About Us

About Us

Our Why

Founded in 1998, East Atlanta Kids Club was formed by a small group of local residents who understood the importance of engaging neighborhood youth as the most effective intervention for addressing the rapidly growing socioeconomic divide in the community. For 24 years, we have sought to provide youth, who otherwise would have limited afterschool and summertime opportunities, with a safe and stimulating environment to play, learn, and express themselves under the guidance of caring adults.

We accomplish this goal by providing high quality, S.T.E.A.M.-based out-of-school-time programming that meets our youth where they are and empowers them to realize their potential.

Our mission

Building a promising future for the children of southeast Atlanta

Our Programs

Kids Club

Offered Monday – Thursday, Kids Club is our S.T.E.A.M.-based afterschool for youth grades K-5. Offered throughout the school year, this program provides afterschool enrichment and exposure while also reinforcing school-day learning to ensure our kids are on track and active, engaged learners.

Teen Club

Offered on a modular basis, Teen Club is designed to meet older youth where they are at by nurturing specific interests throughout the year. Offerings may include coding/programming, A/V production, fitness/sports, and service-based learning. This group primarily serves youth in grades 6-8. For older teens (grades 9-12), we can work individually to create opportunities that align with their interests

Summer Camp

Offered annually during June/July, Camp Full STEAM offers hands-on activities including science experiments, technology and robotics, arts and crafts, music and beat making, and cooking and healthy eating. Each day also features fitness and outdoor activities, including cycling, double dutch, and team sports such as basketball, rugby, kickball, and more. Summer camp typically serves youth in grades K-12, and we create opportunities for our younger kids and older kids and teens to explore their interests among their peers.

 

 

Holiday Support: Present-Palooza

Offered annually during December, this event is a three-day celebration of the spirit of giving that propels us year-round. We are able to procure $70,000+ worth of gifts (toys, homegoods, kitchen wares, shoes, clothing, and more), and we create a “shopping” experience for our EAKC kids and families for two days of afterschool before opening our space to the broader community for a full day of “shopping” on Friday before the holiday break. We are able to put 3,000+ gifts into the community for a total cost of ~$5,000. This event ensures that our kids and families not only receive gifts for the holidays, but also that they are able to give to their friends and families.

FOOD SUPPORT

Offered weekly on Fridays since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food distribution supports vulnerable households in southeast Atlanta by providing more than 120,000 pounds/100,000 meals/$300,000 worth of grocery support to families on an annual basis. This weekly food distribution is paired with healthy eating and food systems programming for our youth. This programming is supported by multi-year funding from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation within the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

 

Rent our Space

We operate the Brownwood Recreation Center, and when we don’t have EAKC youth in afterschool and summer programming, we are happy to offer our space as a rental option for events, parties, meetings, and more. To begin the reservation process, please submit a reservation request using the link below, and a member of our staff will contact you to discuss our availability and whether we are able to host your requested event! In general, our main multipurpose space is well equipped for events with up to 60 people, and anything larger requires the use of several rooms throughout the facility.

*PLEASE NOTE* We are not able to rent the park or the pavilion facilities as they are managed directly by the City of Atlanta, Department of Parks & Recreation. 

Our Team

Ryan Downey

Executive Director

Ryan joined East Atlanta Kids Club in February of 2020, following 22 years of service from founding Executive Director, Jill Sieder. Ryan earned a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Georgia, an M.F.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.S. in adult, occupational, and continuing education from Kansas State University. He joined EAKC following a nine-year tenure at a leading national nonprofit, Year Up, where he held several leadership roles. During this time, he helped launch new program sites in the greater Atlanta area, Virginia, and Florida. He currently serves as a member of the Burgess-Peterson Academy GO Team and is invested in equitable educational outcomes for all kids and teens in our community. He lives in Ormewood Park with his wife, Allison Bertke Downey, his son, Arlo Walter Downey, and two orange cats named Sparksy and Oliver. In his free time, he enjoys playing Australian rules football for the Atlanta Kookaburras, playing disc golf, and exploring Atlanta.

Shenieque Bennett

Director of Finance and Operations

Shenieque joined EAKC from Harvard University, where she spent three years as a Corporate Alliance Manager. Overall, she has 22 years of experience in Operations, Finance, and HR Management roles, serving at John Hancock Financial, Bureau VERITAS, EMC-Documentum, Pfizer, Harvard School of Public Health, China Medical Board, Bay Cove Andrew House, Prize4Life, and the Roycemore School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Emmanuel College and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Finance.

Danielle Erwin

Program Manager

Sabrina Alexander

Program Assistant

Anthony “Troy” Lynch

Program Manager

Alyssa Renee Barber

Family Services & Outreach Manager

Board of Directors

Chris Wasserman

Chair, Chief Recruiting Officer

Wasserman Technical & Creative

 

Wendy Frazier

Vice-Chair, VP, Chief Technology Officer of Watson Advertising
The Weather Company, an IBM Business

Nathan Goodson

Treasurer, Supervisory Examiner
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Ted Solley

Attorney
Moser Law Co.

Brad Bollier

Assistant Secretary, Insurance Agent
Brad Bollier State Farm

Sundiata Rush

Marketing Consultant
Diata Sun, LLC

Uthra Ramaswamy

Director
Talent Solutions (Learning Experience and Innovation)

Year Up

Tim Eldredge

Director of Finance & Operations

Next Generation Men & Women

Jeff Teves

Assurance Senior Manager

Ernst & Young LLP

Katherine Townsend Kiernan

Research Analyst, Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity 

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

John Ghose

Principal Corporate Counsel, Internal Investigations

Microsoft Corp.

Advisory Board

Jill Sieder

Founding Executive Director
Journalist

Lynne Norton

President
Great Stone Consulting

Kelly Mastronardi

Assistant Principal
Hapeville Elementary School

Keith Barthelmeus

Global VP/CFO
Brink’s Inc.

Our Supporters

Media

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