GeorgiaForward is an independent, non-partisan organization whose mission is to improve the state of Georgia. We do this in two ways: acting as a catalyst for cross-sector, statewide conversations and by bringing together young leaders from all professions to help solve some of our state’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 2010, GeorgiaForward has a track record of strengthening communities, uniting our state, and creating a talent pipeline within Georgia.
Young Gamechangers is a leadership action program that brings young professionals from across the state to ONE Georgia community to grapple with some of that community’s most persistent challenges. Over the course of the six month program, participants spend time learning from local leaders, exploring the history of a community’s successes and challenges, and working together to identify meaningful, ambitious solutions. The end result is a written report and public presentation of Final Recommendations that are big, creative, but realistic “game changing solutions” to some of their most persistent challenges.
In it's fourth program, Young Gamechangers has seen recommendations from each community come to life! From laying the groundwork for a downtown master plan in Americus/Sumter County to the creation of a riverwalk in Dublin/Laurens County to the implementation of a branding campaign for Douglasville/Douglas County, the work of Young Gamechangers is having an impact across Georgia!
Hear what our alumni have to say:
"There's nothing else like the experience of Young Gamechangers. From the hands-on interaction with local leaders and policy makers, to the geographic and professional diversity of participants, to the breadth of challenges and opportunities that we get to address, this program is one of the most rewarding leadership experiences Georgia can offer young professionals." Howard Franklin, 2012 Young Gamechanger
“By focusing on a single community, GeorgiaForward’s Young Gamechangers program offers a unique opportunity to make a strategic impact in Georgia. When I participated, the program was a lot of fun, a lot of hard work, and a real learning experience. Since then, I’ve seen our recommendations turned from ideas into reality in Dublin and Laurens County. Watching all that hard work turn into real change for one Georgia community reaffirms the impact of Young Gamechangers for me over and over again. In my opinion, it’s the best program for young leaders looking to make a lasting impact in the state we all call home.” Jonathan Harwell-Dye, 2014 Young Gamechanger
“The model that GeorgiaForward has with the Young Gamechangers is really a paragon when it comes to leadership development programs. The experience is unlike anything I’ve encountered. Young Gamechangers afforded me a comprehensive experience that marries all the best elements of leadership development. The words impact and longevity are words that constantly pop in my head when I think about everything we did. We were are placed in a real life community, that had real life problems, with citizens looking for us to bring real life, sustainable solutions. What you gain from that type of exposure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, it’s unparalleled. The experience far exceeded my expectations.” Kenita Williams, Spring 2016 Young Gamechanger
“To me, what separates Young Gamechangers from similar programs is its specific focus on application. The structure of the program and the requirement of the participants to do things like identify specific funding sources and create a detailed implementation plan refine all ideas and proposals into something practical and realistic. The result is a set of action items that are designed to have an instant impact on the community.”
John Cates, Fall 2016 Young Gamechanger