IDEALS was founded in 1993 to help young people develop their life and leadership skills. IDEALS’ first program was the IDEALS Leadership School for high school student athletes, male and female. This program is still operating in Atlanta.
Due to the high interest by high schools outside the Metro Atlanta area where the Leadership School is held, to have the program content, IDEALS created the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) video series in 2011. High schools in over 25 states have the SALT program.
In 2016 the Georgia Department of Education asked IDEALS and Cindy Haygood to develop a Soft Skills program for the Career Tech students in Georgia. IDEALS developed the Principles for Performance Video series and Cindy contributed Etiquette from her Employability Tool Kit. As a result of the interest in this program, the Georgia State Board asked IDEALS and Cindy Haygood to expand the program to be available for all students in Georgia. The Next Step program was created in 2018 and rolled out in 2019.