Adopt-A-Street Program; Second Thursday Member Nights; Youth Leadership & Resource Center; Adopt-A-Vacant Lot Program; Youth Leadership Summit; Kinston Teens Vision Garden; and more
ADOPT-A-STREET PROGRAM – Click here for more info!
The Adopt-A-Street program encourages local churches, businesses, organizations, and groups to “adopt” city streets to clean and beautify throughout the year – similar to the popular “Adopt a Highway” program ran by the Department of Transportation. This initiative was started in April 2015, and is supported by Kinston Public Services.
- There is no fee associated with adopting a city street in this program.
- There is a two (2) year agreement between the adopter, Kinston Teens and the City of Kinston, with cleanups scheduled every three (3) months (or more at the discretion of the adopter).
- An “Adopt-A-Street” sign recognizing the name of the adopter will be placed on the roadway.
- Volunteers must wear orange safety vests.
SECOND THURSDAY MEMBER NIGHTS
Our members meet on the second Thursday of every month to engage in a social hour and to brief the group on our projects and upcoming events. These Member Nights sometimes consist of a video, guest speaker, teambuilding games or a planning session for major projects. Currently, Kinston Teens has approximately 24 members ranging from middle, high school and college students. These events are held at the Kinston Teens Office, or at a community center or other location in our community.
KINSTON TEENS VISION GARDEN – Click here for more info!
The Kinston Teens Vision Garden is a community beautification project kicked off in April 2016. For this project, we’ll be transforming a vacant lot in a blighted neighborhood into a greenspace garden that we hope will build a sense of pride for the neighborhood’s residents and enhance the beauty of the major roadway that it is located on.
We’ve partnered with Corporate Resource and Ivey’s Garden Center to begin work on the garden, and with continued support from our community, we hope to complete it by early summer. It is our goal that this garden will be bright, beautiful and prosperous – similar to the vision that we have for our community’s future.
ADOPT-A-VACANT LOT PROGRAM
The City of Kinston currently owns over 1,000 vacant parcels, many of which are in residential areas. Many are overgrown and strewn with garbage, and as a result weaken neighborhood morale and discourage investment. They negatively impact property values and contribute to the perception that certain areas of Kinston are unsafe, unattractive, and unwelcoming.
Many of these vacant lots are located in East Kinston, one of the highest-poverty areas in the state and a major community development focus for the City of Kinston, Kinston Teens and other agencies. We believe that these lots can be put to more productive uses, and we’ve partnered with the City of Kinston to begin planning developing the Adopt-A-Vacant Lot program.
The AVL program will allow churches, families, businesses, organizations, and others to “adopt” vacant lots and transform them into community amenities such as small-scale farms, pollinator gardens, and recreation areas. These underutilized spaces present tremendous potential for neighborhood improvement, urban biodiversity, and entrepreneurship. The City of Kinston and Kinston Teens envision a wide range of interest in this program, and look forward to its implementation later in 2016.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP SUMMIT – Click here for more info!
On Saturday, July 23, Kinston Teens will be coordinating its second annual Youth Leadership Summit for elementary and middle school students, grades 3 through 8, to spark dialogue on youth issues in our community and develop leadership skills necessary to become productive citizens – locally and globally.
This free, one-day summit focuses on developing youth into 21st century leaders who know that they have the ability to change the world. Attendees enhance their skills through a series of workshops, teambuilding activities, empowerment messages from keynote speakers and more.
In 2015, 50 elementary and middle school attendees and 22 high school student volunteers were involved in this summit. Presentations included: NC March of Dimes, Lenoir-Greene Partnership for Children, NC Center for Safer Schools, Self-Help Credit Union, Neuseway Nature Center, Teach for America ENC, PEACE Foundation, Eastpointe MCO, NC Department of Public Safety and Kinston Department of Public Safety. The 2015 summit was held at Southeast Elementary School.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP & RESOURCE CENTER
Founded in October 2014, the mission of Kinston Teens, Inc. is to empower youth through service, leadership, and civic engagement opportunities while improving our community as a whole. In the short time this organization has been active, it has done that and more.
This summer, we will be working on the development of the Kinston Teens Youth Leadership & Resource Center.
In 2015, our organization held a Teen Town Hall for young people in our community to voice their concerns to local community and government leaders. One of the chief complaints from our community’s youth was that there is a lack of positive alternatives and outlets for young people in our city. It is our goal to combat this.
The objective of the Kinston Teens Youth Leadership & Resource Center is to create, promote and increase the awareness of programs and resources that benefit the young people of the Kinston-Lenoir County community, while equipping youth and young adults with tools, skills, trainings and values to be dynamic leaders and productive citizens both locally and globally and placing them in positions to do so!
We will achieve this goal by offering programs and services such as: a printed and digital Youth Resource Guide detailing programs for young people in our community; youth employment, volunteer and mentor training and placement; a two-month Youth Community Leader training and certification program; hosting Youth Resource Fairs to promote and increase the awareness of youth programs; providing meeting space for youth groups; involving youth in the planning of initiatives and policies for our community; and more.
This Center will act as a hub that: centralizes resources specific and beneficial to youth and young adults in our community; provides a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment; maximizes the potential of our youth through positive activities; involves young people in planning and organizing community service initiatives; builds and strengthen relationships between our community’s youth and civic leaders.
Our organization believes that our youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also of today!
In addition to these great programs, our organization assists with the coordination and volunteer aspect for a variety of community programs and events, and provides consultation services in the areas of youth leadership and community development. Interested in learning more? Contact our office at (252) 522-8012.