Beacon of Hope rendering; O'Bryan Center

The East Nashville-based nonprofit Martha O’Bryan Center announced Monday that Amazon is the latest to donate to its post-secondary success program.

The Family Success Network — an education and employment program for both children and adults — will benefit from Amazon’s $150,000 to top off the $10 million development of the facility that would house it. As part of an $18 million capital campaign, that facility will form the core of the evolving Cayce Homes neighborhood in which the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority is increasing the community’s affordable housing through its Envision Cayce redevelopment plan. The campus currently hosts 900 housing units but is becoming a mixed-income, mixed-use development of 2,400 homes. Since its 2020 launch, the program has enrolled 160 families.

“We are so excited for the changes coming to Martha O’Bryan Center,” said Marilyn Greer, a Cayce resident on the Martha O’Bryan Board of Directors. “This project will write a new chapter of success for this neighborhood and at a time when Envision Cayce is bringing hope to our community.”

Amazon’s contribution comes less than three months after investment firm AllianceBernstein similarly donated $100,000 to the new program. That was almost exactly a year after AllianceBernstein had partnered with Martha O’Bryan Center during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to develop a remote-learning lab for Nashville students. The new facility is expected to also come with a larger community kitchen and food bank.

These donations and partnerships enable Martha O’Bryan Center “to build the space to focus on person-centered, data-driven work directly advancing equity using two-generation, whole family approaches,” according to Marsha Edwards, president and CEO of the center. “We are excited about having the space to go beyond traditional human service delivery models to create permanent pathways out of poverty.”

The “two-generation” approach in which adults and kids identify personal goals with their own, hand-picked teams of experts to map out strategies for success in education and employment led the Kresge Foundation to name the center one of five “Next Gen” nonprofit agencies to serve as a model for two-generation services.

“The Family Success Network is an innovative program with proven results and we are glad our investment will give more families the opportunity to participate,” said Courtney Ross, senior manager on Amazon’s public policy team.

Martha O’Bryan Center is an anti-poverty 501(c)(3) that has serves more than 15,000 people per year through its early learning, parent empowerment, youth development, adult education, employment coaching and crisis counseling programs, as well as public charter schools East End Prep and Explore! Community School.

The MDHA Design Review Committee will consider plans for the Martha O'Bryan Center project at its Tuesday meeting.

See the plans here:

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