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  1. An initiative of

  2. THE VISION To transform Charlotte’s fragile communities into “Empowerment Zones,” where the collaborative efforts of individuals, nonprofits, local organizations, businesses, the faith community, foundations, and governments will assure that all children become self-actualizers who will reach their fullest potential and become value-producing members of the communities. 2

  3. CEZ is a collaborative effort of partners that share the same vision. Our strategy aligns programs currently offered by NGS, The Urban Restoration, and The Discovery Place to create a rich menu of foundational experiences designed to transform at-risk children into self-actualized and empowered individuals. The strategy immerses the children and saturates the communities with highly innovative, substantive, interactive and enriching programs in education, science and technology, visual and performing arts and sports while providing stabilization support for the families to empower them to become community builders. Strategy Technology Science Sports Sports Education Arts Education Science Sports Education Arts Technology Family Stabilization Support 3

  4. PRESSLEY RIDGE AND TRYON FOREST APARTMENTS A critical mass of children and motivated ownership groups at both apartment complexes present the ideal opportunities to build successful models of community transformation. Pressley Ridge has been Charlotte’s largest supplier of Section 8 Housing: home to 400 families, 75% of which are led by single mothers, and over 800 children, all of whom attend high poverty schools. Tryon Forest is home to over 200 such families. Both have offered the multiple apartment units to be used for tutoring, programming and staff residencies. Programs for children and families in the target communities will also be offered at the Discovery Place, The Urban Restoration (TUR) and the NeXus Urban Serve (NUS) campuses uptown. NUS and TUR will provide critical community building and family stabilization support for the CEZ initiative, with Discovery Place taking the lead in developing STEM based education programs WHERE WE ARE STARTING 4

  5. The Discovery Schools CEZ Discovery Schools in the target communities will provide saturation tutoring, and STEM based education programs and experiences in target communities. These will include after-school, weekend, and summer programs and exposure trips and field experiences designed to ignite the love for learning and set the child on the journey to self-actualization and life-long learning. Attitudes and achievements of participants will be measured in STEM using the DAST (Draw a Scientist Test) and the TOSRA (Test of Science Related Attitudes) and objective tests. .

  6. CEZ Visual and Performing Arts Studies have shown that innovative visual and performing arts programs have a highly positive impact on SAT performance. Programs and experiences provided by the CEZ empower at-risk children to broaden their options for higher learning and connect them with unique opportunities for mentoring by professionals in the creative arts community of Charlotte. Programs such as the CEZ Orchestra also provide unique branding and development opportunities for the CEZ team as they mobilize community support for the work of the CEZ in Charlotte’s fragile communities.

  7. CEZ Sports The CEZ menu of sports programs and experiences provide further opportunities to maximize each child’s potential and to equip them for successful living. The goal is to produce well-rounded individuals who can become great student-athletes at institutions of higher learning and successful competitors in the marketplace. CEZ children participate in football, basketball, baseball and soccer leagues sponsored by NeXus Urban Serve and SOAR Sports..

  8. Family Stabilization Support The CEZ’s ability to provide family stabilization support will be key to its success. Strategic partnerships with Crisis Assistance, the Wish program, DSS and CHA enables the CEZ to mobilize resources for families in the target communities to prevent evictions and enable their children to remain immersed in CEZ programs for maximum impact. The Incredible Years parenting program offered to CEZ parents by The Urban Restoration empowers families to build homes and communities where children will thrive. The program promotes conflict management skills, strengthens social skills which leads to emotional regulation, academic success and increased self esteem. Partnerships with churches and urban missionaries provide CEZ families with the means to connect with faith communities that provide critical support to the family stabilization strategy..

  9. Contact information Noah Manyika: President Cell: 704 907 9405 Office: 704 375 0635 Website: P.O. Box 32454 Charlotte NC 28232

  10. Volunteers in action with the CEZ Volunteers tutoring at the CEZ

  11. Volunteers in action with the CEZ Volunteers at the CEZ Olympics

  12. Volunteers in action with the CEZ Volunteers washing the feet of children and parents at a Samaritan’s Feet sponsored CEZ event