We launched the Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Awards program in 2012 with the goal of honoring people and projects that make Atlanta a better place to live, emphasizing innovation and new ideas.
Each year, the program focuses on a particular challenge for the community. For 2014, our emphasis was on education and learning. The eleven members of Groundbreakers Class of 2014 contribute to making us collectively smarter and serve as examples to their peers.

The groundbreakers were honored at an event at the Atlanta History Center on October 9. The video below highlights their accomplishments. Congratulations to our 2014 Groundbreaker of the Year, the Rollins Center at the Atlanta Speech School.

Our theme for 2015 is “Building (and Rebuilding) a Better Place to Live.” The 2015 awards will focus on work in development, preservation, parks, public art, and environmental stewardship. The Groundbreakers will be selected from a wide range of fields: developers, builders, preservationists, tech firms, universities, nonprofits, and individuals who are passionate about Atlanta’s civic life.

2014 Finalists

  • The ArtsBridge-funded Hensley Awards recognize high school theater.
  • Photograph by Dustin Chambers
  • When boys are absent, "we see confidence to speak up," says Principal Termerion McCrary Lakes
  • Illustration by Studio Muti
  • SACS-accredited Fugees Academy now serves 100 kids from twenty countries.
  • Image courtesy of IS3D
  • Illustration by Studio Muti
  • Odyssey programs combine classwork with hands-on experiences like forensics labs and video production.
  • Echo the beagle is trained to encourage early readers.
  • Illustration by Studio Muti
  • Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore