ATLANTA—GeorgiaForward has selected Patrick Rodriguez, interim director of Georgia State’s Prison Education Project, as one of 50 promising professionals to serve in the organization’s 2023 Young Gamechangers (YG) program. YG is a leadership action program hosted by GeorgiaForward, a nonprofit organization administered by the Georgia Municipal Association. The program brings together professionals from across the state to work on the persistent challenges of a Georgia community. In 2023, Columbus-Muscogee County will host the Young Gamechangers and the cohort will be charged to answer four “challenge” questions and develop specific actionable recommendations for the city and county. Challenge questions can be targeted to economic development, community engagement, local entrepreneurship and more. The group has eight months to address the challenges.
Rodriguez, 31, is also the co-executive director of the Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison. He is dedicated to expanding educational pathways for incarcerated people.
“I’m so excited to bring my lived experiences to this work and learn the inner workings of local policy,” Rodriguez said. “I look forward to partnering with my fellow Gamechangers to bring tangible policy solutions to the table and create a positive impact on the city of Columbus.”
The 2022 Gamechangers challenge focused on the city of Dalton. “We are delighted to bring the young Gamechanger program to Columbus after a very successful run in Dalton, Ga,” said A.J. Robinson, chair of GeorgiaForward board of directors. “This program has proven beneficial to every locale in which it has taken place, bringing new and fresh ideas to cities and counties across the state. It is a premier leadership development opportunity that produces results on many levels.”
Rodriguez will start work with the program in April.