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.