NC State University's Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education Training Program (HRMET) is holding their 2013 summer trainings! Last year (2012) we successfully held trainings in the following counties: Durham County, Cabarrus County, New Hanover County, Sanford County, and Guildford County, with over 200 attending. This year we are holding trainings in 5 more locations, May-June for the summer. Please view the information below for a brief training description, locations and dates, and how to register!

The Lenoir County Center for Cooperative Extension, a Kinston Promise Neighborhood partner,  will sponsor the training on Monday, June 17, 2013.  Their office is located at 1791 Highway 11/55 in Kinston, NC.

 NC State University would like to invite you to this FREE training! Free lunch and certificates to use for CEU credit. Please view the attached flyer! Participants may register online through link below. 

The Goal:

The goal of Improving the Lives of Children: The Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education Training is to improve the stability and well-being of children by helping their parents/caregivers develop the knowledge and skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships. Through this train-the-trainer session, child welfare workers and other family life professionals will learn principles and skills they can use to educate families in healthy relationship practices.

What can I expect to learn?

Participants will be able to:

· Better understand the numerous benefits of healthy couple, marital, and co-parenting relationships for child well-being.

·  Become aware of the research-informed principles, practices, and processes that foster healthy families.

· Gain knowledge, tools, and skills that will increase your ability to help strengthen family and child well-being, safety, and permanency.

Our partner, America's Promise Alliance (APA), is working to learn how collaboratives across the nation function on a variety of levels. An essential part of APA's partnership with Kinston Promise Neighborhood is to learn how not just high-level officials, but on-the-ground direct service providers are working and engaging young people and families in the Kinston community.  

As part of this work, they are looking for frontline providers to complete a brief online survey.  The survey will ask you questions about the program you work with as well as about your experiences with the youth in your program. The survey should take no longer than fifteen minutes to complete, and those who complete it will receive a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart.  

America's Promise and their research team at Tufts University will use the information that they learn from you and others to help support Kinston Promise and its work for the children and youth of our community.

If you work directly with children and would like to participate in this survey, please e-mail Theresa Williams at [email protected] before Friday, June 7, 2013.

Please share this notice also with colleagues in Kinston who are working directly with our youth.
The Kinston Youth Enrichment Project will sponsor Camp Promise 2013, "Science, Self-Esteem and Service," a summer enrichment program for students in grades 4-8 from July 15-31, 2013. The free enrichment camp will meet daily from 9 a.m. to noon at one of our proposed sites:  Queen Street United Methodist Church or Rochelle Middle School.  2013 will be the 3rd annual Camp Promise session in Kinston:  2011 sessions were held at Queen Street United Methodist Church and Camp Promise 2012 was held at Rochelle Middle School.

The program will continue to offer NASA Summer of Innovation themed and science enrichment activities for camp participants.  The sessions will include  "Learning the Wright Way to Fly and Robotics Hands Down - an Introduction to Robotics. Other camp sessions include:  "Take 5 and Read," a literacy program with free book distributions; SETCLAE activities (Self-Esteem Through Culture Leads to Academic Excellence);  "A Journey Towards Womanhood" mentoring curriculum by Sisterhood Agenda;  4-H Project Alert presented by Lenoir County Center for  Cooperative Extension; Zumba and/or dance sessions; and an end-of-camp enrichment field trip to Charlotte, NC or Wilmington, NC.

The Kinston Youth Enrichment Project is a program of Young Women of Promise, which was founded in 2001 by Kinston native Theresa Williams.  Camp Promise is designed to provide academic enrichment for our students during the summer when opportunities for academic stimulation are limited.

We are currently accepting contributions for Camp Promise 2013.  To nominate a youth for Camp Promise or to volunteer to work with our campers, please contact Kristal Suggs at 252/468-3007  or Theresa Williams at 252/522-8019. 


Youth Service Providers Share information on programs

Kinston Promise Neighborhood hosted its third East Kinston community meeting last night at the Kinston Public Library in downtown Kinston.  

The meeting included a panel discussion led by Rev. Teddra Hussey Smith.  Leaders from several Kinston youth-serving agencies shared details about their programs.

Kristal Suggs and Wakili Moye shared information about Young Women of Promise.  The agency has provided supportive services to Lenoir County youth since 2006.  The agency programs include The Kinston Youth Enrichment afterschool program; mentoring; Young Women's Clubs; Kids2 College programs for sixth graders and Camp Promise.

Kristal Suggs also shared information about Kinston Promise Neighborhood's recognition as a GradNation community by America's Promise Alliance.  

David Proctor shared information about the GATE Community Development Center and its outreach efforts for youth in the community.  The GATE provides a safe haven for our children during out-of-school time hours.

We also met Kimmyata who is one of the GATE's success stories. The twenty year old started coming to the GATE when she was 15. She described the GATE as a great place for youth and encouraged everyone to come by and see what the GATE is all about.

Jeanene McBride and Hillary Lucas, presented information about the Lenoir County Schools GEAR UP program which currently serves 7th grade and 12th grade students at Rochelle Middle School; Woodington Middle School; Kinston High School and South Lenoir High School.

GEAR UP is a continuum seven-year program that encourages youth to complete high school and prepare for college or career.  The program includes support in the area of Student Services; Family Services and Professional Development.  Ms. McBride stated that the program is very much needed and stressed the importance of "making sure we believe in our children."

Joyce Clark, Executive Director of Young Women's Outreach Center shared information about their prevention services for youth and their families. She stated  "It is important that we serve the whole family."  

Young Women's Outreach Center stresses the importance of connecting families with resources in the community.  Ms. Clark stated repeatedly that hunger and homelessness is prevalent in our community and is something that we should be concerned about.

Young Women's Outreach Center  has scheduled a Community Family Affair event on October 5 in honor of "Let's Talk Month."

Theresa Williams provided a brief overview of  the Kinston Promise Neighborhood and its programs.  She described the Kinston Promise Neighborhood as a collaborative community effort to provide a continuum of support services to our children from birth to college or career.

She described the Project Promise Mentoring alliance and its programs which has supported Rochelle Middle School students with mentoring, free book distributions and college visits since October of 2010.  

Others who attended the meeting included Rev. Allen Bingham, (Queen Street United Methodist Church); Rev. Julian Pridgen (St. Augustus AME Zion Church); Adrian King (Pride of Kinston); Sammy C. Aiken (Kinston City Council member); Wanda Hall (The Gate of Lenoir County); Tristan Bruner, (Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties); Hernika Cannon (Kinston Housing Authority); Hilda Royal (St. Mark Ministries); Ronn Shedrick and Celestine Davis (New Voices, New Vision); Brenda Stewart (Moving Spirit Dance and Exercise Company); Evernell  Pittman (River of Life Day Care Center); Shawn Wilson (Greater Kinston Credit Union); Antuan Hawkins (Kinston Regional Library); Maxine Cooper (Greene Lamp); community volunteers Ruby Jenkins, Marquetta Brown, and Latrice Williams and students Tristan Blakeney and Karsteen Brown.

The meeting also included a time of fellowship with refreshments which gave meeting participants an opportunity to get to know each other better.
My day got off to a great this past Friday  while reading the Kinston Free Press article about Passion Waiters and the Lenoir County Early College graduating class of 2013.

I first met Passion two years ago when she was nominated for our Teens and Kids Who Care awards.  

Passion also sang  at our 2011 MLK Holiday Celebration at St. Augustus AME Zion Church. She shared with us that she was feeling a little bit under the weather and could not sing her original song.  

She meekly stated, "But I have a back up song to sing for you."  She belted out a song with a very strong voice that left many of us in tears!!!

Passion is the first in her family  to attend college.  She also graduated with a 3.6 GPA.  Students in the Lenoir County Early College program obtain both a high school diploma and two year degree.

Passion is a determined young woman of promise and will be entering NC A&T State University in the fall.  She plans to major in Industrial Engineering. 

There is a lot of promise in Kinston's youth and Passion is a shining example!!!

If you need a little inspiration to make it through the day, please visit to read Jessika Morgan's story about Passion and the 2013 Lenoir County Early College graduates!!!

Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., has scheduled the next East Kinston Community meeting for Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Neuse Regional Library located at 510 North Queen Street in downtown Kinston.

Our program will allow local youth service providers to share information about their programs for youth in our community. The meeting will provide parents, youth and community allies with information on how to support the children in Kinston Promise Neighborhood.

Confirmed participants include Young Women of Promise; The GATE of Lenoir County; Salvation Army; Young Women's Outreach Center; Lenoir County Public Schools GEAR UP program and the Kinston Public Library.

The keynote speaker will be Kinston native, Lin Dawson who is the CEO and Founder of the JH Sampson School Community Development Corporation.  Mr. Dawson recently purchased the JH Sampson School and has plans for a variety of exciting programs that will benefit East Kinston residents.

We have been inspired by the level of participation in our East Kinston community meetings.  The first meeting on March 14 brought together a diverse group of community residents including elected officials, city officials; nonprofit and faith-based organizations.

The April 11 meeting allowed us to begin the dialogue with some of our faith-based community development corporations including Compassion Outreach CDC and St. Mark Ministry Hand on Humanity. 

We also received housing development information from Ashley Pierce, Manager at Self-Help Credit Union.  Shawn Wilson, Interim Manager at the Greater Kinston Credit Union provided an overview of their lending programs.

Volunteers urged to participate

 When volunteers complete their work April 27, 2013, Downtown Kinston and East Kinston neighborhoods will be a lot cleaner as the community gets ready for the annual Festival on the Neuse (May 1-4).

The Pride of Kinston, Kinston City Councilman Sammy Aiken and Theresa Williams Bethea of Kinston Promise Neighborhood, have merged efforts to remove trash and debris in east Kinston and in downtown’s Municipal Service District. Kinston ’s Appearance Commission is also a sponsor.

The event is also being held on Global Youth Service Day as part of the Kinston Promise Neighborhood's efforts to encourage youth involvement in our community.

All sponsoring organizations are urging volunteers to show up for the expanded effort.

The joint move was unveiled at an East Kinston Community Meeting April 11 when Mr. Aiken, Ms. Bethea and Pride director Adrian King told area residents of the larger project. Pride’s 2009 Clean Up Day was expanded to include the Martin Luther King corridor.

Noting that the Festival on the Neuse draws thousands to Kinston , “We taste first with our eyes,” Mr. King noted. “A clean and attractive community is not only good for our aesthetics, but also good for tourism and economic development.”

The main point of the effort is to make a statement, to call attention to the importance of clean, neat and a litter-free community while removing debris along streets and sidewalks, commented Sarah Weeks , chair of Pride’s Design Committee. The committee first launched the project in April 2006.
  • The Clean Up Day schedule begins at 9:00 am in Pearson Park with registration,  a briefing and area assignments. Morning refreshments will be available.
  • At 12:30 pm, a complimentary lunch will be offered to volunteers who helped with the clean up project.
  • Approximately 1:30 pm a tree will be planted in the park in observance of Arbor Day. The tree, as in the past, is being donated by the Charles Hughes Construction Company.
Volunteers are being urged to contact Kinston Promise Neighborhood at 252-522-8019 or [email protected]; Pride of Kinston at 252-525-6144 or [email protected]; or Sammy Aiken at 252-624-4361 or [email protected] .

Kinston Promise Neighborhood has scheduled the second in a series of East Kinston Community Meetings for Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. at St. Peter Church of Christ (DOC) located at 602 JP Harrison Blvd. in Kinston.

The meeting will include a summary presentation of the key issues and concerns that residents and community leaders identified at the first East Kinston meeting held on March 14. 

The discussions will also focus on community development and ways to improve and increase safe and affordable housing opportunities in East Kinston communities.

Ashley Pierce, Manager of Self-Help Credit Union will provide an overview of their housing development model.  Additionally representatives from several of Kinston's Community Development Corporations including Compassion Outreach Community Development Corporation; St. Mark Church Ministries Hands for Humanity CDC; and the Fuller Center have been invited to make presentations about their community development projects.

According to Theresa Williams, Kinston Promise Neighborhood coordinator, “The purpose of the meetings is to work together as a community to establish a vision and action plan for improving the quality of life for residents in our East Kinston communities.”

Kinston Promise Neighborhood is a collaborative and comprehensive approach to educating children and strengthening families in Kinston. The Kinston Promise Neighborhood model is based on the highly successful Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), developed by Geoffrey Canada in the early 1990's. 

Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., works through existing community-based organizations and programs to create a continuum of "cradle-through-college" solutions to improve the academic and developmental outcomes for children at all stages of growth: early learning, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college.  Promise Neighborhoods partners also provide support for family, social service and health programs as well as community building programs.

Please call 252/522-8019 or visit or send e-mail to [email protected] if you have any questions or need additional information.

Over 50 community leaders and residents attended the first East Kinston Community meeting held on March 14 at Emmanuel Hill Baptist Church. 

Kinston native Lin Dawson (standing above)  shared plans for the Lin Dawson Youth Leadership Academy as well as plans for the proposed Sampson School Community Life Center.

Chief Bill Johnson, Kinston Department of Public Safety provided an overview of programs provided by the KDPS including Project Safe Neighborhood; Crossing Boundaries; the GATE; and the Boys and Girls Club.  Their youth programs are designed to reduce teen pregnancy and increase graduation rates.
Other City of Kinston representatives attending the March 14 meeting included City Manager Tony Sears; and Kinston City Council members Joseph Tyson (Mayor Pro Tem); Sammy Aiken; Robbie Swinson IV and Bobby Merritt; and Roland Davis and Clinton Glover.

NC District 12 Representative George Graham, Jr.  provided a brief overview of activities taking  place in the General Assembly. Representative Graham also distributes a weekly newsletter from his Raleigh office. 

Marcia Perritt provided an overview of the numerous projects that the UNC Community Campus Partnership has provided to Lenoir County including business and strategic planning support; studies along the Martin Luther King Corridor; community assessments and grant writing and support.

Others attending the meeting included faith-based leaders: Allen Bingham (Queen Street United Methodist Church); Deborah Moore-Marshall (Emmanuel Hill Memorial FWB Church); Teddra Hussey (the Episcopal Church); Ernest Fisher (Integrity Ministry); Dr. Malcolm Beech (Eagle News and Cultural Heritage Museum); Ashley Pierce (Self-Help Credit Union); Shawn Wilson (Greater Kinston Credit Union); Maxine Cooper (Greene Lamp Board of Directors); Reesie Williams and Bishop Eartha Mumford (Lincoln City Reunion); Adrian King (Pride of Kinston); Barbara Williams (Lenoir County Department of Social Services); Clarissa Olivia Gooding and Michaela Penix (East Carolina University Graduate Students); and a number of concerned citizens including Audrey Suggs-Chamblee; Claman Chatman; Brenda Stewart; Abdur-Rahim Saleem; Marquetta Brown;  Blain Hargett; Charles W. Cobb, Jr.,  and Kinston Promise volunteers Wakili Moye; Kristal Suggs; Christopher Suggs and Theresa Williams.

The March 14 Meeting was covered by Jonathan Rodriguez for WNCT Channel 9.  Please click on the link below for the story.

Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., is sponsoring the first in a series of East Kinston Community Meetings on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Hill Memorial Free Will Baptist Church located at 401 N. Rochelle Blvd., in Kinston.  (next to Rochelle Middle School).

The purpose of the meeting is to bring together elected officials, community leaders and residents to talk about ways to improve the quality of life for residents in East Kinston communities.

Community leaders who have confirmed attendance for the meeting as of March 11 include Chief Bill Johnson, Director of Public Safety; Kinston City Council members Sammy C. Aiken and Robbie Swinson; North Carolina Representative George Graham; Adrian King, Director of Pride of Kinston;  Mildred Brown and Lincoln City Reunion coordinating committee; Malcolm Beech, Eagle News and Cultural Heritage Museum; Kinston native J. Lin Dawson, The Lin Dawson Youth Leadership Academy; Lenoir County Commissioners Roland Best and Jackie Brown; and Rev. John Flowers, pastor of Church of Faith and Deliverance.

For additional information contact Theresa Williams at 252/939-5587 or visit

Email: [email protected]