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Local schools and nonprofit, Every Woman Works, lend their voice at Breakthrough

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Key Points

Speakers will include:

  • Michael Doyne, principal of Lilburn Middle School
  • Dr. Natalie Looney, principal of Summerour Middle School in Norcross
  • Kristen Hypolite, chief operations officer with the nonprofit Every Woman Works based in Roswell, Georgia

A key part of our mission at the Georgia Center for Opportunity is to turn broken relationships into flourishing families. Today, more than ever, there are shattered relationships across our culture — at home, at work, and at school. But even as the problems exist in our communities, we firmly believe that our communities also offer the solutions.

That’s why we are organizing a new Breakthrough event focused on community solutions to family and relational health. The event is on Thursday, August 25, from 10:30am to 12:30pm at Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta in Duluth, Georgia. Lunch is included. 

A major part of the effort will focus on the need to reach young people with relationship skill building while they are still in school. It’s still early enough to teach these students the fundamental building blocks of healthy relationships, so they can have the right attitude and drive their behavior toward good choices. While many of them have already experienced broken relationships in the home, it’s not too early to make an impact.

Along these lines, we will be featuring speakers who have vast experience and a deep understanding of these issues. 


Michael Doyne and Dr. Natalie Looney

The first of these is Michael Doyne, principal of Lilburn Middle School. GCO has partnered with the school to present four sessions of our Strengthening Families Program. At least 100 families have gone through this program, which has been offered in Spanish. The school has seen a huge improvement in the relationships of their students and amongst the parents themselves.

Another panel will feature Dr. Natalie Looney, principal of Summerour Middle School in Norcross. GCO is preparing to offer our Strengthening Families Program class at Summerour beginning in September.

Questions for both Mr. Doyne and Dr. Looney will include:

  • How have relationships at your schools changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How haven’t they changed? How are things still the same?
  • What led you to partner with GCO?
  • What approaches do you find at most successful at helping students and parents today?

Kristen Hypolite of Every Woman Works (EWW)

Another panel discussion will be with Kristen Hypolite, chief operations officer with the nonprofit Every Woman Works based in Roswell, Georgia. EWW’s mission is to equip women with the training and resources needed to attain self-sufficiency and achieve gainful employment. EWW helps women re-engineer their lives, understanding where they came from and the attitudes and beliefs they can change to improve their lives.

Questions covered will include:

  • How has the strong partnership between EWW and GCO strengthened the EWW community?
  • How has this partnership benefitted the women in your program?
  • What are you seeing in the clients you serve to implement healthy relationships skills training in your program?
  • Before the women enter your program, what Attitudes, Behaviors and Choices (ABCs) are you seeing?
  • In what ways have you seen the ABC’s transformed the ladies differently after attending the relationship skills training?
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