Press Release

Ford Motor Company Presents Atlanta Tech President with
Ford Freedom Unsung Award

Atlanta Technical College President Alvetta Peterman Thomas was awarded the Unsung Award in Education at the inaugural Ford Freedom Unsung Atlanta celebration held December 7 at the Academy of Medicine at Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Made possible by a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford Freedom Unsung salutes and honors everyday people and organizations that have positively impacted communities and whose achievements serve to enlighten and inspire others.

“Ford is proud to honor the contributions of others who go above and beyond to positively impact communities, but are often not recognized for what they do,” said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Whether it is a mother who tutors children, a brother who sacrificed years serving his country, a neighbor who leads a nonprofit organization or a father who dedicated his life to serving the homeless, unsung heroes surround us every day and look for nothing in return.”

Ford is launching this new national program in Atlanta as part of its ongoing commitment to honor distinguished Americans who dedicate their lives to improving the community where they live and the world at large. Award categories include Community, Education, Military, Youth and Organization.

Thomas is a veteran educator with more than twenty years of experience in secondary and post-secondary education. She is the only African-American woman currently leading a technical college in Georgia and is the fifth president in the history of Atlanta Technical College.  On December 6, 2012, the Technical College System named Atlanta Technical College the 2012 College of the Year for the State of Georgia.

Under Thomas’ leadership, Atlanta Technical College has garnered the reputation as one of the nation’s premiere post-secondary institutions.  Enrollment at the college has soared to nearly 5,000 students per semester and despite the economic downtown, the career placement rate has remained above 98 percent.  The college recently opened the Brenda Watts Jones Allied Health & Technology Complex. The two-story facility cost more than $14.8 million and spans more than 70,000 square feet.  The complex features state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms outfitted with smart technology, cutting-edge medical simulators. The Brenda Watts Jones Complex houses nearly a dozen health-related programs including dental hygiene, radiologic technology, physical therapist assisting, practical nursing, hemodialysis, patient care assisting and registered nursing, as well as a community dental hygiene clinic.

Atlanta Technical College provides opportunities for education and career preparation in more than 100 programs of study in the areas of business and public service technologies, health and public safety technologies and industrial and transportation technologies. The college provides an exceptional education to a diverse group of students, younger and older people, high school and college graduates, persons with special needs, and persons with varied backgrounds, training requirements, and interests. There are more than 60 countries represented on campus and all students are encouraged to be engaged in the social and academic life of the college and their community.

In honor of their contributions to their community, the 2012 Ford Freedom Unsung –Atlanta Edition awards were given to:


Tracy Campbell

John “JT” Johnson

Christopher Leggett

Sheila Tenney

Lisa C. Williams


Ulester Douglas

Garry A. Harris

Allen E. Lee

Camille Russell Love

Alvetta Peterman Thomas


John M. Bailey, Jr.

Marcelite J. Harris

Johnny Miller

James Richard Morton
Garfield L. Peart


Sydney-Alyce Bourget

Nyomi Haynes

Cameron Harris

Alexus N. Means

Robin Okunowo


Atlanta Diaper Relief

Boys2Men Home & Sanctuary for Youth

Cool Girls, Inc.

Sisters … By Choice, Inc.

Zion Hill Community Development Center

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