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North Carolina Youth Leadership Resources

Strong Able Youth Speaking Out (SaySo)

“Working to improve substitute care in North Carolina”

Community education and youth leadership development through workshops, outreach and youth advocacy.

  • Programs are available to youth in North Carolina who have been involved in substitute care ages 14-24
  • SaySo Saturday training and youth skills development
  • Youth conferences across North Carolina that focus on positive independent living skills
  • Local and state youth leadership opportunities
  • Participation on statewide panels to advocate to social worker, caregivers, and other professionals like judges, attorneys, and teachers.
  • Opportunities  to serve as legislative Pages at NC General Assembly to speak with policy makers about improving the foster care system

Carmelita Coleman
Executive Director

Independent Living Resources, Inc. (ILR)

“Life Skills for a Better Life”

Resources and technical support available to youth, families, agencies and communities statewide to support youth development and leadership. 

  • State and county SaySo program support
  • REAL WORLD life skills and self-sufficiency simulations
  • Youth development resources available on line
  • Social worker and caregiver training to agencies serving youth in foster care

Nancy Carter
ILR, Inc. Executive Director

Becoming Durham

“Building Every Chance Of Making It Now and Grown Up”

Programs focused on assisting Durham youth ages 16-21 develop life skills, find support and make a positive transition to adulthood. Youth must have a behavioral health condition and reside in Durham County to be eligible for programming.

  • Youth guided programming
  • Future of Tomorrow Advisory Council
  • Resources and support groups
  • It’s my Life resource group
  • M.A.N. U.P.—support for young men 16-21

Garron Rogers
Youth Coordinator

The Hope Center at Pullen

“Connecting Wake County youth aging out of foster care”

Programs that connect Wake County young people 16-24 years old aging out of foster care with resources and support for a successful transition to adulthood.

  • Case management support
  • Life skills development
  • Jamie Kirk Hahn Career Development Program-10 week/100 hour paid internship for youth

Alex Lane
Youth Services Manager
919-322-2751 ext. 4

Alamance County Teen Court

“Resolving Conflicts By Offering Positive Alternatives to Court”

Program for first offenders 6-17 years old run by Alamance County Dispute Settlement and Youth Services, Inc; designed to teach first-time offenders accountability and responsibility for their actions. Sessions held the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.

  • Courtrooms are primarily run by teens
  • Teen volunteers serve as prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, bailiffs, clerks, and jury members
  • The only adult with an active role in the courtroom is the judge, who is an attorney or judge from the community
  • Defendants who admit their guilt are given positive, restorative sanctions by a jury of their peers (trained students volunteers between the ages of 12 and 18), without acquiring a Juvenile Court Record

Bria Miller
Assistant Program Coordinator

DSS LINKS programs

The LINKS program is offered statewide through each individual county DSS.  They offer programs, training, experiences, and resources for youth in foster care between the ages of 13-20 years.  All programming supports the following outcomes but individual services may vary from county to county.

  • Economic Self-Sufficiency
  • Safe and Stable Housing
  • Attainment of Academic/Vocational Goals
  • Connectedness
  • Avoid illegal high risk behaviors
  • Postponing parenthood
  • Health Care access

Forsyth County LINKS program

Specific programming offered by Forsyth LINKS program includes: 

  • Local and State Leadership/Volunteer Opportunities (Youth Leadership Committee and Panel/Advocacy participation)
  • Monthly Life Skills Groups/Resources
  • Creative Incentives for Goal Achievement
  • Summer Camps and Cultivation Trips
  • Assistance with Transportation
  • Housing Assistance
  • Social and Recreational Activities
  • Academic/Educational Support and College Tours
  • Real World Experiences
  • Transitional Living Plan Development

Tamarian McIntyre
Forsyth LINKS Coordinator

Guilford County LINKS program

Specific programming offered by Guilford LINKS program includes: 

  • Monthly meetings on various topics
  • Youth potential to earn money
  • Leadership and independence skills development
  • Opportunities to develop  relationships with  other youth in foster care
  • Learn to make decisions regarding your future
  • Support for making a smooth transition into adulthood
  • Financial assistance in approved areas

Sheletha Stewart
Guilford LINKS Coordinator

Educational Resources and Programs

Vance County: Infinite Possibilities, Inc.

“The goal of Infinite Possibilities, Inc. is to promote responsibility, growth and self-sufficiency amongst families headed by single mothers.”

Programming relevant to foster youth offered by Infinite Possibilities includes: 

  • Teen Outreach Program (including a Healthy Relationships and Violence Class at Henderson Middle School)

Kanika Turrentine