Posted on January 7, 2009

Rosa Arnold’s son, Albert T. Mills, was shot in the back and killed during a robbery in 1994 when he was working a second job over the holidays to support his family. Rosa went to the arraignment hearing for the two young men who shot her son and was struck by how callous and cold they were. She felt compelled to take action in the wake of her son’s death and chose to focus her efforts on the children in the neighborhoods where the perpetrators grew up in order to break the cycle that leads to hopelessness and violence.

Rosa Arnold & Albert T. Mills
Enrichment Center Students

Rosa opened a free preschool for underprivileged children from violent neighborhoods in 1995 and named it after her son. The Albert T. Mills Enrichment Center provides a loving, nurturing, and stable Christian environment to help counteract the family and neighborhood situations in which the children are raised. The center serves the children’s basic needs by providing free breakfast and lunch, which may be the only meals they eat that day. Ms. Rosa and the teachers daily assess other needs such as clothing and provide those as needed. A bus picks the children up from their home and returns them every day.

Albert T. Mills Enrichment Center prides itself in preparing children for kindergarten and teaches the children how to sit, listen and show respect for each other and their teachers, in addition to teaching the basic academic skills appropriate for preschool and pre-K programs. The Center also provides spiritual development and basic life skills training to the children. Over fifty children are currently enrolled in the school.

Rosa has faced many challenges in trying to help others. The Center suddenly lost its lease in August and quickly moved to donated space in Ormewood Presbyterian Church. Shortly after the move, thieves broke into the church and stole computers, CD players, TVs, furniture and even frozen meat that was meant for the children. Fortunately, the community came to her aid and soon replaced everything that had been stolen. In spite of the challenges, Rosa stays focused on the mission of helping the children.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has matched the Rosa with several volunteer attorneys as she and her Board seek to strengthen the legal health of the organization. Rachel Eisenstat of Paul Hastings, Clayton Coley of McKenna Long & Aldridge and Tim Silvis of Miller & Martin have each provided free legal assistance to the Center.