The Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama (CFNEA) champions thriving communities and strives to improve lives through collaborative partnerships by awarding grants and scholarships. The 2015 Community Needs Assessment strongly indicated the need for breaking the cycle of poverty.  Working with our partners throughout northeast Alabama, CFNEA created the E2 Program. Funded through the Stringfellow Health Fund, the E2 Program focuses on education, employment and a two-generational strategy to reduce the number of people living below the poverty level.  

The E2 Program provides opportunities for continued education programs: Associate Degrees, Short- or Long-Term Certificates, and Skills Training through Gadsden State Community College. The E2 Program will also provide employment opportunities upon the completion of the education program through East AlabamaWorks and the Gadsden Career Center. Participating students are 18 years or older and have at least one five-year-old or less child.

Contact Information:

Fred Smith, MPA, CAP
Vice President of Community Partnerships
Phone: (256) 231-5160 ext. 26
1130 Quintard Avenue, Suite 100, Anniston, Al 36201


E2 News

Our E2 Program students have invested the time and preparation to “sharpen their axe” by pursuing their associate degrees and certifications.

CFNEA hosted the graduation exercise for E2 student Samantha Hill on May 9, 2023. Family, friends, and program partners gathered to celebrate Samantha’s graduation from Gadsden State Community College. Samantha completed her degree with a 4.0 GPA in her computer science major.

On May 10, 2023, E2 student Andrea Fitzpatrick was awarded a $500.00 scholarship from Family Success Center and a $500.00 scholarship for academic excellence from Gadsden State Community College for achieving honors in her electrical engineering major. Andrea is scheduled to graduate in December.

It is estimated that the average return on investment (ROI) for an associate's degree in high-demand fields has a starting salary of approximately $39,990 with lifetime earnings of $3.02 million. The E2 program is helping to change the economic trajectory of families in our region.

Philanthropy is at its best when it produces positive change now and for future generations. The positive impact and change in the lives of these two E2 students and families are great examples of philanthropy in action.  


Pictured below left: Samantha Hill, E2 Program Graduate; center: Africa Roberts, E2 Life Coach; Andrea Fitzpatrick, E2 Program student; Fred Smith, CFNEA Director of Grants & Partnerships; right: Andrea Fitzpatrick , E2 Program Student

Samantha Hill
Africa Roberts, E2 Life Coach; Andrea Fitzpatrick,;Fred Smith, CFNEA Director of Grants & Partnerships
Andrea Fitzpatrick
Samantha Hill with E2 Program Partners

Lisa Morales, Director, East AlabamaWorks; Elizabeth Garcia, Gadsden Head Start; Laura Swann, Gadsden State Community College; Africa Roberts E2 Life Coach; Samantha Hill, E2 Program Graduate; Jennifer S. Maddox, CFNEA President & CEO; Fred Smith, CFNEA Director of Grants & Partnerships; Emma Hazelwood-Clapp, Family Sucess Center