Campaign where we matched 1:1 for our curriculum kits and paid programming in response to families hit hard from COVID19.
Reimagining Seat Time & Addressing Out-of-school Learning Loss:
2020 IMPACT STORIES
Transforming Our Impact In The New Normal:
Dismantling Silos Through Collaboration:
Child Well-Being Impact with United Way of Greater Atlanta & Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta COVID19 Relief Fund
Thanks to multiple rounds of funding through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund from United Way of Greater Atlanta in partnership with Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, we were able to triple our service rate and reach for historically underserved citizens and communities across a 20+ counties and counting.
BOT The Talking Robot & Just Say YES to Reading Program gets scalable support through Ecolab Foundation
Keeping students engaged through innovation and technology was the hallmark of our year as we turned up the fun to inspire giggles and ah-ha moments despite the hard times.
Thanks to sponsors like Foresters Financial, we were able to put boots to the ground and provide more than 1268 essential masks and essential kits to seniors 55+ overwhelmingly at-risk with underlying health conditions while supporting them to learn ways apps & technology could keep them safe and in touch with their loved ones.
In partnership with health organizations like GA Department of Public Health and the CDC, we were able to quickly create a resource hub on our website for COVID19 related resources and breaking response updates.
To empower our ability to create solutions for K-12 and better support educators through technology, Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company teamed up with Goodie Nation for an intensive 12 week K-12 Incubator with several Atlanta-based tech businesses and nonprofits to harness best practices, resources, additional access to funding and collaborative partners.
The pandemic shook families to the core and we knew there was no better partner than Sesame Street In Communities to help us support families on rebuilding healthy family foundations by finding the words and the pathways forward with their little ones. This is how Thrive By Five- our new initiative for Child-Well Being under our Parent University program specially targeted for parents and childhood providers of early learners was born.
With so much change, we needed a game plan and processes in place to help identify gaps, build infrastructure, reduce waste and ensure we were the best stewards of our resources. To do that, we created a Lean Six Sigma team and Advisory Council dedicated to Quality Improvement to assist our Board of Directors.
Thanks to an injection of funds from TransAmerica Foundation through the help of one of our QI Council Members, Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company was able to begin the early stages of developing an LMS application to help identify learning gaps for K-12 students in reading and math in our efforts to close gaps in education for historically underserved students everywhere.