Kinston Promise News

Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. Newsletter  

"Creating an oasis of hope for our youth's future"

In This Issue
KPN Strategic Business Plan
East Kinston Meeting
GradNation 2013
Operation Medicine Drop
About Kinston Promise
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Monday, March 11, 2013
Kinston Promise Neighborhood Strategic Business Plan  - 
Submitted by Betsy Robeson
Danielle at MLK

The School of Government and the Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill collaborated recently to create a strategic business plan for Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc., our nonprofit community collaborative organization modeled after the highly successful Harlem Children's Zone in New York.  

Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. is focused on serving children and families in an 80-block area in East Kinston, NC and an additional 18-block area in the Mitchelltown community.  The organization works through existing community-based 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.

Kinston Promise Neighborhood partners have been operating since April 2010 with a dedicated leader and a small group of community volunteers.  Through the business planning process, we were able to articulate the vision and structure of the organization in a single document.  We also outlined a 5-year implementation plan to formalize and grow the organization; however, the bulk of the work will take place in Year 1.  In fact, one of the first key steps for implementation will kick off later this month.  Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. will soon begin work with a group of researchers from Tufts University to conduct a comprehensive youth needs assessment in the target area.  This needs assessment is sponsored by the America's Promise GradNation Communities program.

Other key implementation steps for Year 1 will include hiring staff, recruiting a strong Board of Directors, and, of course, raising funds.  The business plan outlines key staff positions, including job responsibilities, as well as recommendations for Board composition and governance.  The business plan also outlines projected financials for Years 1-5 of operations and provides a clear competitive analysis and risk analysis that can be reviewed by potential Board members or funders.  The strategic business plan provides an important road map for Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. to move forward boldly and intentionally.  With a strategic business plan in hand, the organization can really begin to expand their work, formalize operations, and increase their impact on children and families in East Kinston.

Betsy Robeson holds a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. Funding support for the Kinston Promise Neighborhood strategic business plan development was provided by the UNC Community Campus Partnership (UNC CCP). 


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).


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, proposed Sampson School Community Center; 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



GradNation Summit 2013

The Powells 

America's Promise photo 


Kinston Promise Neighborhood representatives were invited to attend the 3rd Annual GradNation Summit which was held February 24-26, 2013 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel in Washington, DC.  


America's Promise provided funding for travel and hotel accommodations for Kinston Promise volunteers Theresa Williams and Kristal Suggs to attend the event.


America's Promise has provided technical assistance, professional development and networking opportunities for staff members and volunteers of several of our Promise Neighborhood partners including Steve Roman with Lenoir County Center for Cooperative Extension; Tristan Bruner with the Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties; Lidia Guzman with Lenoir County Public Schools; Melissa Bailey with Lenoir County Public Schools Migrant Education Program; Rachel Wright with NCField; Vanessa Lockhart and Kristal Suggs with Young Women of Promise and Theresa Williams with Kinston Promise Neighborhood and Young Women of Promise. 


For a recap of the events at this year's Summit,  please visit 2013 GradNation Summit.  


Residents in Kinston and surrounding communities are invited to participate in the March 18 Operation Medicine Drop which will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Walgreens Pharmacy locted at 2201 N. Herritage Street in Kinston.
Residents can bring unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications through this annual Take back event.
For additional information, please contact Jackie Leonard, a Community Coordinator with the City of Kinston Department of Public Safety at 252/939-4025. 
SYNERGY 2013 - April 15-17 in Raleigh, NC

The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) is hosting their annual SYNERGY 2013 Conference 
April 15-17 at the North Raleigh Hilton.
NC CAP is a statewide afterschool network dedicated to increasing access to high quality afterschool programs for all children in North Carolina, helping them succeed in and out of school. 
The SYNERGY Conference provides outstanding leadership development workshops and networking opportunities for afterschool directors; front-line staff, state administrators and funders from across the state.

For more information about the upcoming conference please visit SYNERGY 2013 Registration.  

"Creating an oasis of hope for our youth's future"
Kinston Promise Neighborhood is a collaborative and comprehensive approach to educating children and strengthening families in the town of Kinston, a mid-size community in eastern North Carolina.  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.  The figure below illustrates the HCZ and Kinston Promise Neighborhood service model.

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.

Kinston Promise Neighborhood has been recognized as a GradNation Community by America's Promise Alliance.  

Grad Nation Communities are at the front line of efforts to help young people succeed in school, work and life. They GradNation initiative launched in September 2011 to recognize communities across the nation for their efforts in support of the Grad Nation campaign which is designed to end the dropout crisis in our country.

For more information about Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc. please visit our website at

Theresa Ann Williams-Bethea, Editor
Kinston Promise Coordinator (Volunteer)
Kinston Promise Neighborhood, Inc.
Phone: 252/522-8019