MLK Community Service Awards Honors Orange Duffel Bag Initiative



Contact: Diana Black, VP Cell: 770.845.9800 Email: [email protected]

MLK COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS HONORS ORANGE DUFFEL BAG INITIATIVE Organization Coaches Disadvantaged Teens For Education Success

ATLANTA GA: The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODB) is among 10 local non-profits to receive the 2014 Martin Luther King Community Service Awards from Emory University at 4:00 PM on January 23, 2014, in the Rollins School of Public Health auditorium.

Sponsored by the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, the award honors organizations that exemplify leadership, the precepts of social justice and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“On behalf of the young people we serve, Orange Duffel Bag Initiative is thrilled and honored to receive this prestigious award,” says Michael Daly, ODB president. “In the words of Dr. King, ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.’”

Founded in 2010, the 501c3 charity provides certified coaching to vulnerable teens who have experienced foster care, high poverty or homelessness–students at great risk of not completing their education. To date, ODB has graduated more than 300 students from the 12-week evidencebased program, helping them achieve self-directed goals through self-advocacy and self-reliance. Adult advocates help students navigate the complex educational system and life. ODB has served an additional 750 students in partnership with the Georgia Alliance of Boys and Girls Club.

ODB serves high school students with classes at Kennesaw State University, Middle Georgia State University, Clayton State University and Atlanta Tech. Coaches work with college freshmen and sophomores in pilot programs at Georgia State University and Atlanta Tech. Independently evaluated, ODB programs have been shown to “improve critical thinking.”

ODB gained national recognition with a December 15, 2013 article in Parade Magazine, and has been featured on National Public Radio, and in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Marietta Daily Journal. ODB website:

ODB’s curriculum is based on Sam Bracken’s award-winning nonfiction book, “My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change” (Random House), co-authored by Echo Garrett, that chronicles his experiences as a homeless teen and his triumph over extreme adversity.


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