The Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation was founded in 1999 by Dr. Zane Gates. Zane grew up in Evergreen Manors, a low income housing development. As a young child, he did well in school and was guided by his single mother. He was mentored by a volunteer from the Big Brothers program and by family friends. The good influences in his life allowed him to beat the odds and eventually attend college. While some of Zane’s childhood playmates dropped out of school, Zane succeeded with his education and became first a pharmacist, then a medical doctor and author.
Zane was inspired by his mother, Gloria, to be a hard worker and to treat others with compassion. Gloria Gates had a special interest in children and she often took in troubled kids just to give them a hot meal and a place to stay for a night. Zane grew up observing his mother, and he inherited her passion for helping others. Zane has often said that the most dangerous person in a community is a teenager without a dream. That teen will likely get involved with drugs or crime because he or she does not fear the consequences due to the hopelessness. He started the Foundation to reach young children so that they will have hopes and goals for their future.
The Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation (GGMF) is a non-profit organization that reaches children from low-income families. The goal of the GGMF is to encourage school performance and to build self-esteem and moral character so that youth will grow up to be contributing members of society. The goals are carried out through an after school program and a summer program held for children living in three of the low-income housing developments in Altoona, Pennsylvania.