The North Carolina Center for Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (NC-ACE) began as the product of a nearly $6.5 million federal grant awarded to an interdisciplinary team of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill researchers, led by School of Social Work Professor Paul Smokowski, Ph.D. The center provided community support and solutions for preventing and reducing youth violence in
Robeson County, N.C.
North Carolina’s center is the nation’s first rural Youth Violence Prevention Center and serves one of the most ethnically diverse rural counties in the United States. Robeson County has a majority-minority population; more than 68 percent of the county’s 129,000 residents are Native American, African American and Latino.
The center started as a collaborative partnership between the UNC School of Social Work, the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC), and community agencies in Robeson County, including the Robeson County Health Department, Department of Juvenile Services, and Public Schools of Robeson County.
To assess the impact of the Center’s activities, researchers tracked community and school rates of violence in Robeson County and across the state. The project also followed 3,000 middle school students in Robeson County over five years, comparing their students’ development to that of 2,000 similar students (Comparison Group) in a nearby county.
In 2014, through a directive by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that funded the ACE initiatives, NC-ACE changed its name to the NC Youth Violence Prevention Center receiving 501(c)3 status as a federally recognized non-profit agency. The Center is the umbrella agency for a host of other programs including Robeson County Teen Court & Youth Services, Richmond County Teen Court, and The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
Among the programs and curriculum's being utilized by the NC-YVPC are the following:
* Robeson County Teen Court
* Richmond County Teen Court
* The CORe Project
* Parenting Wisely
* NIJ Peer Court
* Victims of Criminal Acts (VOCA)
Led by Jim Barbee - the Center's Executive Director - and Lance Britt - its Board of Directors' Chariman - the NC-YVPC has its sights set on strengthening their impact in Robeson County, Richmond County, Columbus County, and beyond.
Thanks to the amazing support from Robeson County officials, local Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) consultants, our difference-making employees, and all our volunteers, there's no telling how many lives we can impact.
But we'd sure like to find out.
In truly looking to positively alter the lives of a greater number of young men and women, the NC-YVPC is looking to expand its reach throughout North Carolina. As such, in addition to remaining an agent for change in Robeson, Richmond, and Columbus Counties, look for our Center to expand to different parts of Eastern NC, with designs on becoming the driving force for all of North Carolina's, youth violence prevention efforts!
How can we accomplish this? In part, we've always relied on the kindness and efforts of our volunteer. In addition, we couldn't do it without the continuous philanthropic efforts of individuals and businesses throughout the community.
Please consider helping out in anyway you can by clicking the "Please Donate Today" button below!