Congratulations to Sandy Springs resident, Melanie Noble-Couchman, as she is the 2011 recipient of the Humanitarian Award. This is the fifth time the City has given the award that embodies the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognizes an individual for his or her humanitarian contributions to society and philanthropic work. A volunteer committee made the selection.
Melanie Noble-Couchman began her career as a technical writer for a major bank in Buffalo, N.Y. As a single mother on public assistance and food stamps, she raised two sons. By realizing the importance of education, she did everything she could to obtain a BA from SUNY at Buffalo. In 1978, she moved to Atlanta to work for a major software company. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Sandy Springs. In 1983, she married David Couchman, and in 1986, they started a telecommunications company that went public in 1999.
As the company became more successful, the Couchmans knew they wanted to become more involved in the community. In 2003, the couple founded the Couchman-Noble Foundation to share with others less fortunate. The foundation’s mission is “to assist…and provide hands–on programs with measurable results with the goals to strengthen families, empower individuals and promote self reliance among at risk populations.”
Melanie has committed time and funds to revitalize the Sandy Springs Education Force (SSEF), which supports the educational needs of youth in Sandy Springs. She is also on the board of SSEF. Melanie also brought the Geek Squad Summer Academy to Sandy Springs. It is a national program sponsored by Best Buy that teaches underserved youth the importance of technology. She was a catalyst in bringing the After School All Stars to Sandy Springs Middle School, a national program begun by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver. Since 2005, she has worked with HomeStretch as their Hurricane Katrina coordinator and has served as their vice president and president. Melanie is also on the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta-North Fulton Fund.
Clearly she is the perfect recipient for the 2011 Humanitarian Award. Great job Melanie and thank you for everything you do for Sandy Springs.
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