Tell us about your journey. Inspire someone
I am Corina-Marie. The Founder and Executive Director of Free Foundation Inc. Free Foundation Inc is a 5o1©3 Non-Profit Organization. I founded Free Foundation Inc in 2017. FREE is an acronym for Freedom Restores Everlasting Empowerment. Our mission is to help empower youth and young adults through leadership and community service. We are based in
Atlanta, GA. I founded Free Foundation Inc in 2017. We provide volunteer opportunities for youth and young adults, exposing them to culturally relevant engagement serving those impacted by poverty and homelessness. Since starting the organization, we have served nearly 4,000 meals to those experiencing homeless.
My journey to becoming a NPO founder started in 2013 in my college room. I’ve always had a heart to serve individuals, with that being in the community or to individuals in my life. I would volunteer to serve with local organizations and churches, but I felt as though there wasn’t a wide range of individuals within my age volunteering. I wanted to create a space where individuals within my age group understood the importance of serving others and genuinely enjoying the experience. I wanted to change the perspective of volunteering as a “high five” or “good deed” for someone. Free Foundation Inc didn’t come easy for me. I am still learning something new each day, but I am enjoying the process and know that God placed this over my life for a specific reason.
Before I launched Free Foundation Inc, I was an intern for Girl Talk International Non-Profit Organization under the leadership of Haley Kilpatrick Dozier. I was able to gain the appropriate knowledge of the business aspect of NPO. The most valuable lesson I learned from Haley was to always remember why you started and continue to build genuine relationships with people around you. I was also able to gain leadership from ReImagine/ATL Founder and Director during that same time of interning for Girl Talk International NPO. My first event I hosted was a Holiday Drive in 2017, I can honestly say that moment almost discouraged me. I didn’t have the funds and barely received any donations to move forward with the event. I started with my first event having 3 bags of clothing, a few canned goods and 4 volunteers. We are now hosting outreaches throughout the year being able to feed hundreds of individuals, provide grooming services, hot meals, mobile showers, healthcare services and many more services. We also give back to other organizations by providing assistance, local school districts, provide shelter for families to sleep in hotels, etc. Free Foundation Inc is continuing to grow every day!
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
A word of advice I would like to leave you with, take pride in what you do. DO it because you know it’s bigger than YOU! Enjoy the process, no matter how bad times may hit you or even how good it may be. Enjoy every moment of your journey. It won’t come easy. You won’t sleep some nights because of deadlines and work that needs to be done. But stay grounded and rooted in your purpose.
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