Ratcliff Thomas Foundation (RTF)will serve the community with the intent to bring social change for the economically under privileged and under served with effective programs and services.
Providing programs and services to the community where it counts. RTF believes that all persons regardless of economic status, ethnicity, or gender should have access to the necessary resources to become a successful and productive member of the community.
Ratcliff Thomas Foundation, Inc. is a Virginia nonstock corporation (“RTF”) incorporated on May 1, 2015. RTF’s exemption from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, is pending. Since his youth, Mr. Thomas has demonstrated a passion for serving the community. Forming RFT is the culmination of a lifelong desire to assist all economically, educationally and socially disadvantaged youth by offering and providing free of charge programs and services to address these challenges.
Ratcliff’s adolescence was spent in the City of Alexandria, Virginia’s inner city area known as “Old Town Alexandria” where he attended a city public school where many students were from impoverished families and the school lacked adequate resources to properly educate its students. As a teen, Ratcliff attended the nationally acclaimed “T.C. Williams High School”, the high school upon which the blockbuster movie “Remember the Titans” is based. While matriculating at T.C. Williams, Ratcliff volunteered his time by participating in various community service projects including food drives, clothing drives, assisting the elderly and tutoring elementary students. Mr. Ratcliff also excelled as a student athlete at T.C. Williams. As a result of a storied athletic career, Ratcliff received numerous scholarship offers in football and basketball from many Division I colleges and universities. In fact, Ratcliff’s football jersey was retired by T.C. Williams. Ratcliff also excelled at playing basketball and was designated a nominee by the McDonald’s All-American organization, the nation’s most prominent organization recognizing high school basketball players.
Despite the opportunity to attend many other Division I colleges, Ratcliff attended the University of Maryland at College Park to remain close to his beloved community. In 2001, Ratcliff graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice. Ratcliff intends to soon pursue a Master’s in Business Administration degree. During summer vacations, Ratcliff spent the majority of his time volunteering time at various public recreational facilities located in Old Town Alexandria to train and tutor the youth. Given his tireless efforts to help others and having served as team captain at every level of competition, Ratcliff has been propelled to assume leadership roles both on and off the field of play – something that has now become second nature. In 1995, Ratcliff launched the "Stay in School" campaign/slogan for youth with a public service announcement aired by several local television stations, as well as with the support of a national United Way commercial.
Ratcliff played professional football in the NFL with Indianapolis Colts for 4 years. Ratcliff’s professional sports career has provided notoriety and credibility with local youth to share his vision of service. After retiring from professional football in 2004, Ratcliff returned the Washington DC metropolitan area and has continued his community service work as a role model, mentor, coach and public school system volunteer. Ratcliff presently serves on the Membership Committee of one of the most prominent nonprofit organizations in the City of Alexandria, Alexandria Sportsman’s Club. The esteemed Alexandria Sportsman’s Club recently honored Ratcliff for his stellar athletic career and commitment to community service, and dubbed him the “Son of the City" was introduced as a “high character man” by John Porter, the current Chief Executive and President of “ACT for Alexandria.”
Ratcliff’s desire to form RTF emanates from his research that shows that the youth poverty rate (presently at 50%) is increasing in the metropolitan area and that several inner city schools in the metropolitan area have been designated as Persistently Lowest Achieving by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to combat these disturbing trends, Ratcliff formed RTF to directly address the problem at the community level and to offer a fresh approach and Initiatives supported by strategic plans and other nonprofit partners. RTF’s mission statement is simple, “To serve the community with the intent to bring social change for economically underprivileged with effective programs and services.” Ratcliff’s vision and belief is that strong community engagement is the key for impacting social change and that culture and behavior is established in the household, and any successful efforts to assist youth achieve must include the support and participation of parents and the entire village.