Courtesy of Georgia Public Policy Foundation — Eric Cochling, Kyle Wingfield Dissect 2014 General Assembly

This week GCO’s Eric Cochling spoke at a “2014 Legislative Roundup” event hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, their summary is included below:

Good enough on some levels but not good enough across-the-board.

That was their analysis of the 2014 General Assembly from Eric Cochling and Kyle Wingfield at our sold-out policy breakfast on Wednesday, March 26.  Cochling is vice president of public policy at the Georgia Center for Opportunity and Wingfield is the conservative voice on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial pages.

“You saw a lot of excitement about certain ideas whether it was welfare reform or new school choice concepts coming through that made it through a chamber with vast majorities voting in favor of it but then it goes on to die in the other chamber,” Cochling said.  “I would characterize the session as some positive things happened but many missed opportunities for a truly conservative policy movement forward.”

“Thirty-seven constitutional amendments were introduced and two will be on the ballot this fall,” Wingfield said.  “Several would have been very good and would represent great progress for Georgia.  They are not going to be there and the prospects of getting them on the ballot I would argue will only get worse in future years.”

Issues discussed in this YouTube video include criminal justice reform, federal balanced budget constitutional amendment initiatives, child welfare and foster care, transportation investment, tax credit scholarships and school choice, state income tax and pension reform, and Medicaid expansion and improved access to health care for all Georgians.

This content is courtesy of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and can be seen in its original form HERE.

Thank you for helping us reach our goal and increasing our impact!

Thank you to the generous donors who helped us reach our most recent fundraising goal of $87,000, unlocking an additional $87,000 in matching funds to support Georgia Center for Opportunity. These funds are already being used to promote success in the areas of employment, family stability, and education – the three key areas that dramatically increase the odds an individual will a flourishing life.

You’re helping to remove barriers to opportunity and changing the lives of individuals and families throughout the state by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. Your investment in GCO helps students access the education that meets their needs, helps individuals find and maintain employment, and helps strengthen families and marriages.

When we’re successful, fewer Georgians will be living in a condition of dependence, a higher percentage will be enjoying earned success and the fruits of their labor, more children will be ready for college and a career, and more families will have the economic and relational resources to thrive.
We look forward your continued partnership. You can stay informed on the impact of your gifts by subscribing to GCO email updates and following us on Facebook.

ESAs for Georgia

During the 2017 legislative session school choice legislation, specifically Education Savings Accounts (ESA) legislation, has been introduced into the Senate Education Committee but not allowed to move through the committee for a vote. Please let committee chairman, Sen. Lindsey Tippins, know that Georgia parents support school choice and support Education Savings Accounts.

For more information about ESAs, click here.

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HEALTHY FAMILIES INITIATIVE TRAINER SPOTLIGHT: Janae Combs

Meet Healthy Families Initiative Certified Trainer Janae Combs, MA, LPC, NCC

Janae Combs_Changing_Perceptions_Janae-6

Janae is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with over 16 years of experience counseling adults, couples, families and adolescents. She has worked in multiple capacities ranging from psychiatric hospitals, residential facilities, support services, placement agencies and currently private practice.

Over the course of the next few months, Janae will be facilitating the “Sex Lies and Relationships” course for both adults and youth.

“The relationship courses offered through the Healthy Families Initiative fit right into the methods I use to help my clients. I would love to see the programs expand statewide, so more people can take advantage of the quality curriculum offered.”

Believing that most people instinctually know what is best for them
and their situations, Janae uses a growth-oriented approach in helping her clients create positive life changes. These changes will inevitably enhance and build on their existing strengths, insights, and skills while they cultivate new ones.

“Sometimes you don’t know where life is going to lead you, but it’s best to be prepared for the journey along the way and your destination.”


Many Georgia families are struggling relationally and financially. Divorce is common, and cohabitation and unwed childbirth are on the rise. Even many families that remain intact struggle to cover basic living expenses. You might not know where to begin to help.

The Healthy Families Initiative (HFI) is a community-based collaboration between individuals, churches, and businesses focused on transforming relationships and families in the Norcross and Peachtree Corners area. Our goal is to increase healthy relationships, family formation and stability, and decrease childbearing outside of marriage.

For more information about the Healthy Families Initiative (HFI) or to register for FREE classes, visit https://georgiaopportunity.org/initiatives/hfi/

HEALTHY FAMILIES INITIATIVE TRAINER SPOTLIGHT: Shay Marlowe

Meet Healthy Families Initiative Certified Trainer Shay Marlowe

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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Shay is a graduate of Duluth High School and Michigan State University. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in 2006, Shay returned to Gwinnett to work fulltime at the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter and as a volunteer at the A. Worley Brown Boys and Girls Club. Shay was named “Volunteer of the Year” at the Brown Boys and Girls Club in 2007 and went on to become a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister of Metro-Atlanta.

During his time at the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Shay facilitated fatherhood classes, using the “24/7 Dad” curriculum, to teenage fathers from Gwinnett County high schools and a group of fathers serving their final year of incarceration at Philips State Prison in Buford.

When Shay is not facilitating classes for Georgia Center for Opportunity, he can be found helping local veterans obtain jobs as part of his fulltime work at Goodwill of North Georgia. Shay continues to be a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister and he enjoys playing sports in his free time. His favorite quote comes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”


Many Georgia families are struggling relationally and financially. Divorce is common, and cohabitation and unwed childbirth are on the rise. Even many families that remain intact struggle to cover basic living expenses. You might not know where to begin to help.

The Healthy Families Initiative (HFI) is a community-based collaboration between individuals, churches, and businesses focused on transforming relationships and families in the Norcross and Peachtree Corners area. Our goal is to increase healthy relationships, family formation and stability, and decrease childbearing outside of marriage.

For more information about the Healthy Families Initiative (HFI) or to register for FREE classes, visit https://georgiaopportunity.org/initiatives/hfi/