Gwendolyn Poles Sands is the Founder and Executive Director of Visions Unlimited Community Development Systems, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. Since retiring in 1997 from Henrico County Public Schools in Virginia as a school administrator for children with “differing abilities,” she has specialized in the development and implementation of prevention/intervention programs for “at-promise” youth and families. She founded Visions Unlimited in 2000 with the mission to provide exemplary programs and services to meet the mind, body, and spirit needs of youth and their families in an environment of unconditional love and mutual respect. Visions Unlimited Community Development Systems was officially incorporated and designated as a 501(c) 3 tax exempt organization in 2005.
Gwen believes that we may only have ONE chance to touch the life of a child and a family! Therefore each minute, each second, then, must be filled with meaningful interactions that contribute to their positive growth and development! We must set high expectations for their futures! We are charged to facilitate, support, and nurture their educational, spiritual, personal, career, social, and physical development-for the SKY IS THE LIMIT for each of them! The outcome: Self-reliant, empowered, and resilient adult citizens armed with determination and advocacy who exhibit through their leadership, character, and integrity a commitment to making a positive contribution to their communities.
Visions offers the following core services:
- Excel Academy/Camp Excel after-school and summer services provide academic support, career exploration, life skills, mentoring, fitness, and cultural/recreational enrichment to students ages 6-14.
- Safe Schools Initiative provides support to middle and high schools in local public school systems with Ambassadors of Peace who serve as mentors, tutors, hall monitors, and counselors, and students receive academic and life skills through Club Excel
- Visions Youth Leadership Academy services include GED preparation, career, life skills, and leadership development, counseling, mentoring, service learning, and family support for youth ages 16-24.
- Dare to Soar is a family service with a focus on character and life skills development.
- Gang Intervention for Teens (G.I.F.T) provides gang prevention and intervention services to youth at-risk of gang activity, who are actively involved in gang activities, or who have returned to the community following incarceration.
- Supporting Offenders After Release (SOAR) services provide support for the successful reentry of individuals released from the justice system. Services include assessment, life skills, education, career planning, job placement, and family restoration.
She invites you to visit Visions where the “Chosen Team” is…Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families, and Empowering Communities!