Georgia’s 3 largest counties show need for the Success Sequence

Georgia’s 3 largest counties show need for the Success Sequence

Georgia Center for Opportunity focuses policy reform efforts around the success sequence. Research shows that those who graduate from high school, get a job, get married, and have kids (in that order) are less likely to end up in poverty. In fact, only 2 percent who complete these steps will be in poverty at any given time.

A comparison between Georgia’s three largest counties—Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett—shows there is still work to be done in improving education, employment, and healthy families.

Between Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett there are 40,000 children living in families where no parent has a full-time job. This means that more families in our community are struggling to provide for those they love, and many are forced to use welfare benefits. Between the three counties, nearly 90,000 households were on food stamps in 2013.

For education, 6 to 10 percent of 16-19 year olds in these counties are not in school and not working. This represents more than 10,000 Georgians who are not able to live up to their full potential. One alarming statistic compares the number of students who graduate from high school on time and the crime ratio for adolescents 17 years and older. While the majority of Georgia students graduate on time, more than 23,000 do not. In comparison, more than 28,000 adolescents were arrested in 2016.

On the family side, many children across the three counties live in a single-parent family: 28.8 percent for Cobb, 39 percent for Fulton, and 27.6 percent for Gwinnett. This means more than 188,000 children live in a single-parent home. While single-parents do their best for their family, the fact remains that it is easier for two parents to share the burden of running a family.

These statistics show how much work is left to be done. GCO is committed to delivering solutions so all Georgians can live a flourishing life.



Studies show that couples who spend quality time together stay together.

That’s why 75 couples in the Norcross and Peachtree Corners area have decided to take an evening to invest in their relationship by attending the Healthy Family Initiative’s date night event, “Twogether Forever: You and I.” The evening, which has sold out completely, will be a time of romance for couples to reconnect while they enjoy dinner, dancing, entertainment, games, and more.

While it is often difficult for couples to break away from responsibilities, the evening aims to be free of distractions, offering a time strictly devoted to marriage relationships.

Taking time for a date night improves the quality and stability of marriages. Husbands and wives who engaged in spending time with their spouse at least once a week are approximately 3.5 times more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages, compared to those who enjoyed less quality time with their spouse.

Healthy marriages are the cornerstone of strong families, which means investing time into your romantic relationship is worth every minute. Our goal at HFI is to provide the tools and time for couples and families to connect in a meaningful way, making their relationships and family dynamics indestructible against all of the stresses life may bring.

For more information about this date night/join the waiting list, or learn more about future events, visit

Exploring Healthy Relationships with Online Classes

Exploring Healthy Relationships with Online Classes

Many years ago we began laying the groundwork for the Healthy Families Initiative (HFI), and two years ago we kicked off a public campaign to change the hearts and minds of those in the Norcross and Peachtree Corners areas. Your support, partnerships, and prayers have allowed us the opportunities to continue to expand the HFI program in ways we originally only dreamed about. So, it’s with great excitement we share with you exciting news about the growth of HFI.

Online classes are here! Participants can get all the same valuable information and tools from the FREE community classes, but in the comfort of their home and at their own pace.

It is our hope that having a FREE online option will allow more people to build healthy, happy, and lasting relationships with their spouses, families, and children.

As of today, the following courses are available for enrollment through the HFI website:

  • ePrep: Maximizing Your Romantic Relationship
    • For Dating, Engaged, or Married Couples
    • This course is for couples who want to make their relationship the best it can be. It will challenge you to think about things you’ve never thought about before and help you to see yourself, your partner, and your relationship in a whole new light.

*This course uses material from Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP).

  • Head Meets Heart (formerly known as Sex, Lies, and Relationships)
    • Primarily for singles
    • This program teaches students how to pace the development of a new relationship in a healthy way, and it also covers the five areas in a partner’s life that accurately predict what type of person they’ll be in a long-term relationship.

* This course uses material from Dr. John Van Epp’s How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk or Jerkette.

We know schedules are busy, and the online courses offer a self-paced journey to more effective communication in your life. Plus, they’re all free!

It is our goal to continue to grow the online courses offered – stay tuned for more!