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Initiative’s Summer Youth Leadership Program builds next generation of community leaders


June 18, 2013 – Two dozen high school students will work for community economic development organizations around the state this summer thanks to the N.C. Community Development Initiative’s 2013 Summer Youth Leadership Program.

The program kicked off its sixth year June 18-19 with a two-day orientation in Raleigh for the 24 youth leaders from 17 N.C. counties who were selected to participate.

“This is a highly competitive program, and we’ve selected a group of young people who are ready to learn and make a difference in the world,” said Initiative program associate Kimberly Askew, who directs the youth program. “The program provides them with knowledge and experience that will help them be successful in their future careers and leadership opportunities.”

The intensive eight-week program places high school students in internships with high-performing organizations in their communities to complete a project in community economic development and learn workplace and leadership skills.

Interns come together four times during the eight weeks for Initiative-hosted seminars and workshops on communication and service leadership topics. These seminars provide them with opportunities to meet and learn from each other, as well as from successful community leaders and entrepreneurs.

The youth program is part of the Initiative’s long-term strategy to develop state leaders who understand the unique needs of low-income communities and can help strengthen their economies.

The 2013 Summer Youth Leadership Program participants are listed below with their home counties and placements:

Bertie County
Antonio Powell, Generations Community Credit Union

Buncombe County
Brittany Edgerton, HandMade in America

Cabarrus County
David Santos, Prosperity Unlimited Inc.

Camden County
Jamonty Hyder, Northeastern Community Development Corp.

Cleveland County
Ezekiel Grant, Cleveland County Community Development Corp.

Columbus County
Autumn Fields, Columbus County DREAM Center Inc.

Davidson County
Ja’Quez Taylor, Lexington Housing Community Development Corp.

Durham County
James McKinnon, EmPOWERment Inc.
Montrel McNatt, N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development
Jerrick Richmond, Generations Community Credit Union
Kirsten Smith, N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development

Forsyth County
Tevin Davis, Goler Community Development Corp.

Robeson County
Kyla Chavis, Lumbee Guaranty Bank
Mikala Lowry, Robeson County Community Development Corp.
Taylor Ussery, Robeson County Community Development Corp.

Rowan County
Aaron Parker, Prosperity Unlimited Inc.

Rutherford County
Jacob Lambert, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority

Surry County
Courtney Cobler, Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity

Vance County
Aide Nonato, Generations Community Credit Union

Union County
Samantha Alexander, Monroe-Union County Community Development Corp.

Wake County
Kayla Dunston, Millionaires in Training
Tess McDaniel, Passage Home Inc.
DeQuandrá Rankins, Passage Home Inc.

Wayne County
Andra Core, Rebuilding Broken Places Community Development Corp.

For more information on the Summer Youth Leadership Program, visit or contact Askew at (919) 835-6072, View photos from the orientation session at

The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit


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