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Meet Azel Prather Jr. of The Prather Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Azel Prather Jr.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Azel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I moved from Glenarden, MD, to Atlanta in pursuit of a comedy career in 2015. I had a friend who just got a job in the film there and he told me it would be a great place to try to expand. After securing a job that just wasn’t it for me, another friend suggested teaching, I told her about my background with children and education and she thought it would be a great fit. I talked to her Tuesday, interviewed Wednesday, and was at orientation on Thursday and Friday. School started Monday and five years later we’re here! Lol. I always had a passion for children but didn’t know it would lead me into actually being a teacher. My students and I formed bonds right away, and I knew this would be something I know I would thoroughly enjoy. You get to know these kids, their stories, and when you see a need for people you care about, you take action. I realized showing up to student’s games, recitals, birthday parties, anything, would make a huge difference. They want to see you care. I began making it my weekend duty to go to an extracurricular event for a student every Saturday.

It began to be a competition of who can have the best week to get Mr. Prather to come to whatever they had going on, and because of it, I would find myself going to 3-4 games every weekend. I seen the effect it had and wanted to do more. It went from that to a Christmas drive for eight students, which grew to now over 500, to a self-care day where students get pampered, til now where I was recognized by The Washington Wizards, Because Of Them We Can, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. The journey has been and is amazing. It’s crazy what doing good can bring you. I’m blessed.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t say its been smooth, but my team has helped me tremendously to make it seem as smooth as possible. The initial process of establishing a non-profit can be overwhelming, but I had good people around me, so it made it easier. We are boots on the ground over here. We like to be in the community, at the schools, hosting events, interacting with the youth. It has made us reshape some things but we still find ways to reach the youth, those underserved communities, and genuinely do the work. We just had to find different ways to do it. Struggles will always come, its a sign of growth and reaching new levels and that’s something were okay with. It’s about adapting when those struggles come, and we’re trying to do a good job of that.

Please tell us about The Prather Foundation.
The Prather Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) business that aims to inspire, empower and connect the youth with purposeful programming and the commitment of devoted mentors. This can range from hosting a self-care day, a toy drive, information resource events, back to school, giveaways, mentorship programs, mental health workshops, food drives, etc. We meet the need. We focus on communities that are overlooked and underserved. For the month of April, we’ve decided to pay a person bill each day until the end of the month. That’s not ideal for a company, but it fits what we stand for—meeting the needs of the communities. I’m most proud of making a real IMPACT. I love that I can be that access to my children. Kids are so pure. They see me as just me while some

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be anything related to basketball. It gave me my first dreams, first friends, and was the best outlet growing up. I’ve formed so many great relationships and learned so many life lessons through basketball. As corny as it sounds, I genuinely don’t know where I would be without it.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Adey J.

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