A lot of direction, love and affection: ADLA

ADLA, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) private non-­profit Community Development Corporation designed with the hardest to serve in mind. Since 2003, ADLA has been dedicated to producing positive outcomes for adolescents and their conjoining families in Wayne County and surrounding areas. By taking a realistic approach to provide meaning opportunities, we are able to impact the lives of our youth and help better determine their future. From inception, our goal has been to help adolescents attain a high school diploma and transition into skilled employment and/or secondary education. ADLA has served as a pillar to the community for over six years, consistently providing positive programs to support social development, family involvement, adaptive skill building, academic recovery, employment readiness, and cultural enrichment. 

 Currently, ADLA provides a continuum of services designed to meet specific needs of at‐risk youth in Wayne County and surrounding areas. ADLA provides academic enrichment and life skills to students in a Structure Day Program, who from ages 10 to 19 have been short and long-­term suspended from Wayne County Public Schools and court ordered from the Juvenile Court system. ADLA Structure Day serves between 300-­400 students each year. 

 In 2006-­2007, ADLA Structure Day served a total of 347 students; in 2007-­2008 a total of 351 students; and in 2008-­2009 a total of 317 students. In 2009‐2010, ADLA Structure Day received 417 referrals and, in 2010-­2011, 335 referrals have already been accepted. ADLA is projected to serve at least 450 students by the end of the school year. ADLA has experienced enormous success in addressing the needs of these children: 80% have shown a reduction in disciplinary referrals; 75% have had an increase in school attendance; 90% have been permitted to re-enter school; and over 48% (16 and older) have been placed into employment. Serving 1,762 youth, ADLA’s Structured Day program has been the largest student referral-­ based program in Eastern North Carolina. 

ADLA provides a 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program for students in grades K-­8 who receive free or reduced lunch, live in high poverty areas, attend low performance schools, and are in need of academic assistance to meet grade level expectations. ADLA has established several sites, in both Mount Olive and Goldsboro, providing hands-­on activities to implement academic enrichment, homework assistance, and tutoring in the areas of Reading and Math, all in line with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. ADLA 21st Century program offers activities to enhance social development, increase self-­esteem, and help build positive peer relationships. This program also offers a venue of social development and cultural enrichment, as well as afternoon snacks, free time, and field trips. So far ADLA’s has served over 250 students in this program.  

ADLA provides a Gang Prevention program for youth and young adults, ages 16-­24, to address problems related to gang involvement, self-esteem, and drug and violence prevention. To combat these issues, ADLA Gang Alliance provides character education, conflict resolution, and workforce development. Youth and young adults attending this program are able to participate in occupational learning, mock interviews, and attain assistance in completing numerous employment applications. Through employment readiness and entrepreneurship training, we are able to better prepare its participants for employment in just about any industry.  

ADLA also provides a Culinary Arts program to equip adolescents, ages 13-­19, with the knowledge necessary for food preparation and employment in the food service industry. This program provides activities in food identification, nutrition, safety, and sanitation. To better prepare for employment, this program allows its participants to gain hand’s-­on experience through local catering events and volunteerism in ADLA’s weekly Soup Kitchen. ADLA Culinary Arts is able to expose participants to a venue of cultural activities, as well as various foreign foods they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to encounter.  

Together, ADLA’s Gang Prevention and Culinary Arts programs provide career exploration, economic empowerment, and job creation. In 2009-2010, ADLA, Inc. served a total of 75 students and in 2010-­2011 a total of 125. ADLA has also successfully facilitated 15 Culinary Arts programs that trained 300 youth.  

Through partnership with the USDA, ADLA provides 2500 meals a week in the summer to low income children and last November created a Soup Kitchen which now feeds close to 200 families each time; including an elderly population with almost 100 residents.