Community Impact Through Alumni Leadership At Purpose Built Communities
Led by TFA Alumni, Purpose Built Communities is making a positive impact in some of the country’s most challenging neighborhoods and is working to lead comprehensive redevelopment initiatives in over a dozen communities.
December 28, 2017
Every day in Metro Atlanta, over 200 Teach For America alumni impact kids and families through their nonprofit leadership. At one nonprofit, Purpose Built Communities, Teach For America alumni are working to end intergenerational poverty in communities across the country. Purpose Built Communities was established to replicate the East Lake model in other urban areas of concentrated poverty around the nation. Today, Purpose Built Communities is helping to make a positive impact in some of the country’s most challenging neighborhoods and is currently working to lead comprehensive redevelopment initiatives in more than a dozen communities across the country.
The current Community Development team at Purpose Built is comprised of four Teach For America alumni - Evan Smith (Rio Grande Valley '06), Brittany Collins (Metro Atlanta '09), Damon Bailey (Metro Atlanta '09), and Alexandra Wiggins (Metro Atlanta '10). Below, you will read Damon's story, from Corps experience to his role at Purpose Built and his impact on the communities he works with on a daily basis.
Community Development Advisor - Purpose Built Communities
My senior year, a recruitment director visited my school. Until that point, I was unaware of the stark differences in the quality of education that so many black and brown students receive every day in America and that this subpar education was determining the chances these children had. Determined to change the narrative, I applied to the 2009 Corps.
After my two years as a Corps Member, I taught another year at my placement school and then joined TFA staff as a Manager, Teacher Leadership Development and then as a Managing Director, Teacher Leadership Development. I now work for Purpose Built Communities as a Community Development Advisor.
I am a Community Development Advisor for Purpose Built Communities working with civic and business leaders across the country to develop housing, education, and community wellness strategies that will eradicate intergenerational poverty. Our organization’s one goal is to end intergenerational poverty. We do not believe that we will work with all distressed neighborhoods in the US, but we do believe that we can demonstrate and signal that it is possible to change the cyclic effect of intergenerational poverty by overinvesting strategically and intentionally in underinvested communities. The hope is that our model is replicated across the country and used as one way that a neighborhood can change outcomes for its families.